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Oyakodon

Oyakodon
J

In the realm of Japanese cuisine, few dishes evoke the same sense of warmth and nostalgia as Oyakodon. Even its name, where the literal translation is parent and child rice bowl, conjures comfort. The parent and child actually refers to the juicy morsels of chicken and gently cooked eggs that form the heart of the dish. It all gets simmered together in a sweet and savory sauce and then served over perfectly steamed rice.  The result is a dish that is greater than the sum of its parts; with just a handful of ingredients and minimal preparation, it manages to deliver a depth of flavor that belies its humble origins.

Oyakodon is a dish that is home cooking at its core. Simple, tasty, fast, and affordable. Plus the ingredients are common enough that people generally have it on hand, even if you don’t cook Japanese food often. It’s been on our menu for almost 50 years. It’s definitely not a trendy item. I doubt you will find viral videos or gram worthy photos, but it stands the test of time. Finally, it tastes great when you make it and reheats well too. And if you’re not yet sold, it’s packed with protein and absolutely perfect for a weeknight meal, so let’s get into it.

ingredients oyakodon

Oyakodon Sauce

The first step to making Oyakodon (besides steaming your rice) is to whip up the sauce that gives its characteristic lightly sweet and savory flavor. If you have some of my Homemade Dashi on hand, this would be an excellent use for it. If you don’t, then you can use a dashi packet simmered in water for 10 minutes or instant dashi powder can be used instead. Mirin, sake, soy sauce, and a touch of sugar round out this easy but delectable sauce.

soy sauce and mirin for sauce

Making Oyakodon

Once the sauce is made, I prep the rest of the ingredients, starting with thinly slicing half an onion.

slicing onion

Slice the scallions thinly, on an angle. I do this for aesthetics. Minced scallion will work just fine. Half will be used while cooking the Oyakodon and the other half will be used as a garnish.

I like to use chicken thighs because they stay nice and juicy. I like to keep the chicken chunks large so they’re easy to pick out and taste.

removing fat Oyakodon

 

Oyakodon eggs

When breaking up the eggs be careful not to beat them. We’re going for a cool marbling effect here, it adds lots of visual appeal to your final Oyakodon. Cut through the eggs 6-8 times. I’m using heirloom blue eggs which have a bold orange color and rich taste. Use the best chicken and eggs you can get your hands on as the simplicity of this dish relies on good quality ingredients.

marbled eggs Oyakodon

Gather everything near your cooktop as once you start cooking it goes quite quickly. Plus you won’t forget to add an ingredient, which I know has happened to all of us.

simmer chicken

One of the keys to this dish is cooking it slowly, which gives the proteins a chance to cook evenly without toughening up. Also, you’re looking to evaporate some of the sauce. Don’t try and rush this by cooking it on higher heat. Not only will it get rubbery, but the sauce will evaporate too quickly and be very salty.

Make sure while it’s cooking that everything is evenly distributed so when you’ve finished cooking this dish, there will be chicken and onions in every bite!

add eggs Oyakodon

Japanese folks prefer a gently cooked, softly set egg, that’s runny. Fun fact: Japanese eggs are scrupulously checked and free of salmonella, which is why raw eggs are featured prominently in the cuisine. If you would prefer a harder set, you can put a lid on the pan and cook for another few minutes.

Time to Serve!

Once the egg is cooked to your liking, it’s time to dig into all this deliciousness. As you can see in the photo below, there should be plenty of sauce left in the pan. Once you scoop the omelet onto the rice, pour some of the sauce over the bowls.

I like my Oyakodon drenched in the delicious sauce, it’s SO good mixed with the rice, so I pour all of it.

Then I garnish it with the other half of the scallions and serve it with shichimi togarashi or sansho pepper on the side.

 

I hope you love this taste of classic Japanese home cooking as much as we do in my home. If you try it, we want to hear about it! Drop a comment or tag us in your pics @funkyasiankitchen.

 

Crave Japanese food all the time? Try some of our favorite dishes:

Chicken Curry

Yakimatsu

Beef Udon

 

 

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recipe card oyakodon

Oyakodon

  • Author: Funky Asian Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Category: entrees
  • Cuisine: japanese

Ingredients

Scale
  • ½ large onion peeled
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 810 ounces)
  • 4 large eggs 

Sauce:

  • ½ cup dashi (Japanese soup stock)* 
  • 1 Tbsp sake 
  • 2 Tbsps soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsps mirin
  • 1 tsp sugar

For Serving:

  • 34 cups cooked short-grain rice  
  • 2 Scallions thinly sliced on an angle 
  • shichimi togarashi (Japanese seven spice) or ground sansho pepper (optional)

Instructions

Make the sauce:

  1. Combine the dashi, soy sauce, mirin, and sake.
  2. Stir to combine until the sugar is dissolved.
  3. Set aside.

Make the dish:

  1. Cut the onions thinly and set aside.
  2. Trim the chicken of any fat or gristle.
  3. Dice the chicken into large 1 ½ inch pieces.
  4. Crack the eggs into a bowl and using a pair of chopsticks, cut through the egg whites and egg yolks 6-8 times so that the eggs look like a marbled pattern. Try not to whisk the eggs. You want to keep the eggs with a marbled yellow and white pattern.
  5. Add the onions and the sauce to a medium 10” pan and bring to a simmer over medium high heat.
  6. Lower the heat to medium and add the chicken. Simmer for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally so the chicken cooks evenly.
  7. Make sure the chicken and onions are evenly distributed in the pan so your servings will have a good balance of meat and veg.
  8. Slowly pour the eggs evenly over the simmering chicken and lower the heat to medium low.
  9. Sprinkle half of the scallions evenly over the pan.
  10. Cook the eggs for 3-4 minutes until the eggs are gently set, but still soft and a little runny. (Japanese people prefer their eggs undercooked. You can put a lid on the pan and cook for a little longer if you prefer your eggs more done.)
  11. Portion your steamed rice into 2 serving bowls.
  12. Divide the omelet and put half into each bowl, topping with the pan sauce (I like mine rather wet so I use all of the sauce).
  13. Sprinkle the remaining scallions over each bowl and add a little Japanese pepper as desired.
  14. Serve Oyakodon immediately.

Notes

*For the steamed rice, start with 1½ cups of uncooked short-grain rice which will yield just over 4 cups of cooked rice, enough for 2 donburi servings. For instructions, see perfect rice.

*If you plan on doubling this recipe, use 2 medium 10” pans instead of a larger pan for better temperature control in setting the eggs.

*If you do not have dashi prepared, you can use dashi packets or powder for a quick substitute. For the dashi packet, bring 1 cup of water to a simmer on high heat. Add the dashi packet and lower heat to medium. Simmer for 5 minutes and then steep for an additional 5 minutes. Strain out the packet and pour out ½ cup. If you’re using instant powder, combine  ½ cup water with ½ teaspoon of dashi powder. Stir to combine and continue with the recipe. 

*you can substitute gluten free soy sauce for the sauce. For vegetarians, use kombu/shiitake broth for the sauce and plant based meat alternative or tofu for the chicken.

Keywords: rice, rice bowl, eggs, japanese, oyako don, oyakodon, chicken


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