Oyakodon or Oyako Donburi (親子丼)


Oyakodon or Oyako Donburi belongs to the “donburi” dishes category. Donburi (丼) means either a rice bowl or a rice-bowl dish and includes many quick Japanese rice dishes with different toppings. Oyakodon (親子丼) means “parent and child donburi” and this charming name refers to its main ingredients: chicken and eggs. Oyakodon is apparently the most popular of all the donburi dishes and the first one I have ever prepared (or tasted). I have decided to publish the recipe just before the weekend, since I feel this is a perfect weekend breakfast, brunch or lunch idea!

Since it is very popular, I have heard or read about oyakodon hundreds of times and had been meaning to prepare it for a long time. When I saw an oyakodon photo on Shizuoka Gourmet’s blog, it reminded me I still haven’t tried this apparently quick and easy dish. When, in one of the following Shizuoka Gourmet’s posts the author gave an extremely detailed and well explained oyakodon recipe, I simply couldn’t resist. I had chicken, I had eggs (not to mention the rice) and prepared it for lunch the same day. It was so delicious, easy and quick, I also had it for lunch the following day! I already feel it will be one of my favourite and most frequently prepared Japanese dishes (or rather dishes in general). Thank you Robert-Gilles!

Now that I had it twice, “versatile” is probably the word I would use to describe oyakodon. Depending on the circumstances and personal habits, this dish is perfect for a nourishing breakfast, lunch, Sunday brunch, afternoon snack and a quick late-night dinner. It is also versatile in the sense that, contrary to some Japanese dishes, this one will be enjoyed even by those who approach the Japanese cuisine sceptically. In my opinion it has a universal taste with a slight Japanese hint.

The amounts of the below ingredients can be adjusted according to your personal preferences. I used here a low-sodium soy sauce and have put quite a lot of chicken (especially when I compare my very messy bowl to the photo on the Shizuoka Gourmet’s blog). I was also lucky to have mitsuba leaves, grown patiently on my balcony (thank you Hiroyuki for the kind gardening advice!), but I suppose any green fresh herb of your choice can be used, e.g. chives which go very well with eggs.

It is best with freshly made rice and freshly fried chicken, but it can also be a good idea to use leftover meat and the leftover, heated rice. If you are very hungry, I would advise two eggs per person.

TIPS: The eggs shouldn’t be mixed like when you make scrambled eggs. They should be delicately stirred and the best tool here is a chopstick. You should obtain egg whites with “ribbons” of yolk.

If you use breast, add the meat only after having fried the onion. Otherwise it will get dry (see the instructions below)

Preparation: 15 minutes

Ingredients (serves one):

a portion of freshly cooked rice

1/2 g chicken leg or breast (boneless, skinned), cut into bite-sized pieces



1 shallot or big spring onion (white part only) or 1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced

2 eggs, slightly stirred (see the tip above)


50 ml dashi (Japanese stock)

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons sake (or 1 tablespoon sake + 1 tablespoon mirin, if you like egg dishes slightly sweetish; UPDATE: I stopped adding mirin here a long long time ago)

sprigs of mitsuba or chopped chives or any fresh herb you feel that suits this dish

Season the chicken pieces slightly with salt and pepper.

If you use leg meat, fry it or deep-fry it and when it’s almost done, put it aside. (If you use breast, add it later; see below)

Stir-fry the onion in 1 tablespoon oil, if using breast meat (or in the same pan, unwashed, if you have fried leg meat) and when it becomes golden, pour all the sauce ingredients.

Lower the heat and bring it to boil.

Add the fried leg meat or the raw breast meat and cook together until it is almost done (do not overcook!).

(Here, if you judge the sauce amount is too big, discard some of the sauce. Using the above amounts of liquids I have never felt like discarding it).

Pour the stirred eggs over the sauce with chicken and, without mixing, wait until it is cooked. (I don’t like runny eggs, so they are always well cooked, but the consistency depends on personal preferences). You can cover with a lid if you don’t want the sauce to evaporate.

Put some hot rice into a bowl and transfer the egg and chicken topping onto the rice.

Garnish with mitsuba sprigs (or any fresh herb you have, such as chives).

14 Replies to “Oyakodon or Oyako Donburi (親子丼)”

  1. Hi Sissi! It makes me really happy when I see my own country’s food on a non-Japanese person’s website, and find that the blogger (in this case you) enjoys it so much. Just make me smile and feel like I have to thank you. 🙂 You planted Mitsuba too! When I saw the first picture, I knew that leaf is mitsuba! LOL. I envy you. Mitsuba costs too much in Japanese market here. I only buy it when I make Unagi Chazuke, one of our favorite dish. And it’s so good with Mitsuba. If I have your home grown, this dish must be super yummy! Your Oyakodon makes me really hungry now. 🙂

    1. Thank you very much Nami! I am very happy you approve of the oyakodon I have prepared. It was simply fabulous and I can’t think of anyone who would dislike it. I think it will be high on my comfort food list too. I have never seen fresh mistuba in Swiss Japanese shops (only dried), but when I saw the seeds on internet sold by a Swiss seeds shop (!!!) I knew I had to buy them. It was a bit difficult at the beginning, but now I have several tiny mitsuba plants. The taste is wonderful and very subtle. (I have never had mistuba before, so imagine how exciting it was to taste something I grew without knowing what to expect.) I hope I’ll be able to put more mitsuba leaves on my oyakodon soon!

  2. This dish looks quite interesting. I like the approach to add eggs at the end, never tried this myself. I don’t like adding eggs to soups since it sort of disappears but not in this case. Thanks for the idea!

  3. Looks delicious! I hate runny eggs, too! But, eggs in oyakodon are an exception. I wish I could make oyakodon soon so I could show it to you, but it’s been hot these days, and I’m not in the mood for making it.
    Here is my recipe, if you are interested, which I posted on eGullet years ago.
    Do you happen to know tanindon (eggs plus meat (pork or beef) instead of chicken)?
    tanin = stranger, etc.

    1. Thank you, Hiroyuki! I am very happy you like my oyakodon. Have you seen the tiny mitsuba leaves? These are the ones you helped me to make sprout and grow.
      Thank you for the link (I didn’t know this forum). This special oyako nabe pan looks simply magic. I am a kitchen gadgets freak, so if I ever saw it I’d buy it straight away. Especially since I feel I’ll make oyakodon very often 🙂 I found my frying pan a bit tricky when the moment to transfer the topping came.
      I didn’t know tanindon (I also find the name very charming, I suppose it refers to the parent and child and the beef is the stranger here?). Thank you for mentioning this. Now I know what to try next. I will try not to mix the eggs thoroughly, as you did in your recipe, and see the difference in taste.

      1. Yes, I saw the mitsuba, and I’m glad you have a green thumb!

        Do you remember episode 6 of Shinya Shokudo, which features katsudon? At the end of the episode, the Master serves oyakodon for the three (the boxer, the widow, and her daughter), saying that he ran out of katsu.

        As you say, tanindon is a funny name coined because of the use of a stranger to eggs. And, as you can imagine, pork is mainly used in Kanto (Eatern Japan), and beef is mainly used n Kansai (Western Japan).

        1. Of course I remember the 6th episode of Shinya Shokudo! Especially the moment you describe. It was one of the (many in this film) moments I cried. Very subtle and touching. Thank you for reminding me the beautiful scene. And thank you for the further explanation of Kanto and Kansai pork/beef meat questions. I should have guessed it. (Of course I hadn’t thought about the difference in donburi.) I must try preparing both “strangers” some time.

  4. I love donburi, be it with chicken, pork of beef. It’s so simple but tastes amazingly good! I love the look of your donburi, it looks simply delicious and my mouth is watering…;)!!

    1. Thank you! I am happy my oyakodon looks yummy. I must try one day donburi with pork (I have already planned the ground beef). Thanks for the idea!

    1. Merci, Robert-Gilles, pour ce gentil commentaire. Je suis sur un petit nuage 🙂 Si j’ai réussi, c’est grâce à tes instructions et conseils.

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