Oyakodon – Japanese Chicken and Egg Rice

11 Jun

(serves 3)
Oyakodon a.k.a. Oyako Donburi a.ka.a Oyako Rice Bowl is a scrumptious mixture of tender simmered chicken pieces with scrambled eggs served on piping hot rice. The chicken is marinated in a semi-sweet sauce which when combined with the flavour from shiitake mushrooms and dashi broth results in the perfect sauce to go with rice. It’s no wonder Oyakodon is one of the most popular rice dishes in Japan. As it is an all-in-one complete meal, Oyakodon is quite a convenient dish to serve, it can be made in under an hour.  
Ingredients Oyakodon
  1. Chicken Thigh & Leg (2, boneless)
  2. Onion (1)
  3. Eggs (4)
  4. Dried Shiitake Mushrooms (4)
  5. Cooked Japanese White Rice (3 bowls)
  6. Scallion (3 shoots)
  7. Ginger (1t)
  8. Dark Soya Sauce
  9. Mirin
  10. Hon Dashi
  11. Sesame Oil
  12. Dried Seaweed (optional)

Preparation Part I

  1. Julienne the scallion into small 1/8 inch slices, keeping the white bits seperate from the green bits.
  2. If you didn’t buy your chicken legs deboned, you’ll need to debone them yourself. Seperate the skin from the meat as well. Trim off any large bits of fat from the meat and then cut the meat into bite sized chunks.
  3. In a bowl mix 4T soya sauce, 2T mirin, 1T sesame oil, 1t sugar, 1t pureed ginger and the white part of the scallion. Marinate the chicken pieces in this.
  4. Fry the skin in 1T of vegetable oil in a pan on low heat until the skin gets crispy. There is no need to move the skin save to flip it once.
  5. In the meanwhile dissolve 1t hon dashi pellets and 1t sugar into 1 cup of room temperature water. Soak your shiitake mushrooms in this.
  6. Peel and slice the onion into half rings.
  7. Rinse your rice and set it to cook in a rice cooker.
  8. At this stage the mushrooms would have softened a bit. Snip the stems and discard them. Slice the mushrooms into 1/4 inch strips and continue to soak them in the same liquid.
  9. Remove the skin from the pan, leaving the oil in the pan.
  10. Let the chicken marinate while the rice gets cooked, for about thirty minutes.

You may do everything in part I ahead of time

Preparation Part II

  1. Beat 4 eggs in a bowl with 1T mirin. Leave them in the open to warm up.
  2. Pan fry the onion pieces in the pan with the chicken oil until they begin to soften.
  3. Turn up the heat. When the pan is hot, drain any remaining chicken marinade into the bowl with the mushroom.
  4. Add the chicken pieces to the pan and stir fry the chicken, ensuring all surfaces are browned. Turn the heat down when the meat begins to shrink. Next, add the mushroom slices, including all the liquid. Sprinkle liberally with pepper and continue cooking until the liquid has been reduced by half in volume.
  5. Push the chicken pieces to the side of the pan and pour the egg mix into the middle (which will still contain sauce). Turn off the heat after 30 seconds or until just half of the egg mixture begins to solidify. Mix everything in the pan one last time without smashing up the soft egg too much.
  6. Scoop your cooked rice straight from the rice cooker into 3 large bowls, filling them 3/4 of the way up. Top off each bowl with the contents of the pan, including all the sauce. The egg should continue to cook til it is slightly runny.
  7. Sprinkle on the green bits of the scallion immediately while everything is still steaming hot. You may also add some thin strips of dried seaweed (Nori) if you like.


  • Oyako means Parent and Child, a reference to main ingredients being Chicken and Egg .  
  • If you are going out to buy mirin for the first time, check out my What is Mirin? page first. If you really cannot get your hands on some mirin, you can also find out how to make a substitute there.
  • What if I can’t find any shiitake mushrooms? The flavour from the shiitake (She-tar-kay) mushrooms is important too. If you really need to, try substituting with dried Porcini or Morel. Don’t use fresh mushrooms as they will impart an unwanted bitter gamey taste.
  • What if I don’t know how to cook rice? Refer to my White Rice Page. It goes without sayinh, it’s best to use Japanese rice for this dish.
  • If you like, you can cut the chicken skin that has been fried crispy into little pieces and sprinkle it on with the scallion at the end. You should not however leave the skin on the chicken. Together, there is no way to cook the skin properly and yet leave the chicken meat tender. 
  • Please note – the egg in the photo is a bit over cooked, it should be a bit runnier. My bad. If you want your egg to have a nicer colour and texture, use 4 yolks with 3 egg whites instead.

Posted by on June 11, 2013 in Japanese, Main Courses, Poultry, Recipe


Tags: , , , , , ,

4 responses to “Oyakodon – Japanese Chicken and Egg Rice

  1. jdons

    July 1, 2013 at 8:40 am

    Re:Oyakodon–As a wanna-be Nihon cook,I had some difficulties with this preparation. First,I took over a half hour trying to get the just right browning color to the chicken skin ,on low temp, only to later find out I was supposed to discard it .More importantly,why did we wait till after the onions and small amount of chicken marinade were first in the pan then to try to brown the chicken pieces? As always,I really enjoy your site ,don

    • kobayash1

      July 1, 2013 at 1:42 pm

      Dear Don,

      Thank you for your interest as always.

      To answer your first question, The idea for the chicken skin is to extract the flavour of its oil for the onions. I guess I used ‘crisp’ as an indicator of whether all the oil was melted off. It usually takes about the same time as steps 5-8 so no time is wasted. p.s. It is mentioned in the notes that you can cut the crispy skin to bits and add it as a topping at the end as an option.

      As for the second question, the left over chicken marinade is added to the mushroom water, not the pan. I do this as I don’t want the chicken to be wet when it is browned. The onions are added before the chicken as they take longer to soften than it takes the chicken takes to brown. Traditional recipes do not even bother to brown the chicken and just have you just simmer it straight off but the chicken will have a freezer taste if it has been frozen before.

      As an added explanation for both questions – the trick with this recipe is to cook the chicken just enough or it will get too hard and dry. The browning half-cooks the chiken while the simmering cooks the rest of it. If the skin is left on, either the skin will not be cooked enough or the meat will be over cooked.

      I hope this is a satisfactory explanation.

      • jdons

        July 1, 2013 at 9:58 pm

        Kobi,thank you for replying to me. In retrospect I should have used my large wok instead of my large carbon steel flat pan. Next time i’ll be able to better separate the meat to be browned from the lots of onions that I had. I always look forward to your next post.  Will you do an in-depth article on tempura batter/coating some day?  don


  2. kobayash1

    July 2, 2013 at 3:39 am

    Actually I don’t really bother to seperate the onions from the chicken. I just stir fry the whole lot together until I can see no more raw meat. With a wok this will be relatively easy to do.


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