Oyakodon (literally “parent-and-child rice bowl”) is a popular variety of donburi (rice bowl) that makes for the perfect easy lunch or dinner. Found in diners, cafeterias, and home kitchens throughout Japan, this iconic dish can be whipped up in less than 30 minutes. Furthermore, it is prepared using just one pan, making it a great, minimal clean-up option for busy days.
Oyakodon gets its interesting name from its two central ingredients: chicken (parent) and egg (child). Both the chicken and egg are simmered in umami-rich dashi and soy sauce, then served on top of a hot bowl of rice.
To make oyakodon, start by heating water in a pot over medium heat until boiling. Then, add in bite-sized pieces of chicken thigh and thinly sliced onions and continue boiling until cooked through. Next, flavor the cooking liquid by adding sugar, soy sauce, mirin, a pinch of salt, and mentsuyu. This combination of classic Japanese condiments forms a slightly sweet and deeply savory sauce.
In a separate bowl, crack two eggs and whisk them until well-combined, then drizzle the whisked eggs over the chicken and onions. The eggs will bubble and absorb the sauce, becoming light and flavor-packed. Cover with a lid and steam until the egg is done to your liking - some prefer the egg on the runnier side, while others like to wait until it is firm. To serve, slide the cooked chicken and egg onto a bowl of steamed rice and garnish with green onions and shichimi togarashi (Japanese chili flakes).
Complete with tender chicken, soft creamy egg, and fluffy rice, oyakodon is a truly comforting dish.
- 200ml water
- ½ onion (sliced thinly)
- 150g chicken thigh (cut into 3cm pieces)
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp mirin
- Pinch of salt
- 3 tsp mentsuyu
- 2 eggs
- 200g cooked rice
- Choppednegi (green onion) (garnish)
- Put the water in a pot on medium heat. When boiling, add the onions and chicken.
- When the chicken has cooked, add the sugar, soy sauce, mirin, salt and mentsuyu. Bring to a boil. Break and whisk the eggs in a separate bowl and add. Cover with a lid and turn off the heat.
- Place the cooked rice in a bowl and top with the cooked ingredients from step 2. Garnish with chopped negi.
Introduction courtesy of Britney Budiman
Britney Budiman (@booritney) is a writer, minimalist, aspiring effective altruist, and runner-in-progress with a penchant for saying “yes.” Previously, she has worked in Cambodia at a traditional arts NGO, in Brazil as a social sciences researcher, and in San Francisco at a housing start-up. She currently lives in the countryside of Kagoshima, Japan, where she teaches English. Her favorite thing in the world is good conversation.