“Soboro” そぼろ is a rather common Japanese dish which is often used as a topping for rice (especially for lunch boxes). It is also used for other dishes but (more importantly) it can be nibbled as a drinking snack. In this category of condiments, “Soboro そぼろ”, Oboro おぼろ” and “Denbu でんぶ” are similar products. All of them represent finely chopped or ground up fish or other meats, seasoned (soy sauce, sugar or mirin with the addition of garlic and/or ginger) and cooked until the liquid is almost gone. My first memory of “denbu” is “sakura denbu 桜でんぶ” which is artificially dyed pink and a very sweet fish meat product. My mother used to garnish scattered or roll sushi with it. The difference between “Soboro”, “Oboro” and “Denbu” may be the fineness of the chopped meat or fish. In any case, I made this “soboro” from mostly chicken tenderloin and other trimmings off of three large bone-in split chicken breasts.
Here is one small serving which could be nibbled while sipping sake.
Chicken, ground ( I hand chopped tenderloins, 300 grams or about 10oz)
Ginger, grated (about 1/4 tsp, I was out of the tube kind and used fresh ginger).
Garlic, grated (about 1/3 tsp, I used garlic from a tube but you could grate fresh garlic).
Vegetable oil (1/3 tsp)
Soy sauce (2 tbs)
Mirin (2 tbs)
I added the ginger and garlic to the ground chicken. I cooked the meat mixture in a non-stick frying pan with a small amount of vegetable oil on low heat. I continuously mixed and crumbled the meat mixture into small individual pieces by occasionally cutting and squashing the pieces using a bamboo spatula with a straight edge (below, left). I kept stirring until the meat was completely cooked and individual pieces were separated into granules. I added the soy sauce and mirin (the amount should be adjusted depending on preference or the use of the soboro. For example, If it is going to be used as a rice condiment, you may season it more strongly). I kept stirring until almost all moisture was gone (below right).
This is a very standard Japanese flavor of sweet and salty with ginger. The granular texture gives is a nice little crunch. Hopefully, I can come up with few more dishes from this chicken soboro.