Today is my amazing husband's birthday!!! Clay and I met 12 years ago in college. Which means we've been a team now for nearly half our lives. I am proud of this, and I am also incredibly proud to be his wife. This man of mine is super brainy, artistic, funny, generous, adventurous, supportive, loyal, and tall + dark + handsome to boot! I count my blessings every day that together we are a family. So to celebrate Clay's birthday today I woke up early to surprise him with breakfast in bed.
This dish is one of my favorite ever feel-good breakfasts. It's easy to pull together in about 25 minutes, and the result will leave you with all those warm and fuzzy, relaxed, weekend-morning, homemade, comfort-food vibes that we all crave. Growing up in Hawaii eating steamed rice with eggs for breakfast is commonplace. Wether it's a full plate of loco moco, or simply spam and a fried egg you'll find the Japanese combination of sticky rice + eggs in many local breakfasts.
I love to prepare Hawaiian-style cuisine for Clay because it helps me feel like I am looping him in on a very special part of me and my upbringing. I hope that doing this allows him to feel more like a member of the community when we go home to Maui, and meals and traditions we enjoy there are already part of his repertoire.
This dish is heavily influenced by Japanese ingredients, and actually my Mom and I became hooked on making this when we had the pleasure of staying with my older sister Amelia when she lived in Japan. Amelia taught English to school children and lived in the snowy village of Matsumoto in the Nagano Prefecture. On our trip I learned that real farm-fresh egg yolks are supposed to be bright orange! The pasture-raised Vital Farms eggs I use in this recipe come close to the vibrant color we saw in Japan.
The preparation of this dish is somewhat reminiscent of the Japanese recipe for Tomago Kake Gohan, where a raw egg is cracked over steaming cooked rice and drizzled with shoyu. I prefer my eggs poached in this adaptation.
Begin by steaming up some sticky white rice. I buy this Botan Calrose Rice on Amazon. For best results I suggest using a rice cooker. Mine is an Aroma 8-cup digital rice cooker. You could use brown rice here or even cauliflower rice for a Whole30 version if you like!
While the rice is cooking chop some green onion for a garnish. Tip: don't throw out the ends of your green onion! After you've snipped off what you need, place the ends in a glass with an inch of water. Leave the glass in a location with sunny yet indirect light. In a few days you'll see their roots grow out, and new growth up top! You can continue to use them like this, or plant them in your garden. Mine have grown HUGE and actually went to seed, which looks like this.
I guess I have to figure out how to harvest the seeds! Anyone know how to do that?? Please comment below if so.
Usually when I make this recipe I don't add bacon. But since men love bacon, and it's someone's birthday, I had to fry up some of my fave Whole30 Approved Pederson's Farm Bacon.
When the bacon hits the pan it's only about two seconds until this guy shows up in the kitchen to supervise. He takes his role as taste-tester very seriously.
For the poached eggs I like to fill a good sized pot with 3-4 inches of water. I add about one tablespoon of white vinegar to the water because that helps keep the egg whites together. Set to medium heat and wait for bright happy simmering bubbles to appear... basically the stage right before a boil.
It's much easier to crack your eggs into a small dish before you slip them into the simmering water that way you can be sure the yolk is in tact! I poach my eggs for about 5 minutes because Clay and I prefer them to not be overly runny. You can scoop them out with a slotted spoon every so often to check their doneness to your preference.
Once the rice is cooked I'd usually just scoop a few spoonfuls of into a bowl and serve. However today I was doing this fancy-style for the birthday boy so I used a small Pyrex dish as a mold to form a cute little mound of rice.
I assembled the rice mound on a plate with two slices of crispy bacon and two perfectly poached eggs. Next I drizzled on shoyu, sriracha, and sesame oil, and finished it off with a generous sprinkle of furikake and finally the green onion.
Look at those plump beauties! Their yolks were perfectly oozy but not crazy runny. Just like I like em!
Time to put a record on and get ready to sing, "Happy Birthday" to this handsome fellow!
Japanese Style Poached Eggs over Sticky Rice
Serves two (2)
1 1/2 cups white calrose rice
4 organic pasture-raised eggs
4 slices cooked bacon
1 tablespoon white vinegar
Optional toppings: shoyu (soy sauce), Sriracha, sesame oil, cracked black pepper, furikake, green onion etc.
Stove-top Rice Directions
1. Combine 1 1/2 cups rice and 2 cups water in a medium saucepan.
2. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low.
3. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes, or until moisture is absorbed.
4. Remove from heat. Let stand covered for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve. Makes about four (4) cups cooked rice.
For an electric rice cooker, combine 1 1/2 cups rice and 2 cups water in the cooker pot. Continue as directed by the rice cooker manufacturer instructions.
For the poached eggs...
My personal preference for poached eggs is on the medium-done side. I like a just a little bit of yolk to ooze out when cut, not a landslide if you know what I mean. Sometimes I nail it, and sometimes I don't. So I'll do my best to share my techniques with you. TIP: You'll have the most luck when using super fresh cold eggs.
Heat the water: Add enough water to come 2 - 3 inches up the side of medium sauce pan.
Add 1 tablespoon white vinegar and bring to a simmer over medium heat. The vinegar helps to keep the whites together. Your simmer shouldn't be teeny gentle bubbles, but rather those happy dancing bubbles that occur just before a full on rolling boil.
Meanwhile, crack 1 very fresh cold large egg into a small ramekin.
Quickly stir the simmering water in one direction until you've created a nice whirlpool.
Carefully ease your egg into the center of the whirlpool. The swirling water will help to keep the whites around the yolk from "feathering" out. I always get some degree of feathering that rises to the surface, but thats ok, you can skim and toss that part out.
As the water is still swirling, add in your second egg.
Let the poaching begin! Turn off the heat, cover the pan and set your timer for 4 minutes. Don't attempt to stir, aid, or peek at the eggs.
Lift the eggs out with a slotted spoon. At this point you can sort of judge their doneness by very gently ascertaining their firmness. If like me you like them medium-done, plop them back in for another minute if they are noticeably too squishy.
Place the poached eggs on a plate with a paper towel to help absorb some of the water.
Place two scoops of rice into a small ramekin and pat down to mold. Turn the ramekin upside-down on to the center of a plate to release the rice shape. Top with with two slices of crispy bacon and two perfectly poached eggs. Drizzled on shoyu, sriracha, and sesame oil, and garnish with a generous sprinkle of furikake and finally the green onion.
Happy 32nd Birthday Clay! I hope you enjoyed this onolicious breakfast. I love you!