Mondays are short days for my children. I go pick them up at 12:30 pm and come straight home. While they are changing out of their school uniforms, I usually make some quick lunch for us if we don’t have any leftover from previous night’s dinner. For a while their favorite was this quick dish called Niratama Donburi (ニラ玉丼ぶり), or Egg with Garlic Chives Over Rice.
Literally translated niratama means garlic chives (nira) egg (tama shorten for tamago). Sometimes we add a little bit of thinly sliced pork (buta) and that’s called Buta Niratama (豚ニラ玉). Eggs and garlic chives are cooked on high heat till fluffy outside and still soft inside. We like to eat it as a single main dish, so we serve it over steamed rice. The chives I use for this dish are garlic chives (or sometimes called Chinese/Asian chives) and different from the chives used as herbs in Western cuisines.
I don’t know quite how to explain the flavor, but this simple dish is really, really delicious. The first time I made this for my husband, he had a strange look on his face when I told him what we’re having as he didn’t believe the combination would work, and definitely thought it would not taste good. After the first bite, his eye sparkled and said, “wow, the flavor is so unexpected and so good, can you please make this more often?” The gentle hint of garlic chive mixed with the fluffy egg and rice balances each other really well.
I think most non-Japanese never heard of or seen this dish before because we eat this at home rather than at a restaurant. This is one of recipes that I cook to use up the big bundle of garlic chives. Here in the U.S., garlic chives come in a big fat bundle. I don’t mind a big head of lettuce but garlic chives… I can’t eat it every single day. So if you got a bunch of garlic chives at home and not sure what to make, try this recipe!
I contributed this recipe to my friend Leigh’s new website, Sprout. Leigh and I have virtually met through her article on my recipes on Food & Travel magazine in Singapore (March 2013 issue). She now runs Sprout to inspire others with healthy recipes and healthy lifestyle. You can also find her @sarongskirts on Instagram.
- Combine eggs, sake, soy sauce, salt, and black pepper in the medium bowl and mix (but do not over mix).
- Cut the garlic chives into 2” (5 cm) pieces.
- Heat ½ Tbsp. oil in a wok over high heat and cook the bottom white part of garlic chives until wilted. Then add the green part and quickly stir fry.
- Transfer the garlic chives into the bowl with the egg mixture.
- Heat the remaining oil into the wok over high heat. When the wok is hot (smoke is coming off the wok), add the egg and garlic chive mixture into the wok. The egg mixture will get fluffy around the edges. Mix the center of the egg mixture and gently fold.
- When the egg is almost cooked, put rice in a serving plate/bowl and transfer the egg with garlic chives over the rice.
Speaking of cookware, stainless steel wok/pan is recommended to use for this recipe as it is required to cook on high heat. Non-stick woks/pans are designed to use on low/medium-low heat only.
If you add meat/seafood, cook it first and transfer to a plate. Put back into the wok/pan when you cook the egg and combine well.
Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.