Donburi is quintessential Japanese comfort food. The base layer is a basic sushi rice bowl but then what sits on top can consist of any variety of meat and vegetables. This chicken donburi recipe is a very well-balanced combination that might not be a typical way of presenting food, but I think it is good to try new things.
4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 lemongrass stalk, outer layers
removed then roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2cm piece of ginger, roughly
3 spring onions, roughly chopped
juice of ½ lime
1 tbsp light olive oil
200g sushi rice
6 broccoli florets, halved
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp teriyaki sauce
50g pea shoots
1 carrot, peeled and julienned
10g pickled ginger
2 spring onions, shredded
2 tsp sesame seeds
1 tsp dried chilli flakes
Place the chicken thighs in a shallow dish. Put the lemongrass, garlic, ginger, spring onions, lime juice and olive oil into a mini-chopper and blitz to a paste. Tip this over the chicken thighs and rub it all over them.
Leave the chicken in the fridge to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 220°C/200°C fan/gas 7 and line a roasting tin with non-stick baking paper.
Take the chicken out the fridge and put the thighs into the roasting tin and into the oven for 20 minutes.
Put the rice into a saucepan and cover with the water. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes with a lid on the pan. Remove from the heat and set aside still with the lid on – don’t be tempted to peep at it – for another 10-15 minutes.
Bring a small pan of water to the boil and add the broccoli florets.
Cook for 3-4 minutes until al dente then drain.
Take the lid off the rice and sprinkle over the rice wine vinegar, then stir to mix.
Once the chicken has had its first 20 minutes, take the tin out and brush the thighs with the teriyaki sauce. Pop them back into the oven for a further 5-6 minutes then remove from the oven, slice into strips and keep handy.
Divide the rice between two bowls. Top the rice with the chicken slices and arrange the broccoli, pea shoots, carrot and pickled ginger around chicken. Sprinkle over the shredded spring onion, sesame seeds and chilli flakes and eat straight away.
Photography by Andrew Burton