Rice, dashi sauce, chicken, and egg all combined in one bowl: oyakodon.
No, it’s not some type of soup. It’s one of Japan’s classic rice bowl recipes and popular at fast food establishments, especially during lunchtime.
Donburi is Japan’s beloved rice-bowl, and this chicken and egg variation is a must-try!
Oyakodon (親子丼) is Japan’s favorite chicken and egg bowl. It’s the type of comfort food that’s ready in under half an hour but is full of umami flavors.
The meaty broth served with fluffy eggs on a bed of steamed rice is unlike anything you’ve tried. The rice absorbs the savory broth and melts in your mouth.
I’m sharing an easy oyakodon recipe you can make for yourself or serve the family when you’re craving a hot meal. It’s the kind of soul food everyone needs and a great alternative to unhealthy fast food.
In this post we'll cover:
How to make oyakodon
- 2 chicken thighs boneless and skinless
- 1 medium sized onion sliced into thin strips
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup dashi stock
- 1.5 tbsp mirin
- 1.5 tbsp cooking sake
- 1.5 tbsp soy sauce
- 1.5 tbsp sugar
- 1.5 rice cooker cups of rice short-grain or jasmine
- 1 green onion / scallion
- 1 tsp togarashi spice
- When you cook oyakodon, you usually cook each serving separately. So, you will do the same thing for both portions.
- Cook the rice in your rice cooker and set it aside.
- Grab a measuring cup and add in the dashi, sake, mirin, and soy sauce and mix well.
- Add in the sugar and mix until all the sugar is completely dissolved.
- Slice the onion and green onions and set them aside.
- In a small bowl, beat the two eggs.
- Slice the chicken into small 1.5” pieces. Remove and skin and tendons.
- Add half the onion into the pan and ½ of the dashi stock. The liquid must cover the onion.
- Now add half of the chicken thighs into the pan and bring to a boil on medium heat. Once the chicken is boiling, turn down the heat to medium-low and let it simmer for 5 minutes. The chicken should no longer be pink at all.
- Take the lid off and slowly drizzle half of the egg mixture onto the chicken and onion in an even layer.
- Put the lid back and cook until the egg has the consistency you like. It should remain runny.
- Add half of the spring onion on top and remove it from the heat.
- Add half of the rice into a bowl and add the rest of the cooked ingredients.
- Repeat steps 7-11 to make the second portion.
- When both servings are in the serving bowl, sprinkle with togarashi spice.
Got some rice leftover? Why not make delicious Zosui Japanese rice soup with it!
Special oyakodon pan
Before we start cooking, I want to tell you about the special pan they use in Japan.
Although you don’t need this to start making oyakodon, cooking and serving the dish from this pan is the authentic Japanese experience.
Of course, you can just use a small saucepan or pot to make the dish in your kitchen.
Since oyakodon is such a popular dish, it has its own cooking utensil. This dish is made in one small single-serving oyakodon pan.
It’s called a Donburi pan, and you can buy one on Amazon.
The pan is shaped like a large ladle or bowl with a lid and wooden handle. It’s made out of aluminum, and it’s easy to clean as well as non-stick, so it’s perfect for oyakodon.
It’s a single-serving pan, so you can make individual portions since that’s the common Oyakodon cooking method.
You make each serving in the same pan, one after another, as many as are needed.
Usually, the person starts eating right away after being served. In Japan, eating Oyakodon is all about speed – you’re supposed to eat it quickly when you’re in a rush.
But, since it doesn’t take long to make the dish, it won’t get cold if you wait for the second portion to be finished to eat together.
Oyakodon recipe tips
You can use chicken breast instead of chicken thighs, but darker chicken meat is very flavorful and pairs well with mirin and cooking sake.
Dashi stock is easy to make, so you can simply grab two packets of dashi stock and let them simmer in water for 10 minutes.
Store-bought dashi is easy to use and still has that delicious bonito and kelp flavor you’re after.
For a more authentic approach, make the dashi from scratch.
What is oyakodon?
This is a type of chicken and egg rice bowl which is similar to a Gyudon (beef bowl), except it’s got eggs.
The name translates to something like parent and child rice bowl, which refers to the chicken (parent) and the egg (child).
It’s a bit odd, but it’s a dish that uses all chicken products and combines them with a Japanese staple – rice.
The sauce is quite basic – it’s made by simmering onion in dashi and soy sauce. Then, the chicken and egg are added and cooked.
The final texture is that of a thick eggy stew because the egg still retains a runny consistency.
The rice bed is covered in a creamy egg sauce cooked with chicken, onions, dashi sauce and garnished with Japanese parsley. The dish is served in bowls. It’s the type of meal egg lovers will appreciate.
Oyakodon is very easy to make and takes less than 30 minutes; thus, it’s a great lunch and dinner option full of satisfying ingredients.
Oyakodon is a healthy dish
Like many Japanese dishes, oyakodon is quite healthy because there’s no oil or frying involved. The chicken and egg are simmered in a nutritious dashi broth with onions and a bit of soy sauce.
Dashi is one of the healthiest stocks out there because it’s made with a special seaweed that is very nutrient-rich. It contains iodine, iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, zinc, and vitamins like B, C, D, and E.
Chicken thighs and eggs are high in protein and healthy fats.
White rice is the only ingredient that’s not diet-friendly. Overall, the dish has under 600 calories, so it’s a satisfying and complete meal considering it’s often eaten as a “fast food”.
Oyakodon recipe variations
If you make too many changes, then this recipe is no longer oyakodon. But one of the few things you can do is make some changes to the sauce and the garnish toppings.
For example, you can skip the spring onion and use Japanese parsley (Mitsuba) instead. The togarashi spice adds some spiciness, but you can make it mild by skipping this step.
As for the sauce, the combination of dashi, sake, mirin, and soy is responsible for that savory-sweet flavor known as umami.
But you can always make it slightly sweeter by adding a tablespoon of brown sugar.
Mirin is a rice wine, so you can skip the cooking sake and double the mirin portion.
You can use white short-grain rice, brown rice, basmati, or jasmine. My personal favorite is jasmine because it’s lightly fragrant and extra tasty.
The final way to tweak this recipe is to adjust how runny your eggs are. Some people prefer a very runny (barely cooked) egg, but most like it to be semi-runny.
It takes a matter of seconds for the egg to harden. Therefore, you must be careful when cooking the egg to check on the consistency continuously.
How to serve oyakodon
Oyakodon is often served at fast-food restaurants while piping hot. You’ll find the classic version of the dish served in ceramic bowls with a hint of togarashi spice.
But, since restaurants must stand-out, you’ll often find this chicken rice bowl served with additional chicken wings or chicken liver.
This makes it much more filling, and there’s no doubt you’ll feel full.
If you want to make this a complete meal, you can serve it along with other side dishes like sauteed vegetables.
Origin of oyakodon
Oyakodon is not as old as many other well-known Japanese recipes, but it still has a history of over 100 years.
It was invented in 1890 in a Tokyo restaurant specialized in chicken dishes called Nihonbashi.
The original oyakodon was made with chicken and egg, but it soon became popular, and chefs created tasty alternatives such as seafood oyakodon, made with salmon.
It’s also quite a well-loved Japanese recipe, but the chicken is more of comfort food because chicken is cheaper and more accessible.
It used to be sold in restaurants in the past, but these days it’s everywhere, from family restaurants to street stalls, to specialty oyakodon fast-food establishments.
If you’re ever in Tokyo, you must try authentic oyakodon near Kappa bridge because it’s just such delicious food!
But, if you’re not traveling to Japan anytime soon, there’s no reason to miss out on this tasty recipe.
All you have to do is cook rice, make the sauce, add the chicken and enjoy for lunch or dinner (or both!) because it’s full of sweet and savory flavor.
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For another delicious Japanese chicken recipe, try hibachi chicken next!