Oyakodon: Basic Recipe


Oyakodon must count as one of the top 5 as far as poplular food comes in Japan.
It is easy to prepare and improvise with.
Bear in mind that depending upon the region you are in Japan, the ingredients are totally different. For example, in Hokkaido you will be served salmon sashimi and salmon roe!
After all, “oyakodon” means “parent and child bowl” (ingredients!)!
Being asked about a recipe, I decided to introduce the main lines of a basic one here made with chicken and eggs, not bothering about quantities but concentrating on the method.

Steam rice beforehand.
Oyakodon prepared with freshly steamed rice is miles ahead of reheated rice as far as taste is concerned!

Choose breast or thigh chicken. It is up to you to use or discard the skin. I prefer to discard it, unless I deep-fry the chicken first.

Choose the freshest ones as possible with large deep-coloured yolks.

Thinly sliced onion to be cooked together with the oyakodon.
A lot of people feel like adding other vegetables. Keep in mind they have to be cut thin and need to be fried.
Fresh leaved greens for the final and important touch. My favourite is fresh trefoil. If not available, I use flat parsley or chopped leeks.
In many regions they also add chopped dry seaweed for the final touch.

-Stock soup/sauce:
You may use water, but dashi is a lot better. I pesonally use seaweed dashi. One might use chicken stock, too.
I add a little soy sauce, sugar, Japanese sake and sweet Japanese sake/mirin.
That is where improvisation and personal taste come in!
You may season with salt and pepper, but bear in mind that soy sauce already contains salt, so easy on that one!


-Cut chicken in small enough pieces. Fry or deep-fry them first. If you fry/sautee them, just season chicken with a little salt and pepper. If you dep-fry them, season them with salt and pepper and cover them with plenty of cornstarch, unless you prefer the flour, egg and breadcrumbs method.
Once the chicken has been fried to 90%, take out and leave in another plate or on a metallic grill to get rid of excess oil.

-Using only a little oil (that left by the chicken is fine), fry the onion (and other vegetables) until almost properly cooked.
Add soup/stock. bring slowly to boil on a small fire. Add chicken and boil for a minute just to let the taste penetrate the chicken.
During that time, beat eggs (quantity is up to you!) with chopsticks to leave some parts white (some people like well beaten).
As soon as the chicken has completely cooked, dicard some soup if too much of it, and add the eggs.

Point 1: the chicken should be tender, not overcooked.
Point 2: Too much soup/stock will prevent the eggs from cooking fast, or you might end up with scrambled eggs
Point 3: the “real” (debatable) recipe calls for the eggs to be only half cooked before transferring the lot onto the rice.
In Kyoto, for example the eggs are most of the time well cooked and topped with a raw egg yolk.

-As soon as you are satisfied with the eggs, transfer the lot on top of a bowl filled with steamed rice.
Decorate with trefoil and serve.

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi


Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi


22 thoughts on “Oyakodon: Basic Recipe”

  1. I used to eat at a Japaneese cafe where we knew the owner. My favorite thing was the oyokodon. I made the receipe online but it wasn’t the same as my friend made. I remember it tasted like orange juice was in it, it was sweet and the eggs were cooked through. I didn’t use the dashi because I didn’t have it, so I used chicken broth and put in a little gari (sushi ginger). It just wasn’t the same, I don’t know if it was just the way she made it that tasted special but she has passed on so I may never know. Any idea of how she could have used orange juice?


    1. G’day Chris!
      Thank you so much for your reference to my blog!
      So glad to see that friends as far as Perth in Oz can enjoy true Japanese food!
      Well done!
      Best regards,


  2. I love oyakodon and I hardly get to eat it because it costs alot from where I come from. I always eat them with a plate of crispy gyoza! Can’t wait to make my own oyakodon with your recipe!


  3. Dear Robert,

    Thanks for sharing this with me. I have been cooking one dish meal lately and this come just nice for the family. I agree with you seaweed dashi is still the best. Flavorful too 🙂



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