I used to hate soy sauce. I don’t know how that happened because nowadays pretty much every meal is an excuse to consume the stuff. This book seems written for me – Practical SHOYU COOKING (Japan Publications, 1969) and indeed it is full of things I want to cook. I started with something very basic today, but hope to progress onto the more complex recipes, for instance there’s a load of omelette type recipes that are calling my name. But today, I needed soup. There’s not a lot goes into this dish, and convincing myself that it was what I needed as my first meal of the day was hard – I was certain I needed more substance, having forgotten to eat for about 5 hours upon waking (I was immersed in a general ‘life laundry’ type activity, where I created a huge pile of belongings all earmarked for the charity shop. Got a bit carried away).
Well anyhow I knocked this up quickly (though reduced the recipe by about a third), the onions as ever made me weep, the chicken used was breast meat, I interpreted ‘small amt’ of shoyu as about 4 seconds of sploshing the bottle into the saucepan, and when it started boiling an off-putting scum rose to the surface. I scooped a lot of this off before decanting it into the bowl with the yolk in it. I have to say, it did not look very appetising, and I sat down at the table with some trepidation.
And at first it wasn’t very interesting – like french onion soup with chicken in. The short cooking time meant that that broth didn’t taste of chicken, just onion-y. I prodded the yolk a bit and considered how best to approach eating it. It was a runny sac of yolk, and I just wasn’t quite sure it was cooked.
I’m a bit of a pussy when it comes to raw egg. After eating round the yolk for a while, it burst and I stirred it into the broth, creating a liquid the colour of milky coffee. I’ll be honest, at this point I was all for giving up on this, it was somehow gross. Coffee with chicken and onion in.
However, I pressed on, and once I’d got over the appearance I realised it was quite nice; the bursting of the yolk added a richness that it needed, and I finished the bowl. I’m not sure I want to eat any more of it though, which is unfortunate as there’s a whole extra portion in the fridge.
Mooned by Alix