Kanitama-don is basically a Japanese-style "egg fuyong", comprising an omelette of crab meat served on a bed of rice, and topped with a soy-based gravy. I first tried this dish in a Japanese restaurant a few years ago, and was taken by surprise by what was a huge mound of an omelette sitting in a pool of gravy on a large plate. I suppose I was expecting it to be a little more colourful and artistic in presentation, like typical Japanese cuisine. For a moment there, I thought they got my order wrong! Well, never mind that I was having "egg fuyung" while my lunch partner enjoyed her steaming hot bowl of ramen. I LOVE eggs, and I do love a good omelette, especially when it comes with gravy, and so I was quite happy and contented with my meal that day and was already thinking of ordering it again next time. Well, except that I didn't see it on the menu anymore after that, and that meant only one thing - I have to make it if I want to eat it.
I'm glad to report that my attempt at replicating this dish was successful, certified by the nods of approval given by Mr G and Miss H, my two "gourmets" at home. This is really just like egg fuyung that you get at Chinese restaurants (or better, perhaps!) covered with a delicious gravy to which I added baby peas and straw mushrooms. The omelette is packed with crab meat (I used tinned crab meat), scallions and bamboo shoots which are absolutely essential for providing the needed textural contrast. You may also choose to add sliced shiitake mushrooms to the omelette if you like. This is my new go-to recipe for comfort food and will be something I'll be cooking more of especially on busy weekends.
Kanitama-don (Crab Omelette on Rice)
3 large eggs, well-beaten
1/4 cup crab meat
1/4 cup diced ham
1/4 cup canned bamboo shoots (rinsed with water, drained and julienned)
1/4 cup scallions/spring onions, chopped
1/4 tsp chicken stock powder/granules (optional)
1 tbsp water
1/4 tsp salt (or to taste)
2-3 tbsp vegetable oil for frying
1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sake
1/2 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup water
1/4 tsp chicken stock powder/granules
1 tsp potato starch (or cornstarch) mixed with 2 tbsp water
3 tbsp baby peas
A handful of straw mushrooms
Prepare the sauce first. Combine all ingredients for the sauce (except the potato starch solution) in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Let it simmer for 1-2 minutes. Add the straw mushrooms and peas and simmer for 1 minute until mushrooms are cooked. Stir in the potato starch solution and bring to a boil again. Once it's thickened, turn off the heat, cover with a lid and keep warm.
Combine ingredients for the omelette in a bowl. Heat vegetable oil in a wok/pan on high heat. Pour in the egg mixture to make a round omelette. Let it cook on medium-high heat for 3-5 minutes until the bottom is browned and crispy. Then flip it over and cook the other side for 1 minute.
Scoop a bowl of rice onto a serving plate. Carefully slide the omelette from the wok/pan onto the rice. Pour the sauce over and serve immediately.