Discover the Deliciousness of Oyakodon: What is it?

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Oyakodon: the ultimate comfort food in Japan. But what is it exactly?

Oyakodon is a Japanese rice dish made with chicken and egg. It’s a combination of “oyako”, which means “parent and child” in Japanese, and “don”, which means bowl. It’s a simple dish made with chicken, onions, and beaten egg, served on top of rice.

Let’s look at the history, ingredients, and health benefits of this delicious dish. Plus, I’ll share some tips on how to make it even better.

What is oyakodon

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The Ultimate Guide to Oyakodon: Everything You Need to Know

Oyakodon is a popular Japanese dish that translates to “parent and child bowl” in English and is a donburi dish. The dish is composed of a large bowl of steamed rice, topped with a mixture of simmered chicken and onions, and a beaten egg that is softly cooked on top. The dish is known for its balanced mixture of textures and flavors, making it a favorite comfort food among locals and visitors alike.

The History of Oyakodon

Oyakodon has been a staple in Japanese cuisine for many years and is believed to have originated in the Kanto region of Japan. The dish is said to have been created in the mid-20th century and has since become a national favorite. Today, oyakodon can be found in many restaurants throughout Japan and is easily made at home.

The Ingredients Used in Oyakodon

Oyakodon contains several key ingredients, including:

  • Chicken: The dish uses both the chicken breast and thigh, with the breast being used for the meat and the thigh for the broth.
  • Onions: Sliced onions are used to add flavor and texture to the dish.
  • Egg: A beaten egg is added to the dish and softly cooked on top of the chicken and onions.
  • Soy Sauce: The dish is flavored with a mixture of soy sauce, mirin, and dashi broth.
  • Rice: The dish is served on a bed of steamed rice.

How to Make Oyakodon

Making oyakodon is relatively easy and can be done in a few simple steps:

  1. Add sliced onions to a pan and cook until they are translucent.
  2. Add sliced chicken to the pan and cook until it is no longer pink.
  3. Add a mixture of soy sauce, mirin, and dashi broth to the pan and bring to a boil.
  4. Add a beaten egg to the pan and let it cook until it is softly set.
  5. Serve the chicken and egg mixture on top of a bowl of steamed rice.

Variations of Oyakodon

While the classic version of oyakodon is made with chicken, there are several variations of the dish that use different types of meat or toppings. Some popular variations include:

  • Gyudon: A similar dish that uses thinly sliced beef instead of chicken.
  • Hinai Oyakodon: A type of oyakodon that uses chicken from the Hinai region of Japan, known for its tender and flavorful meat.
  • Green Oyakodon: A version of the dish that uses green onions instead of regular onions.
  • Shredded Oyakodon: A variation that uses shredded chicken instead of sliced chicken.

Where to Find Oyakodon

Oyakodon can be found in many restaurants throughout Japan, particularly in Tokyo. Some popular oyakodon shops include:

  • Tokyo Oyako Donburi Kakekomi Jaya in Shinjuku
  • Oyakodon Kakei in Kanda
  • Oyakodon Katsuyama in Asakusa

Health Information on Oyakodon

Oyakodon is a relatively healthy dish, containing a balanced mixture of protein, carbohydrates, and vegetables. However, the dish does contain a moderate amount of sodium due to the use of soy sauce. To prevent overconsumption of sodium, it is important to eat oyakodon in moderation and balance it with other low-sodium foods.

FAQs About Oyakodon

  • What does oyakodon mean? Oyakodon translates to “parent and child bowl” in English.
  • What is the best part of the chicken to use in oyakodon? The dish uses both the chicken breast and thigh, with the breast being used for the meat and the thigh for the broth.
  • Is oyakodon a soup? No, oyakodon is not a soup, but a dish served on top of a bowl of steamed rice.
  • What is the difference between oyakodon and gyudon? Oyakodon uses chicken, while gyudon uses beef.

The Origins of Oyakodon: A Rice Bowl with a Heartwarming Story

Oyakodon (親子丼) is a Japanese dish consisting of a bowl of rice topped with sliced chicken and egg simmered together in a sweet and savory broth. The name “oyakodon” literally means “parent-and-child bowl,” which is a reference to the chicken and egg ingredients that come from the same “family.”

The Heartwarming Story Behind Oyakodon

Legend has it that oyakodon was created by a Japanese mother who wanted to make a dish that would be both nutritious and affordable for her family. She came up with the idea of using both chicken and egg in a single dish, which would provide protein and other essential nutrients. The dish became popular in Japan and has since spread to other parts of the world.

Related Dishes: Donburi and Donburidonburi

Oyakodon is just one of many different types of donburi, which are Japanese rice dishes served in a bowl. Some other popular donburi dishes include:

  • Gyudon: A beef bowl topped with sliced beef and onions simmered in a sweet and savory sauce.
  • Katsudon: A pork bowl topped with a breaded and fried pork cutlet and egg.
  • Tekkadon: A sashimi bowl topped with sliced raw tuna.
  • Unadon: An eel bowl topped with grilled eel and sauce.

Donburidonburi is the plural form of donburi and refers to a list of different rice bowl dishes.

How Oyakodon Spread Across Asia and America

Oyakodon has become a popular dish not just in Japan, but also in other parts of Asia and America. Some possible reasons for its spread include:

  • Its short cooking time and simple ingredients make it an easy and convenient dish to prepare.
  • Its heartwarming story and family-friendly name make it an appealing dish for people of all ages.
  • Its affordability and use of inexpensive ingredients make it accessible to people from all walks of life.

Today, oyakodon can be found on the menu of many Japanese restaurants around the world, and there are even some restaurants named after the dish.

The Origins and Evolution of Oyakodon

  • Oyakodon is a Japanese rice dish that consists of chicken and egg served on top of a bowl of rice.
  • The dish dates back to the Edo period (1603-1868), where it was known as oyako donburi, with “donburi” being the Japanese term for a bowl of rice with food on top.
  • The dish was a staple for the common people of Edo, who wanted an easy and filling meal that could be quickly prepared and eaten.
  • Oyakodon was created as a way to combine different ingredients in a single dish, making it a special and popular food.

Evolution: Meiji Period and Beyond

  • The modern version of oyakodon originated in the Meiji period (1868-1912), where it was inspired by a dish called soboro donburi, consisting of boiled or grilled beef placed on top of rice.
  • The dish quickly became popular in Tokyo and other parts of Japan, with restaurants and food vendors serving it to customers.
  • The dish was named “oyako” (parent and child) because it combines chicken and egg, and “don” (bowl) because it is served on top of rice.
  • Oyakodon remains a common and popular dish in Japan today, with many variations and different ways of preparing it.

  • The dish was first mentioned in a newspaper advertisement in Kobe in 1891, where it was called “oyakonamidon” and referred to as a “gentle and healing” food that could quickly fill the stomach of busy locals.
  • The recipe for oyakodon was published in a cookbook in 1912, and it quickly became a common dish in Japanese restaurants and homes.
  • Oyakodon is often served with vegetables such as onions and scallions, and sometimes with pieces of tempura on top for added flavor and texture.

Special Variations and Health Benefits

  • Oyakodon is considered a healthy food because it contains protein from the chicken and egg, as well as vegetables and rice.
  • Some special variations of oyakodon include adding mushrooms, tofu, or other ingredients to the dish.
  • The dish is also known for its comforting and healing effect, making it a popular choice for people who are feeling under the weather or in need of a gentle meal.

Exploring the World of Oyakodon Variations

If you’re looking for a classic Oyakodon recipe (full recipe here), look no further. This dish is a staple in Japanese cuisine and is loved by many. Here’s how to make it:

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of cooked rice
  • 1/2 lb of boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tbsp of soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp of mirin
  • 2 tbsp of sake
  • 1 tbsp of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of dashi
  • Green onions, chopped (for garnish)

Instructions:
1. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and set aside.
2. In a medium-sized pot or special oyakodon pan (reviewed here), add the chicken, onion, soy sauce, mirin, sake, sugar, and dashi. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for about 10 minutes.
3. Remove any excess fat or scum from the mixture.
4. Pour the egg mixture over the chicken and onions, stirring gently.
5. Cover the pot and let it cook for about 2-3 minutes, or until the egg is cooked.
6. Serve the Oyakodon over a bed of rice and garnish with green onions.

Beef Oyakodon Recipe

If you’re not a fan of chicken, don’t worry- you can still enjoy the deliciousness of Oyakodon with this beef version.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of cooked rice
  • 1/2 lb of beef, cut into thin strips
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tbsp of soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp of mirin
  • 2 tbsp of sake
  • 1 tbsp of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of dashi
  • Green onions, chopped (for garnish)

Instructions:
1. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and set aside.
2. In a medium-sized pot, add the beef, onion, soy sauce, mirin, sake, sugar, and dashi. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for about 10 minutes.
3. Remove any excess fat or scum from the mixture.
4. Pour the egg mixture over the beef and onions, stirring gently.
5. Cover the pot and let it cook for about 2-3 minutes, or until the egg is cooked.
6. Serve the Oyakodon over a bed of rice and garnish with green onions.

Extra Tips and Information

  • Donburi is the Japanese word for “bowl,” and Oyakodon is a type of donburi dish.
  • Oyakodon is a popular lunch dish in Japan and is often served in restaurants and cafes.
  • The name “Oyakodon” literally translates to “parent-and-child rice bowl,” referring to the chicken and egg used in the dish.
  • When preparing Oyakodon, it’s crucial to use the right size pot or pan to ensure the ingredients are cooked evenly.
  • If you’re not a fan of onions, you can try substituting them with sweet onions or leaving them out altogether.
  • Oyakodon is a pretty simple and quick dish to make, making it a great option for busy weeknights.
  • If you’re watching your fat intake, you can use chicken breast instead of thighs or remove any excess fat from the chicken before cooking.
  • Oyakodon is often garnished with green onions, but you can also try adding other toppings like sesame seeds or nori strips.
  • If you’re looking to create a lot of portions, consider getting a large sheet pan to make the cooking process easier.
  • Oyakodon is definitely worth trying if you love Japanese cuisine or are looking to try something new.

The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Chicken Parts for Oyakodon

Oyakodon is a popular Japanese dish that contains a mixture of rice, egg, soy sauce, and chicken. This delicious donburi dish is famous for its quick and easy preparation methods, making it a perfect lunch or dinner option for people who are always on the go. However, the main ingredient in oyakodon is the chicken, and depending on the parts you use, it can significantly affect the overall taste and feel of the dish.

Types of Chicken Parts to Use

When making oyakodon, it’s essential to choose the right chicken parts to ensure that the dish is rich in protein and carbohydrates while keeping the fat content to a minimum. Here are some of the best chicken parts to use in oyakodon:

  • Thighs: Thighs are the most recommended chicken parts to use in oyakodon. They are rich in protein and have a slightly higher fat content than other parts, making the dish more flavorful and juicy.
  • Breast: If you prefer a leaner version of oyakodon, you can use chicken breast instead of thighs. However, breast meat tends to be drier, so you need to be careful not to overcook it.
  • Sliced chicken: If you don’t have any chicken parts available, you can use thinly sliced chicken instead. This is a common substitute in Japanese restaurants, and it works well in oyakodon.

Preparing the Chicken Parts

Once you’ve chosen the chicken parts you want to use, you need to prepare them before adding them to the dish. Here are the steps to follow:

  • Cut the chicken into small, bite-sized pieces using a sharp knife.
  • Remove any excess fat or ash from the chicken to prevent it from becoming too greasy.
  • Finely chop a small onion and set it aside.

Notes and Recommendations

Here are some additional notes and recommendations to help you make the perfect oyakodon:

  • If you prefer a spicier version of oyakodon, you can add some red pepper flakes or hot sauce to the sauce mixture.
  • Depending on your energy level and body needs, you can increase or decrease the amount of carbohydrates in the dish by adjusting the rice content.
  • To make the dish even more unique and flavorful, you can add some thinly sliced beef to the chicken mixture.
  • Oyakodon is an excellent dish for people who want to prevent food waste since it uses both chicken and eggs.
  • Finally, if you’ve never tried oyakodon before, we highly recommend giving it a try. It’s a delicious and satisfying dish that you’ll definitely want to add to your list of favorite Japanese dishes.

Healthy Eating with Oyakodon

Oyakodon is a traditional Japanese dish composed of steamed rice, chicken, and eggs. The calorie and nutrient content of oyakodon varies depending on the ingredients used and the serving size. A typical serving of oyakodon contains around 500-700 kcal, with a high carbohydrate content and moderate protein and fat content.

Low Carb Option

For those who are watching their carbohydrate intake, oyakodon can be adjusted by using cauliflower rice instead of traditional rice. This low-carb option is a great way to enjoy the flavors of oyakodon while keeping your carb intake in check.

Protein and Energy for Active Individuals

Oyakodon is a great source of protein and energy for active individuals. The chicken and eggs in oyakodon provide high-quality protein, which is essential for building and repairing muscles and organs. The carbohydrates in oyakodon provide energy for physical activity, making it a great option for those who are constantly on the move.

Dietary Constituents for Physiological Functions

Oyakodon contains a variety of dietary constituents that are important for physiological functions. The fats in oyakodon are important for cell membranes and paired with vitamins to function properly. The lipids in oyakodon are important for the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins and the production of hormones.

Sugar Content in Oyakodon

Oyakodon does contain some sugar, but the amount varies depending on the ingredients used. To reduce the sugar content, you can use low-sugar soy sauce or omit the sugar altogether.

Everything You Need to Know About Oyakodon

  • Oyakodon can be made with beef, pork, salmon or even tofu.
  • The dish is typically served with onions and eggs on a bed of steamed rice.
  • Some restaurants may offer smaller or larger sizes of the dish.

How do you make the perfect Oyakodon?

  • Cut the meat into small, thin slices to ensure it cooks evenly.
  • Use a shallow pan for frying and cooking the eggs.
  • Beat the eggs lightly and pour them over the meat mixture.
  • Add a dash of sauce and simmer until the eggs are fully cooked.
  • Transfer the mixture onto a bed of steamed rice and serve hot.

What are some tips for achieving the proper consistency of Oyakodon?

  • Use a medium heat to avoid overcooking the eggs.
  • Add a small amount of sauce to bind the mixture together.
  • Separate the yolks and whites of the eggs to achieve a slightly different texture.
  • Keeping the meat and onion mixture slightly chunky helps to achieve the proper consistency.

What ingredients do you need to make Oyakodon?

  • Chicken or other meat of your choice
  • Eggs
  • Onion
  • Rice
  • Sauce (typically a mixture of soy sauce, mirin, and dashi)
  • Other optional ingredients such as salmon or beef

Can you buy Oyakodon at a restaurant?

  • Yes, many Japanese restaurants serve Oyakodon.
  • Some restaurants may have their own unique twist on the dish.
  • Despite its wide popularity, it may not be available at every Japanese restaurant.

What is the etymology of Oyakodon?

  • The name “Oyakodon” literally means “parent-and-child rice bowl” in Japanese.
  • The dish is named as such because it contains both chicken and eggs.

Are there any health benefits to eating Oyakodon?

  • Oyakodon is a simple dish made with wholesome ingredients such as chicken, eggs, and rice.
  • It can be a good source of protein and carbohydrates.
  • However, the dish may be high in sodium due to the use of soy sauce and other seasonings.

Conclusion

Oyakodon is a Japanese dish that consists of rice and chicken and an egg soup. It’s a comfort food dish that’s popular with locals and visitors alike. It’s a great way to enjoy a balanced meal. So, go ahead and give it a try!

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Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.