Oyakodon (Chicken and Egg Bowl)

Posted by on May 2, 2010 in Blog, Chicken, Family Favorites, Japanese Cuisine Favorites, Rice & Sushi | 12 comments

Oyako 1ab

Oyakodon is a common donburi dish often found at Japanese restaurants or the deli section of Japanese supermarkets.  It’s chicken, delicately cooked egg, and thin slices of onion all resting over a bed of rice, and covered with a delicate sweet and savory sauce.

Long ago, my Mom taught me why oyakodon is called “oyakodon” and tanindon (beef and egg donburi) is called “tanindon”.  Oyako in Japanese means “parent and child”; therefore the chicken and the egg are oyako – thus, oyakodon.

Tanin in Japanese means stranger; therefore beef and the egg are strangers, or unrelated – thus, tanin.  I thought this was a pretty cool Japanese lesson.  :)

Anyway, I took bebe E to visit Bachan (grandma, my mom) and Jichan (grandpa, my dad) last week, and I asked my Mom if I could borrow her special donburi pan.

Yes, I couldn’t make oyakodon in a regular frying pan… I HAD to use the donburi pan. After all, the little pan makes the perfect-size omelette that fits exactly in the donburi.  It’s design also makes it easy to slide the egg omelette onto the rice.  I searched for this at the Japanese supermarkets but I couldn’t find them. My mom said she bought hers at Marukai, but no luck in my area. I’ll have to make a special request to my relatives in Japan.

As a kid, I didn’t like oyakodon much because of the pungent onions, but according to my new cookbook, I discovered that a lot of onions was typical for oyakodon. I think my Mom preferred her onions slightly on the raw side, but I make a point to make sure that our onions are well-cooked when I make oyakodon.

Well, I shouldn’t call it MY cookbook.  My mom bought a Japanese cookbook for her and I because she thought I would like the step-by-step photos (I love this!) and because it contained several of my favorite Japanese foods – so fabulous!  Thanks, Mom!  She was very excited about finding this cookbook and called me to tell me how lovely it was, and to let me know that she was looking forward to trying some of the recipes with me.  Awww… so sweet!  Love my mama!  :)

Since I can’t read the authors of the cookbook, and I forgot to ask my mom to read this to me, I’m posting the title (which I can read) and a photo of the cover.  The title is, “Oishii Washoku” (Delicious Japanese Food) and my mom bought it at the bookstore in Mitsuwa market.

The only challenge is that the cookbook is all in Japanese.  I can read most of it, well, that’s not true.  I can guess-timate about 60-70%, but it’s so much easier when my mom reads a recipe to me in Japanese and then I translate it in my head and jot down notes in English in my little recipe notebook.  (Thanks again, aloha girl, for sending these little notebooks as my birthday gift!  They’re perfect!)

Recipe Journal

Although I made my Mom’s donburi sauce recipe a few days ago, which I used for our kakiagedon dinner, I asked my mom to read the oyakodon and sauce recipe from our new cookbook.  This recipe for the donburi sauce is slightly different from my Mom’s donburi sauce so I decided to give this a try.  It was pretty good but a little too sweet.

Oyakodon

(Serves 4)

for donburi sauce:

  • 1 2/3 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon dry dashi seasoning
  • 5 tablespoons shoyu (soy sauce)
  • 4 tablespoons sugar (original recipe calls for 5)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon mirin

for egg omelette:

  • 4 cups cooked brown rice
  • 400 g chicken thigh or breast
  • 1/4 to 1/2 large onion (original recipe calls for 1 whole onion)
  • 6 eggs
  • Green onions for garnish
  • Mitsuba, a Japanese herb (optional)

1) While the recipe calls for thigh meat, which I find to be more tender, chicken breast works great. I used about 3/4 of 1 breast for our oyakodon.  Chop chicken into bite-sized pieces. Alternatively, I use chicken breast tenderloin if I have it stocked in the freezer.

2) Slice onions.  The original recipe calls for a whole onion, but I felt that it was too much.

 

3) Gently mix the eggs with chopsticks in a bowl and set aside. Don’t over beat them. Mix so that the whites and yolk are lightly incorporated.

4) In a medium pot, combine all ingredients for the donburi sauce and cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Add chicken and onions to this and cook for 7 – 8 minutes until chicken is well-done and onions are tender.  Remove from heat.

NOTE: The original recipe called for 5 tablespoons of sugar, but even with 4 tablespoons I thought it was a bit too sweet although Big Onechan likes it.  Donburi sauce is typically sweet, but I recommend adjusting the sugar to suit your palate.

 

5) Heat the donburi pan over medium – low heat (SPRAY WITH PAM COOKING SPRAY) and scoop a ladle-full of the chicken and onion dashi or “soup” mix onto the donburi pan.

 

Gently scoop the mixed egg over the chicken and donburi sauce mix, from the center – outwards.  DON’T MAKE SCRAMBLED EGGS.  After you’ve scooped the egg into the pan, just let the egg cook on it’s own and meld with the chicken and onions.  You’ll need to cook this for about 5 – 10 minutes until the egg sets.  Don’t be tempted to increase the heat as the egg will become hard.  I garnish the top of the egg omelette with green onions while the egg is still cooking.

 

7) Serve brown rice in a donburi and then gently slide the egg omelette off the donburi pan and on the bed of rice.

 

Voila!  Oyakodon!

Oyako 1ab

Lakers won their first round in the NBA playoffs against the Thunder Friday night… WAY TO GO LAKERS!!!!   Then, Sunday afternoon, Lakers won their first game against the Jazz – thank goodness!  After that, delicious oyakodon for dinner.  A perfect end to a great weekend.

As always, if you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment.  I would enjoy hearing from you.

Jya, mata-ne (until next time),

Judy | bebe mama

Oyako Don (Chicken and Egg Bowl)
Author: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • FOR DONBURI SAUCE:
  • 1⅔ cups water
  • 1 teaspoon dry dashi seasoning
  • 5 tablespoons shoyu (soy sauce)
  • 4 tablespoons sugar (original recipe calls for 5)
  • 1½ tablespoon mirin
  • FOR EGG OMELETTE:
  • 4 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 large chicken breast or 2 boneless thighs
  • ¼ to ½ large onion (original recipe calls for 1 whole onion)
  • 6 eggs
  • Green onions for garnish
  • Mitsuba, a Japanese herb (optional)
Instructions
  1. Chop chicken into bite-sized pieces. ]
  2. Slice onions.
  3. Gently mix the eggs with chopsticks in a bowl and set aside. Don’t over beat them. Mix so that the whites and yolk are lightly incorporated.
  4. MAKE DONBURI SAUCE: In a medium pot, combine all ingredients for the donburi sauce and cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Add chicken and onions to this and cook for 7 – 8 minutes until chicken is well-done and onions are tender. Remove from heat.
  5. Heat the donburi pan over medium – low heat (SPRAY WITH PAM COOKING SPRAY) and scoop a ladle-full of the chicken and onion dashi or “soup” mix onto the donburi pan.
  6. Gently scoop the mixed egg over the chicken and donburi sauce mix, from the center – outwards. DON’T MAKE SCRAMBLED EGGS. After you’ve scooped the egg into the pan, just let the egg cook on it’s own and meld with the chicken and onions. You’ll need to cook this for about 5 – 10 minutes until the egg sets. Don’t be tempted to increase the heat as the egg will become hard.
  7. Garnish the top of the egg omelette with green onions while the egg is still cooking.
  8. Serve brown rice in a donburi (deep bowl) and then gently slide the egg omelette off the donburi pan and on the bed of rice. Garnish with mitsuba (Japanese herb), optional.

12 Comments

  1. avatar

    Aloha!

    I’m glad the little Sanrio notebooks came in handy!! Hello Kitty goods may be geared toward young girls, but there are some items that come in hand for us adults. :)

    By the way, oyakodon, sugoi oshisou!! :)

    I made this once, long time ago for my dad and Winter. Came out ok. I kinda improvised, as usual. :) LOL

    Glad to see this post finally! I think this was one of the ones I requested. :)

    Aloha!

    • avatar

      Aloha, friend! I am not ashamed to admit that I STILL LOVE Sanrio goods, especially Hello Kitty & Snoopy… childhood favorites. :)
      Thank you for the compliment, it was oishikatta! :) Oyakodon is popular – I had other requests for it too – must be because it’s a common Japanese restaurant item.

  2. avatar

    I think my daughter will really enjoy this. In a way, this reminds me of the Chinese-American Egg Foo Yung, although with different ingredients. She has almost no interest in cooking with me sadly, but usually when I prepare any Japanese dishes she peeks in to watch me cook.

    • avatar

      Hi Heather, Wow! Thanks for reminding me of yet another favorite dish my mom used to make for us – egg foo young! I totally forgot about this one! :) Actually I think I loved the gravy more than the omelette but I’d devour it b/c the gravy was so tasty. It sounds like your daughter likes Japanese food. :) Please let me know how it turns out! – Judy

  3. avatar

    Judy!! Thank you for posting this. Your oyakodon looks SO good. I need to get one of those pans! I’m going to look for it the next time I’m at nijiya.

    • avatar

      You’re so welcome, Roxan! Please let me know if you do find the pan at Nijiya. My mom won’t miss her pan for awhile but I know she’ll ask for it back eventually. Let me know how it turns out. Happy cooking. :)

  4. avatar

    I love oyakodon also, and haven’t made it in years. I will definitely be making this soon. Thanks for another great post.

    I’m so jealous you live near Mitsuwa! I love that store. The closest one here is in New Jersey and we don’t have a car, so we only go out maybe once a year with my sister-in-law.
    Do you go to the one in Torrance? It is way bigger than the one in NJ!

    • avatar

      Thank you! I frequent Marukai more than Mitsuwa because it’s more affordable and both are in Costa Mesa only 10 minutes away (I live in Orange County). But I love killing time at Mitsuwa since there’s so much to see and do. My mom frequents the Mitsuwa in WLA and I go there often with her, but I agree the one in Torrance is huge and I love hanging out there (yes, I’m a Japanese supermarket junky). I’m so sorry Mitsuwa is far away from you! :( I love the fact that you don’t have a car – such a New Yorker! :P I’m jealous! I hate driving in LA/OC but that’s the way it goes over here…

  5. avatar

    Thanks Judy for the great recipe! Made it for the first time the other day and the hubby/your bro loved it. He’s asked me before to make it and it always seemed so daunting but your recipe was easy to follow. This will definitely go into the rotation. :)

    • avatar

      Hi! Yay! So glad it turned out well! I’m sure he’s happy that it’s part of the rotation since Mom used to make this for us pretty often growing up. :) Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment!!!

  6. avatar

    where can I buy a pan to cook the donburi? I live in Boston MA. Thanks

    • avatar

      I’m so sorry, I’m not too familiar with the East Coast. Do you have any Asian or Japanese supermarkets in your area? That would be a good place to start. If not, you can always substitute the donburi pan with a very small, round, non-stick frying pan. The non-stick aspect of the pan will allow you to slide the omelette and sauce onto the top of the rice in your bowl. Also, if the pan is small enough the size of the omelette should be the perfect size to top the rice in a medium donburi bowl. Previously, I’ve made oyako donburi without using the special donburi pan and you can definitely make do. I hope this helps. Please leave me a comment if you do find a donburi pan in your area in case others are also looking. :)

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