I admit: The idea of soggy fried food doesn't sound so great at first, but there are a host of Japanese dishes that involve just that and end up with really unique textures and flavors. Frying drives off excess moisture from batters and breadings, which leaves behind plenty of open spaces to absorb flavorful liquids. Not sold? Well, an easy way to dip your feet into the world of fried-then-soaked foods is katsudon, a dish made with leftover chicken katsu or pork tonkatsu simmered with eggs in a soy-dashi broth, then served over a bowl of rice.
Why It Works
- The breading on leftover fried chicken or pork cutlets is great at absorbing flavorful liquids.
- Steaming the eggs in broth keeps them nice and tender.
- Yield:Serves 1
- Active time: 3 minutes
- Total time:5 to 10 minutes
- 1/3 cup (80ml) dashi, or 1/3 cup (80ml) water mixed with 3/4 teaspoon Hondashi
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) sake
- 2 teaspoons (8g) sugar
- 2 teaspoons (10ml) mirin
- 4 ounces thinly sliced yellow onion (115g; about 1/2 medium onion), optional
- 1 leftover Japanese fried chicken or pork cutlet, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch strips
- 2 large eggs
- 2 scallions, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced, plus more for garnish
- Steamed white or brown rice, for serving
Combine dashi, soy sauce, sake, sugar, and mirin in a small saucepan or donburi pan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. If using onion, add to broth and simmer until tender, about 5 minutes. Add sliced fried cutlet and let simmer for 1 minute. Meanwhile, beat together eggs and scallions in a small bowl. Pour egg mixture on top of cutlet and around broth. Cover and cook until eggs are as set as you'd like them, about 1 minute for very soft or 2 minutes for medium. Slide broth, egg, and chicken out on top of a bowl of rice. Sprinkle with scallions and serve.