Author Notes: This is one of the first dishes I learned to make when I began to cook for myself in college. In the newspaper I was subscribing to, there was a short daily column: 'Today's Recipe,' humbly placed near the bottom of the 'Life' section; no photo, just a simple, economical recipe in a paragraph or two. It was one of the first things I would look for when I opened the newspaper in the morning. Sitting on the floor in my studio apartment, I would cut the column with scissors, glue it on an index card, and add to my box of recipe collection.
I made this egg dish countless times in the tiny apartment kitchen. It takes only a few minutes to make, it's filling, it has a comforting 'sweet and savory' taste, and it's "kind to the purse" (Japanese expression meaning 'low-cost')--ideal to the young and hungry student that was me.
The technique of pouring beaten eggs to the seasoned broth to make loose omlette/scambled eggs is called "Tamago-toji," or "closing with eggs." It is one of the typical Japanese ways of using eggs.
The original recipe had more ingredients, such as shirasuboshi (small salted sardines) and katsuobushi (cured skipjack tuna flakes) but over the years, as I lived abroad where I could not find them, the recipe got simplified, and I like it this way now.
"Donburi" has two meanings: 1. big bowl; 2. a dish of rice with something savory on top, served in the big bowl.
Wakame is typically used in miso soup, but if you have a bag of wakame sleeping in a cupboard, you might want to try this. —Kyoko Ide
- 2 teaspoons dried wakame (if it’s long, cut it in 1/2 inch pieces with scissors before soaking)
- 4 tablespoons water
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons mirin (or 2/3 teaspoon sugar and 2 tablespoons white wine or vodka)
- 2 eggs
- 1 & 1/2 cups cooked rice
- 1 teaspoon red pickled ginger (beni shoga) (optional)
- In a small pot or milk pan, soak the wakame in water for a few minutes. Meanwhile, beat the eggs in a small bowl and set aside.
- When the wakame is rehydrated, add soy sauce and mirin, turn on the heat to medium and cook until it starts to boil.
- When it boils, add the beaten eggs and cook until the egg is mostly cooked (but not completely). Turn off the heat, cover, and let it rest for a minute or so until the egg is cooked to your liking. Serve it on top of steamed rice and red pickled ginger (optional).