Tamago Kake Gohan "Japanese Breakfast" by Andy & Julia

Our pasture raised chicken eggs are one of our most popular items, second only to our meats. Andy and Julia are a couple of our  egg lovers, and we want to share with you their home recipe of what they endearingly call "Japanese Breakfast."

We love Tara Firma eggs! From lazy weeknight pseudo-tamago kake gohan to weekend french omelettes, our meals are so much tastier when we have eggs from the farm!
— Andy Chang & Julia Blum, Tara Firma members since 2012

Ingredients:

  • Rice: enough for 1 main course serving (or see "Variations")
  • Kale or Spinach: enough for one generous handful per person (or see "Variations")
  • Eggs: 1 per person
  • Soy Sauce
  • Optional: salt, vinegar (for poaching)

Directions:

  1. Cook Rice: Cook according to your favorite method.
  2. Prepare Greens: While the rice is cooking, wash the greens and remove any thick stems or ribs. Chop or tear up large leaves. It's fun to play with textures here - thin ribbons, big squares, or rough hand torn pieces. Baby spinach can be used without any chopping at all.
  3. Poach Eggs: When the rice is about 10 minutes away from being done, poach your eggs. If you need to poach more than 4 eggs, start earlier and poach them in batches, letting the finished eggs drain on a towel or plate. They can be reheated with a brief swim in hot water.
  4. Assemble: While the rice is still hot, portion rice and greens into bowls. for rough-chopped or unchopped greens, try layering rice/greens/rice, allowing the hot rice to lightly wilt the greens. For ribbon-cut greens, try a bed of rice with greens mounded prettily on top. Drizzle with soy sauce to taste, then top each bowl off with a poached egg (and any other toppings you like - see "Variations"). Cut into the eggs to let the yolk run out and dig in!

Notes:

  • Hungry or protein-loving folks: feel free to double up on eggs!
  • Good soy sauce (that tastes like more than just salt) really shines in this simple dish
  • If you don't already have a favorite egg poaching method, here's ours:
    1. Fill a shallow skillet with water (1-2 inches deep), and stir in a couple glugs of vinegar and a teaspoon of salt.
    2. Bring the water to a boil, then turn the heat down until it's just below a simmer (~200 °F). 
    3. One at a time, break each egg into a small bowl or teacup, then tip the egg into the pan (no more than 4 eggs at once in a 12-inch skillet). 
    4. Cook for 3–5 minutes, until the whites have just set and formed a film over the yolk. 
    5. Scoop poached eggs out of the water gently with a slotted spoon and set them to dry briefly on a towel or plate, or plunk them directly into your rice bowl. And don't fret if your whites are a bit ruffly or ragged — embrace it as part of the wabi sabi beauty of poached eggs.

Variations:

Rice & Grains. Many varieties of rice work: white or brown, short or long grain — we even use Basmati. For a heartier meal, substitute another whole grain of your choice: farro, hull-less barley, spelt berries, buckwheat, etc.

Greens. Kale and spinach are our favorites, but we usually use whatever greens we have on hand, from chard to mixed salad greens.

Egg. For a less yolky version, try fried eggs. For even more texture and flavor, try crispy eggs (http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2014/10/the-crispy-egg/). If eating minimally cooked egg is in your comfort zone, try the method from the original Japanese breakfast food this dish riffs on: a beaten raw egg poured over the hot rice.

Toppings. For even more umami flavor, crumble some roasted seaweed on top. For a sour-sweet bite, top with a spoonful of your favorite pickled veggies (we're partial to these: http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/vietnamese_daikon_and_carrot_pickles/, or http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/pickled_red_onions/, orhttp://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2013/06/pickled-vegetable-sandwich-slaw/).