Recipe by Chef Cindy Pawlcyn
4 cups cooked brown rice-kept hot (optional, add diced bamboo shoot to the rice as it steams)
8 slices of bacon, cut into matchsticks and cooked until crispy, drain and keep warm (optional, reserve bacon grease)
1/2 cup mirin (sweet rice wine)
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup sake
1/2 cup dashi (Japanese fish stock) or vegetable, or chicken stock
2 tablespoons mild cooking oil or grease from bacon
1 onion sliced in thin 1/2 moon crescents
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup thinly sliced pickled Japanese ginger (shoga)
shichimi togarashi (Japanese 7 spice mixture) available in Asian markets
4 sheets dried seaweed (nori) shredded finely
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
4 scallions, thinly sliced
Combine the mirin, soy sauce, sake, and dashi, and reserve.
Beat 4 of the eggs with 2 tablespoons water until well mixed. Lightly beat in the remaining 4 eggs leaving some of the whites and yolks still separated. Reserve.
Set on the table ramekins of the pickled ginger, dried seaweed, sesame seeds, scallions, and shichimi togarashi toppings.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a sauté pan and sweat the onions over low heat until tender. You may do this in the pan you cooked the bacon in, removing some of the grease. The brown bacon bits add a lot of flavor. Add the mirin and soy sauce liquids, and cook until reduced by ¾.
Warm another pan and add 2 tablespoons butter and let melt over low heat. Slowly and gently add the eggs leaving them in large tender curds. Resist the urge to raise the heat but do not over cook. The eggs should be moist, even a little underdone, unless you prefer them well done. The hot rice and hot topping will finish cooking them and give you a really delicious donburi.
Divide the rice in 4 pre-heated rice or soup bowls, top with the eggs, then the onion mixture, and the bacon, Serve with the toppings set out for everyone to add to their donburi.
About Cindy Pawlcyn
Cindy Pawlcyn has pioneered fresh, local, seasonal, sustainable wine-country cuisine since opening Napa Valley’s legendary Mustards Grill in 1983. She is the founder/owner of two of Napa Valley’s most beloved restaurants – Mustards Grill and Cindy’s Backstreet Kitchen – and is Culinary Partner at the Monterey Bay Aquarium