Oyako Don is a warm and cosy rice bowl dish topped with chicken and egg simmered in an umami dashi stock. It’s a classic restaurant “fast-food” type of meal in Japan as well as a staple of home cooking.
It’s easy to make, filling, and delicious. Top some warm fluffy Japanese rice with chicken and egg then sprinkle some garnishes and you’ve got yourself the perfect bowl of comfort food.
What Is Oyako Don?
Oyako donburi, typically referred to simply as Oyakodon, is a Japanese dish consisting of chicken and egg cooked together in a light soup then poured over rice. The name of the dish literally translates to “parent-child” rice bowl. “Oya” means parents, hence the chicken, and “ko” means child, hence the egg. Oyako donburi is a longstanding, popular comfort food dish in Japan because it uses simple ingredients that blend together perfectly to create a subtly flavourful and warm dish.
What Is “Don”?
“Donburi” or “Don” is a Japanese name for large rice bowls that are bigger than ordinary rice bowls and are used to serve dishes such as Gyu-don, Katsu don, Miso Katsu-don and Tempura-donburi. The name of the dish is therefore very literal.
What Ingredients Do I Need?
Cooked rice – preferably short-grain Japonica rice. See how to cook rice perfectly in the Japanese way. This can be substituted with brown rice, cauliflower rice, or quinoa if you like.
Chicken – Chicken breasts, Chicken thigh and Chicken tenders any of them work for Oyakodon recipe.
Eggs, Onion and Mitsuba to garnish. Alternatively, you can use spring onions to add the green pop of colour and flavor.
Japanese condiments – mirin, sugar and usukuchi soy sauce. Read about 5 essential Japanese condiments.
Where Can I Get Those Oriental Ingredients?
You should be able to get rice (often labelled as “Sushi, rice”), chicken, eggs and onion from your local supermarkets. Mirin, Usukuchi Soy Sauce and mitsuba may be difficult to get. You can try online in that case, or seek a substitute.
What Is Mitsuba?
To make this dish as authentic as possible, you need Mitsuba. Mitsuba is a Japanese vegetable/herb that has beautiful trefoil leaves. The name itself literally means “three leaves”, referring to the way the herb grows. It is also called “Japanese Parsley” as it has a similar clean and earthy flavour. Mitsuba is often used to garnish Japanese dishes like Chawanmushi (steamed egg custard), Ozoni (clear mochi soup), and of course, Oyakodon. Luckily, my Japanese friend who lives nearby gave me a pot of Mitsuba that she grew and it miraculously survived in my backyard (most plants die there). Also, I found it sold as “Mitsuba” from Coles supermarket in Australia.
Japanese Food Substitution
If you don’t have any Asian or Japanese grocery nearby, and also no luck online as well, you can substitute some ingredients. See this Japanese food substitution post.
Special Oyako Don Pan
Oyakodon is cooked in altogether in one flat Donburi Pan. These pans are specifically made and shaped to cook one serve at a time to create the ideal round portion to slide perfectly over a bowl of rice. However, we don’t all have one of these and most of us will want to cook bigger portions at once to serve more than one person.
A large majority of Japanese people don’t even own one. Instead, we can just use a saucepan or a small frying pan. Or if you really want to make it super authentically, then you can buy the special oyakodon pan online.
How To Make Oyako Don
- Prepare rice
- Chop ingredients
- Cook chopped ingredients in seasoned dashi stock in a pan.
- Pour beaten egg into the pan to cook egg.
- Serve it over bed of rice in a Donburi bowl.
Tips To Make Oyako Don
- Cut ingredients small and even bite size pieces.
- If you have a special pan to make donburi (rice bowl dishes) is great, but if not use a small shallow frying pan like I did in the step by step photos.
- Try not overcook eggs, to put a lid on, turn the heat off and cook egg with residual heat.
- Garnish with Mitsuba if you can find, it definitely add refreshing flavour.
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- 3 cups cooked rice *1
- 250 g Chicken thigh fillets
- 1/2 onion
- 3 large eggs
- 3/4 cup Dashi stock soup
- 2 tbsp mirin
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp usukuchi soy sauce
- Combine all seasonings and set aside. It will make about 1 cup of seasoning.
- Cut the onion lengthwise and then cut it into wedges.
- Cut the chicken thigh into small pieces so the chicken will be cooked thoroughly in a short time.
- Place a small frying pan over medium heat and pour 1/2 cup of seasoning.
- Bring the seasoning to simmer, then add half of the cut onion, and 1/2 of the chicken thigh into the seasoning to cook. (If you are cooking 2 serves in 1 frying pan then add all the onion and chicken)
- While the onion and chicken is being cooked, crack the three eggs open into a small mixing bowl and stir the eggs.
- After the onion and chicken has cooked for about 5 minutes over medium heat and the seasoning liquid has reduced to about half, pour half of the eggs over the chicken and onion and evenly sprinkle chopped green shallots (optional).
- Place a lid on and turn the heat off to allow the remaining heat to cook the egg.
- Serve 1 1/2 cup of rice in a Donburi rice bowl and slide the egg and chicken cooked in the frying pan over the rice to serve.
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