Doria (a rice gratin) is an extremely popular food, which has been featured in almost all western-food restaurants in Japan, for almost 90 years. There are still individuals who are unsure whether or not it is French or Italian cuisine. Actually, it is neither. This Doria was created in Japan. However, not by a Japanese.
Swiss chef, Saly Weil was invited from Paris by Japan’s Hotel New Grand Yokohama, when it opened in 1927. Although he was a French cuisine chef, Weil also prepared other European cuisines, in addition to Swiss-Italian. One day, a hotel guest who had a throat ache requested a softer meal for easy swallowing. Chef Weil prepared a rice pilaf with butter and covered it with Mornay sauce. The dish was so well-received that the hotel made it one of their menu items. Over time, generations of Japanese chefs in the Hotel New Grand evolved this dish by adding meats/seafood and vegetables and created varieties of Dorias.
Chef Weil named the dish Doria. Who did Chef Weil name the dish after? There is a French Doria dish, which was created by a French restaurant, ‘Cafe Anglais’, in the 19th century, in honor of Italian nobility of Genoa, from the House of Doria. The dish consisted of cucumber, tomato and eggs (Italian flag?). However, in French Wikipedia, Doria is a cucumber soup. It is said that Chef Weil explained that he named the dish not after the French Doria, but after Admiral Andrea Doria of the Italian Doria Family who lived in the 15th century.
 A Mornay sauce is a Béchamel sauce with shredded or grated cheese added. It usually consists of half Gruyère and half Parmesan cheese, though some variations use different combinations of Gruyère, Emmental cheese, or white Cheddar.
Doria • ドリア
Recipe by: Fae’s Twist & Tango (fae-magazine.com)
• ¼ tsp salt
• 70 gr/2.5 oz carrots, peeled, diced small
• 70 gr/2.5 oz string beans, sliced at a thin angle
• 2 tsp vegetable oil
• 70 gr/2.5 oz onion, diced small
• 450 gr/2 cups cooked Japanese rice
• ¼ tsp soup base, chicken or vegetable, dissolved with 1 Tbsp hot water
• 2 tsp vegetable oil
• 70 gr/2.5 oz shrimps, shelled, de-veined, cut in bite-size, if large -or- chicken breast cut in bite-size
• 70 gr/2.5 oz mushrooms – shimeji (cut off roots and discard, stems separated -or-
shiitake (cut off stems and discard, sliced) -or- both, 35 gr each
• 28 gr/2 Tbsp unsalted butter
• 16 gr/2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
• 350 ml/1½ cups hot milk
• 1 bay leaf
• ¼ tsp salt
• pinch of ground white or black pepper
• 30 gr/1 oz grated Gruyère or Mozzarella cheese
• a few sprigs of Italian parsley, chopped for garnish
◊ A 23cm x 15cm x 5cm (9″x6″x2″) oven-proof dish needed.
◊ In a medium-sized, non-stick sauce pan, bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add salt and sliced string beans and boil for 2 minutes. Add diced carrots and cook for 1 minute more and drain. Rinse with cold water and let them drain.
◊ In the same sauce pan, add oil and bring oil to ripple, on medium. Add diced onion and sauteé until the edges start getting brown. Add cooked rice, string beans, carrots, soup base, and combine them well. Turn off the heat. Dish them into the oven-proof dish, press them tight. Keep it warm.
◊ Wash and dry the sauce pan. Add 1 tsp oil and sautée shrimps for 1 minute and place on a plate. (If chicken meat is used, sautée for 3 minutes.)
◊ In the same sauce pan, add 1 tsp oil and sautée mushrooms for 1 minute. Place them on the same plate with shrimps.
◊ In the same sauce pan, on medium-heat, melt butter. Add flour and continuously stir with wooden spoon until flour is well-combined with butter and starts boiling. At that moment, very carefully (to avoid splash), pour in the hot milk and continue to stir vigorously. Add bay leaf, salt and stir. Lower heat and simmer for 2 minutes while stirring. Add shrimp (or chicken), stir, and turn off heat.
◊ Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 200°C/400°F.
◊ When oven has been heated, remove bay leaf from the white sauce. Pour sauce over mixed rice, sprinkle with grated cheese and bake for 7 ~ 8 minutes or until the cheese starts golden browning. Take out of the oven, sprinkle/garnish with chopped parsley and serve hot.
~ どうぞめしあがれ • Douzo Meshiagare ~
So, what’s cooking in your kitchen?