There are many types of 丼ぶり(donburi) dishes in Japan. Donburi is a bowl of rice topped with various foods. Today, I’m going to introduce one of them called “親子丼(Oyakodon)“. I truly hope you give it a try!
What is Oyakodon?
親子丼(Oyakodon) is one of the most popular donburi dishes here in Japan. The main ingredients are chicken and eggs. The chicken is cooked in dashi/ Japanese broth flavored with soy sauce and mirin, then it’s covered with fluffy eggs. Although the soup used for this dish has a strong flavor, adding beaten eggs makes the taste mild and pleasant. Also, this combination goes amazingly well with freshly cooked Japanese rice.
In most cases, the name of the donburi dishes includes the ingredients on the rice. However, the name “oyakodon” doesn’t have the exact name of the food.
The literal translation of 親子丼(oyakodon) is “parent and child rice bowl”. It probably sounds strange and a bit cruel, but this name represents the main ingredients, chicken and egg. As I mentioned above 親(oya) means parent “Chicken”, and 子(ko) means child “egg” in this particular dish.
Oyakodon is served in many places in Japan such as diners, bento shops, convenience stores, etc., it seems it is also available in other countries. Of course, you can enjoy making it at home!
Other than the essential ingredients of chicken and eggs, many people also like to include onion in this dish. I believe yellow onion is the most commonly used, but other types such as long or spring onions can be used for oyakodon. It completely depends on the person, but I recommend using one of them to enjoy the flavor and texture.
Also, Japanese herb “三つ葉(mitsuba)” is often used for oyakodon. It looks similar to cilantro/ coriander. They belong to the parsley family.
The aroma of mitsuba is much more subtle and elegant than cilantro. It is often used for authentic Japanese dishes. It can be used as a garnish or lightly cooked with other ingredients. Adding this herb takes your oyakodon to the next level. However, I bet mitsuba is not easy to get in other countries and it’s a bit expensive even in Japan.
In my opinion, oyakodon by itself is delicious enough even if it doesn’t include mitsuba. I don’t think it’s necessary to make an effort to find it when you make oyakodon at home.
Oyako pan (a special pan for oyakodon)
Usually, each serving of oyakodon is made individually using this small shallow pan called “Oyako nabe”. This pan is very helpful when you slide the cooked ingredients over the rice. You can buy one easily in Japan. However, I don’t think every Japanese household has this special pan. It is common to substitute a small frying pan for it.
When I make more than 2 servings of oyakodon at home, I always use a larger pan to simmer chicken and onion with soy sauce flavored soup. Then divide it into a small pan for each serving, and pour beaten eggs in it as you can see in the picture below.
If you want to make multiple servings, you can also directly pour the eggs into a larger pan.
Thank you for allowing me to share my recipe with you. I hope to see you again soon.
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