"We always love to share our childhood experiences and memories of flavours with our customers," says Megumi Tanaka, who owns Cibi with her husband Zenta.
This Chicken Soboro Bowl is Megumi's take on a classic Japanese meal. "This is one of the great dishes that our grandmothers and mums used to cook for us in Japan," she says. "Traditionally, soboro is made with a combination of chicken mince, egg and some greens (or cooked shiitake mushrooms) layered on rice. The chicken mince is generally cooked with soy, sugar and mirin. In our chicken soboro recipe we've added red miso and lots of ginger to make the flavour more interesting. We also soak half a boiled egg in soy and kombu instead of using minced egg."
Megumi suggests using cutlery to mix the ingredients with the rice so that each mouthful contains all the elements of the dish. "You can use chicken soboro itself (the mince) in other dishes, such as stuffing it into vegetables, with noodles and pastas or even on toast with some cheese. It's a very handy dish you can freeze and save for a busy day's dinner or lunch."
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Cibi’s Chicken Soboro Bowl
Preparation time: 15 minutes (plus 1–2 hours for soaking eggs)
Cooking time: 15 minutes.*
2 tbsp olive oil
1kg chicken mince
100g red miso paste
60g ginger, finely grated
100g Japanese or white sugar
3 tbsp mirin
2 tbsp cooking sake
1 tbsp tamari
2 tbsp white sesame seeds, toasted
rice, to serve
½ cup blanched edamame, to serve
½ cup blanched green beans, cut into 1–2cm pieces, to serve
3 finely sliced radishes, to serve
mizuna sprigs, to serve (or spinach, mustard greens or watercress)
3 tablespoons tamari
1 tablespoon Japanese or white sugar
3cm piece of dried kombu (edible kelp)
6 half-boiled eggs, peeled and cut in half
For the soy eggs, add the tamari, sugar, kombu and 140ml of water to a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Stir to ensure that the sugar has completely dissolved and set aside to cool. Once the liquid has cooled, add to a container with the boiled eggs. Soak the eggs for 1–2 hours.
For the soboro, heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the mince and fry, stirring occasionally until almost cooked, about 4 minutes. Add the miso and ginger and mix well. Once the mince is cooked thoroughly, add the sugar, mirin, sake and tamari and mix well, Simmer for about 8–10 minutes. Once cooked, scatter over the sesame seeds.
Serve the soboro on rice, topped with the halved soy eggs, edamame, green beans, radish and the mizuna sprigs.
This is an extract from The Broadsheet Melbourne Cookbook, which contains 80 recipes from the city’s best restaurants, cafes and bars.