Oyakodon Is Bliss in a Bowl
Good morning. Bryan Washington has a lovely column in The New York Times Magazine this week about the joys of oyakodon (above), the Japanese rice bowl with chicken and egg. The name translates to “parent-and-child bowl.”
Bryan’s eaten oyakodon all over Japan, and he’s perfected it in his home kitchen. “While eating a bowl cooked by storefront vendors, chain-shop chefs, train-stall owners or restaurateurs, all working at the highest levels of precision, certainly has its joys,” he wrote, “cooking your own oyakodon constitutes a series of tiny epiphanies: The chicken’s suppleness, the egg’s slickness and the reassuring tug of rice on your teeth make for a meal that’s familiar and undeniably indispensable.” It is pure bliss, and I hope you will make it your Sunday supper this evening.
As for the rest of the week. …
I love this Ali Slagle recipe for crisp gnocchi with sausage and peas, draped in mustard and melted Parmesan cheese. It’s a hearty meal that feels like spring, but if you want to plush it up a little against a cold snap, add a splash of heavy cream.
Hetty McKinnon’s recipe for Chinese salt and pepper tofu offers a beautiful contrast of crisp and pillowy, and if you can add a little ground Sichuan pepper to the spice mixture, so much the better.
I loved sitting in the back of the old Fort Defiance restaurant in Brooklyn, eating oysters and chicken-liver pâté with grilled bread. Now I get to do that at home, for dinner, whenever it pleases. Please join me.
Another Hetty McKinnon hit: Her soy sauce noodles with cabbage and fried eggs are heartier than the traditional Cantonese version served for breakfast or lunch, with cabbage and scallions instead of bean sprouts and garlic chives. It makes for a wonderful dinner.
And then you can head into the weekend with Yewande Komolafe’s ace recipe for shrimp tacos. “Simple, quick and so satisfying,” one subscriber wrote in a note. Make guacamole while you’re at it, and a bowl of crema.
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Now, it’s nothing to do with molasses or mulberries, but Amanda Petrusich has a good read in The New Yorker, on “The Sad Dads of the National.”
And Brett Martin has one in GQ, on Brooks Headley and his crushingly popular restaurant, Superiority Burger, in New York.
In The Times, Dwight Garner reviewed “Death of an Author,” a murder mystery coaxed out of artificial intelligence programs like ChatGPT. The book’s language is said to be 95 percent machine-generated, which Dwight points out is “somewhat like the food at a Ruby Tuesday.”
Finally, more Yewande. She has a terrific new video on our New York Times Cooking YouTube channel, for a freestyle chicken curry cayenne soup that her friend Klancy Miller told her about. Intuitive cooking! Watch and learn. I’ll be back on Friday.