Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Another tweak to donburi

The joy of a hearty, simple dish like donburi is that once you've mastered the basic technique, it's easy to start changing some of the variables and experimenting. The other night I followed my usual recipe for chicken donburi but used chicken thighs rather than breast meat. Knowing that this would give a stronger flavor to the completed dish, I decided to use shrimp stock as the base for the broth, rather than dashi (shrimp stock recipe from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything). I also added a few drops of pepper sherry to the broth.

As expected, the shrimp stock enhanced the darker flavor that chicken thigh meat gives to donburi. The pepper sherry was not noticeable in the broth, so I guess I need to use it less timidly next time. I'm still deciding if I like it this version of donburi or not, but playing around like this is part of what you do when you start making a dish your own. Besides, donburi is forgiving.


obachan said...

I almost always make my chicken donburi with chicken thighs, because that's the way mom cooked it when I was a child.

I, too, like playing around to invent creative donburi, but I'm very fussy about the sauce-rice ratio and the firmness of cooked rice. :)

Winslow said...

Hi obachan,

The first donburi recipe I came across used chicken breast meat, but that's rather bland. I tried switching to thigh meat, but that is almost too flavorful, in contrast. I clearly need to rejigger the sauce formula to suit the thigh meat. On the other hand, the best part of donburi is the sauce-soaked rice, but mine usually ends up being soupy.

Oh, well, the experimentation will continue! :)