Japanese people have a thing for naming things for the vessel they come in (see nabe), and this is no exception. Donburi literally means “bowl”, but it typically refers to a bowl of rice topped with something. Japanese people also like abbreviating things, so donburi becomes “don” in common parlance.
This is the ultimate weeknight meal as it takes almost no time to make. It’s also fantastic in bento boxes for lunch. I usually make a batch of onsen tamago (slow cooked egg) over a weekend as it takes a bit of time to make, if you haven’t make any ahead of time, this also great topped with a sunny side up egg, or scrambled egg, or even no egg at all.
The chicken is quickly cooked in a sweet soy sauce (think teriyaki sauce), and sandwiches a thin layer of green onions over rice. The onsen tamago, permeates the entire dish with a custardy creaminess that you just can’t beaten.
You could do a lot with this basic recipe too. Try using beef or pork, or even crumbled firm tofu. You could also add veggies. For seasoning, it’s great with a little sesame oil, garlic, or if you want to give it a little kick, add some gochujang (Korean hot sauce).
1/2 lbs ground chicken
1/2 tsp ginger
1 tsp sugar
freshly cooked rice
1 green onion thinly sliced
2 onsen tamago
Shichimi pepper powder (optional for garnish)
Put a bit of oil in a pan over medium heat and add the ginger. Saute until it’s fragrant then add the chicken, using a spatula to break it up into little crumbles until it is no longer pink.
Add the sugar and mirin and stir to coat the chicken bits. Add the soy sauce and cook until the liquid is mostly evaporated (careful not to dry the chicken out).
Put your hot rice in a bowl and top with a layer of green onions, then cover with the cooked chicken. Top with an onsen tamago and garnish with some Shichimi pepper powder.