Ankake Chahan is a favorite at Chinese restaurants in Japan, although it is a uniquely Japanese dish. This is an example of a Japanese style of cooking, known as Chuka, which is a uniquely Japanese approach to Chinese Cooking adapted to Japanese palates. Chuka dishes often feature noodles or rice cooked with savory and flavorful sauces.
Ankake Chahan is closely related to the Hong Kong Dish, Hokkien, also known as Fujian Fried Rice, although with many differences. Ankake Chahan features a delicious sauce that includes crabmeat and lettuce, and emphasizes the delicious sauce more than Hokkien, which is more focused on the rice itself.
The fried rice in this dish complements the sauce perfectly, and uses soy sauce to season the rice that gives it a saltier flavor and a darker color than more traditional fried rice recipes. I load it up with eggs and roast pork to give it a taste that blends perfectly with the sauce.
Ankake (餡掛け) sauce is a starchy sauce made with kudzu (braken starch), potato starch, or cornstarch dissolved in stock. Ankake is used in many dishes around Japan such as Kanitama (Crab Omelette), Gomoku Ankake Yakisoba (Yakisoba topped with beef and vegetables in starchy sauce), and even Ankake spaghetti, a popular dish in Nagoya. The Ankake sauce I use for this recipe is thick and hearty, infused with finger and sesame oil and loaded with crab, and it goes perfectly as an omelette topper. There are also lettuce leaves in the sauce which add a lovely color to the dish. The sauce uses chicken stock and is thickened with potato starch to create this tasty topper.
Ankake Chahan is loaded with delicious flavor and has a rich and hearty texture. I recommend using a spoon to eat it and passing on the chopsticks- you are going to want to enjoy every drop of sauce!