The Japanese have their own version for Gratin called Doria which is prepared with rice, especially leftover rice.
It is said it was first invented by an Italian family with the name of Doria who tried to represent the Italian flag (with tomatoes, cucumbers and chicken) in this recipe they first cooked in Paris.
It was first prepared in Japan in Yokohoma by a French cuisine chef from Switzerland at the New Grand Hotel in 1925!
It has become a mainstay in Japan in homes and restaurants.
The variations are endless, but here is the basic recipe:
Japanese Gratin: Doria
I leave the kinds and weights for the ingredients to your creative imagination!
First make a bechamel sauce:
Use the smae volume of flour and butter.
Melt butter in a large saucepan.
Once the butter is melted, add flour and stir until you obtain a smooth mixture.
Add milk (warm will make things easier) cup by cup and stir well. make as much as you want. Keep stirring until you obtain a thick (the thicker, the better) bechamel sauce. Season with salt (easy on that!), pepper and nutmeg.
Set aside and let cool completely.
Slice onion thin and fry in a little oil until soft and just before colouring.
Scoop out and set aside.
You may of course add such vegetables as sweet pimentoes, etc.
The Japanese make their doria with chicken usually, but you may of course replace it any white meat, fish or seafood.
Cut the chicken into small pieces and fry them in same oil until crispy.
Scoop out and set aside.
Use leftover steamed rice.
Fry it with salt (careful on that one again!), pepper and tomato sauce (ketchup is fine, tomato puree is even better).
Season with other spices if you wish to.
Add onions and chicken and stir fry until all ingredients are well mixed.
Butter the inside of an oven dish.
Pour the whole fried rice inside.
Cover the rice with as much as bechamel sauce as you wish.
Add a generous layer of cheese of your choice.
The original recipe called for parmegiano, but cheaper cheese did not exist then!
Bake inside oven as you would do for any other gratin.
Keep in mind the colour you wish to attain.
It might be a good idea to serve them in individual dishes as they come out very hot!
Can be frozen until cooking them in an oven!
The same recipe with boiled macaroni!
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