Daily Archives: December 19, 2007

Daddy’s snack: tamago kake gohan

Comfort food

This is a dish I learned to make from my father.

There aren’t many foods I’ve inherited from my father, mostly because he rarely ever cooks anything, being the macho guy he is. He can make a good ramen, and he can make a good “dahl-gyahl bap” (egg with rice) or “tamago kake gohan.” Growing up with this dish, I always thought it was my dad’s idiosyncratic concoction (maybe he learned it in the army?  or some desperate night as a bachelor with only rice and eggs on hand?)–only recently did I learn that it is a common dish in Japan, often eaten for breakfast.

My dad taught me that a good meal was just a bowl of rice, a raw egg, and a dash of soy sauce away.

We would eat it with a side of kimchi, the spicy pickled cabbage acting as a lively foil to the mellow, creamy rice mixture. Each grain of rice would glisten with the egg, and the soy sauce would add a caramel color. It might seem odd to you (particularly the raw egg), but this is such a wholly comforting dish–and it’s still something I eat when I’m eating alone at home and need a quick bite.

And if you keep rice on hand at all times, such as in a rice cooker–you needn’t turn the stove on at all for a warm and hearty meal.

the nth attempt

making kubba batata

I’m still trying to make a decent kubba batata or kibbeh batata…kubba/kibbe made with a potato shell. The kubba I remember and love had a shell that was savory but very light, unlike the more rustic and “chewier” bulgur based shells.

Oh, and of course, I have a long lasting love affair with potatoes. There are very few, if any, dishes made of potato that I dislike.

I constructed the kubba into round flat patties–the outside being potato, the inside with normal kubba filling. Half of the batch was made with a pure (cooked) potato shell…and half the batch was made with a mixture of cooked potatoes and rice, mashed together. Assembled, before frying, they looked delicious and oh so delectable.

kubba batata in progress

But alas! Disaster struck once the kubba went into the hot oil.

I’m not one to only advertise culinary success–I think that tragedy is only part of the cooking experience, and always entertaining. After all, without unfulfilled desire/tragedy/disaster, the story gets pretty boring and insignificant.

So–revel in my potato kubba tragedy:



At this point, I’m convinced that the shell must contain egg, even though my husband says he’s never seen his mother include egg as an ingredient. He never actually saw her construct kubba, so I have my doubts. I’ll be sure to use egg next time. I’m desperate to find a potato kubba recipe, or at least know what ingredients the shell might contain. Cooked, mashed potato…egg…flour?