OYAKODON rice – happiness is just a good meal


If someone asks us how we how we started creating a home, my answer would be: starting from the kitchen. When I first fell in love, I wished I would have a blue kitchen in the future so that every time I entered, I would be free as fish swimming in cool water, cooking my own delicious dishes for my family. The man I met and wanted to stay with all my life, seemed, had crept into my dream, and listened to the wish I whispered to myself. The day we moved to our new home, he sawed every piece of wood, painted every wall, turning a crumbling room in the condominium into a green kitchen. I really appreciate it, and all of a sudden, I love cooking more than ever!

However, I’m not a skillful person. It took me a while to practice cooking and caused a lot of trouble. For hard things, I often call “hey baby!”. He always appears in time as a reluctant troubleshooting specialist. Gradually, I have learned how to cook leisurely meals for a modern family where the wife and the husband (specifically us) sometimes don’t have to spend too much energy and time on the kitchen. The meals only take less than 30 minutes to prepare, but are still full of nutrition, and importantly, when the cooking is done, I don’t have to be messy and tired but can still be beautiful sitting opposite the person I love, enjoying the meal in the familiar setting with a soothing background music.

And so, on a Monday crazy with meetings and photo shoots, I wearily returned home. The kitchen was where I could relax, drinking a glass of juice and peacefully waiting for positive energy to come back. I thought about the food I was going to cook for dinner. Let’s see! In the fridge, there are a chicken fillet, egg which are very suitable for making Oyakodon – the Japanese rice dish I learned online and adjusted a little according to my own recipe. We both liked it the first time we tasted it.

The freshly cleaned, well-packed chicken breast meat bag was convenient and suited to a busy lazy day. I just needed to use scissors to cut the lovely bright red bag, wash the chicken once, drain, and cut into bite-sized pieces. Thinly slice onions. Cut cilantro and green onions. Use soy sauce, rice wine and dashi broth which are already available in the kitchen, and add a little sugar, stir, then add chicken and onions, and turn on the stove to cook until the chicken was well cooked. My last action for this simple and convenient dish was to reach for the chicken egg box I bought the previous day, take out 2 eggs, smash them into a bowl, and beat them with a chopstick and pour into the chicken pot. Rice was just well cooked at that time. The smell of fragrant rice made my stomach hungry.

I called “Hey baby!” again, but not for his help. We scooped up the chicken eggs in two bowls full of rice, decorating, and leisurely eating and telling each other all the sad and happy stories of the day. He was a bit picky, normally only eating his hometown’s chicken, but with the chicken I used to cook Oyakodon, he said “delicious!”. I smiled as if he was praising me, not the chicken.

Our daily happiness, perhaps, is simply that: working hard all day, and in the evening we can share a delicious meal together. The memories created around the table are always sweet memories, and are a good therapy for the spirit in times of frustration or exhaustion. I believe that each of us at least once remembers a beloved dish, a familiar kitchen, one or more of the beloved faces at the table. It’s not necessarily to cook sophisticated dishes, but the most important thing is to create memories.

(This article was published in Beautiful Magazine – April 2018 issue. You can see more about how to do it here!)

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