Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Oyako-don - parent and child getting along

So, did you know that, in Japanese, oya means parent, and ko means child. And don means bowl. Put it all together and what do you get? Oyakodon!

Oyakodon is traditionally named because the dish consists of chicken (the parent) and egg (the child). But you probably already knew that.

I love making oyakodon because the chicken and egg mixture ends up so silky soft, and with the dashi and soy sauce base, it is incredibly tasty for very little effort.

Here is the recipe I used. It is enough for 2 hungry people, but can be doubled or halved just as easily.

Oyakodon (with rice)
Serves 2


3 chicken thigh fillets, chopped into strips
1 brown onion, finely sliced
1 ½ cups dashi soup stock (I mixed 8g of dashi powder with 1 ½ cups boiling water)
5 tblsp soy sauce
3 tblsp mirin
2 tblsp sugar
3 eggs, lightly beaten
3 cups steamed rice, to serve
Spring onions, chopped, to serve


1. Heat frypan over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil, and when hot, add chicken pieces. Cook until the chicken is lightly browned. It does not need to cook through just yet. Remove chicken from the pan
2. Put dashi stock, soy sauce, mirin and sugar into the pan and heat.
3. Add chicken back to the pan and simmer for about 3 minutes.
4. Add onion slices to the pan and simmer for about 2 minutes.
5. Increase heat and pour the beaten eggs over the chicken.
6. Turn down the heat, cover the pan and leave to simmer for 1-2 minutes, until the egg is set
7. Remove from heat and serve over boiled rice, with the juices poured over. Sprinkle some spring onion over the top if you like.

Ingredients and chopped veges

Chicken and onion on the simmer; rice on the boil; egg added to the mix; pickled cucumber as condiment

Ready to serve!

Also, is it just me, or is the amount of washing up required inversely proportional to the effort needed to cook something. This is what I used to make this meal, and what I had to wash up (I never use the dishwasher because it doesn’t seem like enough dishes at the time…)


  1. I love this dish, there's something so good about gooey egg and rice. I didn't actually know that about the name, it's very cute! Ohh I couldn't live without my dishwasher, I'm lazy and it makes all my mess go away!

  2. I've always loved this dish, thank you for the recipe! The combo of sweet onions and egginess on top of chicken and rice is one of my comfort foods!

  3. i love making this dish at home - it's surprisingly easy to make.

    and lol...how on earth did you manage to get that many dirty dishes!

  4. LOL at the dishes photograph! I like ordering this but I don't think I've ever made it at home. I think I might stick with ordering it if that's how many dishes it takes ;)

  5. Love the off camera chicken direction! hehe :)

    The before/after photo when I'm cooking is usually the other way around.

  6. Hi Steph – yes, egg and rice is very comforting, isn’t it? And I’ve always handwashed, so it’s now part of the daily cook and clean routine (silly me!)

    Hi YaYa – you’re welcome. The dish is easy to make, and I like it because it doesn’t have too many ingredients.

    Hi Panda – I don’t know why I use so many dishes and utensils! I’d clean up as I go, but then it would take forever to finish making the meal!

    Hi Lorraine – it shouldn’t take that many plates and stuff – that’s just me using a different plate for vegetables, another one for meat, another for the sauce, etc, etc!

    Hi Simon – the chicken was too unattractive to photograph. And yes, I’m like that too; I should’ve included a before-before photo with a clean, empty benchtop!

  7. I never knew that about the chicken and the egg, parent and child thing!

    I agree with Lorraine - if that's the amount of dishes used to make this dish I would rather order it outside! :)

    I was brought up without a dishwasher too, but since getting my own place and having a dishwasher, I don't know how people live without one! I was always worried about the amount of water it uses but water efficient dishwashers use less water than washing up by hand.

  8. hi Rilsta - don't be discouraged from making this dish. You just have to plan ahead a bit more than I do and ensure you chop the vegetables before the chicken so you don't need to clean or replace the plate/chopping board. And use the same bowl to beat the eggs that you use to mix the dashi. And so on. I know this now!