Do you know that there is a dish in Japan called Oyako Don (Parent and Child Rice)? This dish is familiar and is a classic comfort food to every Japanese. It is the combination of fluffy eggs and juicy chicken. This time, we are going to introduce all about this dish – Oyako don, from its history, the meaning behind the name and recommend some good restaurants to enjoy Oyako Don.
What is Oyako Don?
Oyako Don, also known as Chicken and Egg bowl, is a donburi or Japanese rice bowl topped with boiled chicken, such as warishita, and beaten egg. Japanese often boiled this with green onions and onions and decorated it with Japanese mitsuba, green peas, and shredded seaweed. The broth locals use is flavorful with a balanced mixture of soy sauce and sugar, so it tastes sweet and salty.
Oyako Don is a national dish in Japan that you can easily make at home and eat at various restaurants such as soba and udon restaurants, mizutaki restaurants, yakitori restaurants, and restaurants.
The literal translation of Oyakodon (親子丼) means “parent-and-child rice bowl”. “Oya” means parent, “ko” means child, and “don” is short for donburi which is a rice bowl. It consists of chicken (as in parent), egg (as in child), and onions simmered in a dashi and soy sauce-based broth and served on top of steamed rice.
Oyako don History
Born in the Meiji era, oyako don has been loved for over 100 years. Among the donburi, you can feel that oyako don has a special warmth. Even though you can quickly fill your stomach in your busy daily life, its gentle taste seems to have a healing effect somewhere. Its history dates back to the Muromachi period. During this period, a dish called “Hohan” was born, in which locals boiled or grilled vegetables and fish. Then they placed them on top of rice and poured some soup over it.
Because it is easy to eat and looks beautiful, it has become a trend food among the upper class. In the latter half of the Edo period, they also developed the restaurant industry. The number of sobas, sushi, and tempura restaurants increased, and along with the development of side dishes, rice bowls such as tempura and eel were born. When Yokohama Port opened in the late Edo period, beef culture spread. Common people loved the rice with sukiyaki on top of it. And finally, oyako don was born.
Relationship with Soboro Don
This soboro don or the chicken minced rice bowl was devised for customers at the time who wanted to take home oyakodon. It was over 100 years ago, so there were no styrofoam containers at the time, so we took it home by folding it, but the juice would overflow. Therefore, it seems that soboro don was devised with the same recipe as oyakodon so that the soup does not leak.
Oyako don Recipe
Oyako don Ingredients
|Ingredients of Oyako don for 2 people||Measurements|
|Chicken thigh (cut into bite-size pieces)||150g|
|Onion (halved lengthwise and thinly sliced)||100g|
|Eggs (lightly beaten)||46g|
|Mitsuba (cut into 2cm pieces)||50g|
|[Combined seasoning] Soy sauce||14g|
|[Combined Seasoning] Sugar||7g|
|[Combined seasoning] Mirin||7g|
How to make Oyako don
Season the chicken with soy sauce and sake. Then, put the dashi stock and seasonings in a pot, heat over medium heat, and when it starts to boil, add the onions and chicken.
Cover and simmer for 2-3 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Then swirl the egg from the center of the pan to the outside. When the egg begins to harden, turn off the heat, scatter the mitsuba leaves, cover again, and steam for 30 seconds.
Put the rice in a bowl and put the mitsuba leaves or egg on top.
Types of Oyako don
There are some types of oyakodon that the Japanese know of such as sashimi salmon + salmon roe donburi, chicken and egg donburi, Oyakodon of sturgeon, and caviar.
Best part of chicken to use in Oyako don
When making oyakodon, many people may be wondering whether to use chicken thigh or chicken breast. As with beef and pork, there are different recommended cooking methods and points to note depending on the part of the chicken. Both chicken breast and chicken thigh are suitable parts for oyakodon, but the calories, aroma, and taste are different, so we recommend purchasing the part that suits your taste.
The breast meat called “Breast” has less fat and almost no chicken smell.
When the breast meat is stir-fried, it has a scent reminiscent of fried eggs, which will whet your appetite. The recommended cooking methods using chicken breast include oyakodon, fried chicken, and sauté.
A chicken thigh is called a “leg”, but above the knee is called “thigh” and below the knee is called a “drumstick”. Because it contains plenty of fat, it has a rich body and when heated, it has a chicken-like aroma. Chicken thighs are the most compatible with the taste of Japanese people. The recommended cooking methods using chicken thighs include oyakodon, roast chicken, fried chicken, mizutaki, and curry.
How to correctly read the Oyako don?
When adopting the character “Don,” NHK’s Broadcasting Terminology Committee authorised the two readings of “Donburi” and “Don” in 2001, and the following proposals were provided at the time. There are two alternative readings for “don,” “donburi” and “don,” however if it means “egg bowl,” both are acceptable. The terminology team believes that “don” as a container should only be “donburi”, and that the name of a dish should be “-don”. If the word that precedes it is not an abbreviation, such as “oyako don”, it should be – the purpose being to identify both “don” and “donburi”.
Health information on Oyako don
The calorie content of oyako don varies depending on the amount of food eaten and the ingredients used, but in the case of a typical oyako don, it is about 634 kcal per serving.
Nutrients oyako don contain
Oyakodon uses chicken, eggs, rice, and other ingredients, so you can take in the three major nutrients of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats in a well-balanced manner. You can also take vitamins and minerals.
Oyakodon contains about 89.0g of carbohydrates per serving. Carbohydrates are composed of sugar and dietary fiber.
Oyakodon contains about 25.2g of protein per serving. Like carbohydrates, protein is a source of energy for moving the body, and it also has the function of composing muscles and organs and adjusting the functions of hormones, enzymes, and antibodies.
Oyakodon contains about 18.4g of fat per serving. Lipids also serve as an energy source for moving the body, and in the body. They also serve as constituents of cell membranes and as physiologically active substances.
Oyako don pan
Oyako-nabe is a small pot used for cooking rice bowl dishes such as oyako don and katsu don and is for one person. Locals also call this “Donnabe” and often used this as a regular pot or a frying pan. They also often used this when making rice bowls at soba restaurants and Japanese restaurants. It is narrower than a frying pan and suitable for simmering ingredients for one person, and it is not as deep as a pot, so it is easy to transfer to a bowl.
Where to buy Oyako don
At the famous chicken restaurant in Shinjuku Gyoen, you can eat oyako don for lunch only on Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays. Their Oyakodon is an extension of tamago kake gohan and they made it without a lid to prevent it from overcooking. The crisp umami of Hinai chicken and moderately sweet Kaeshi, and the eggs are one Hinai chicken and two red chicken eggs, a total of 3 eggs. The rice soaked in soup is also the best.
Here is a famous restaurant introduced on TV. It’s the ultimate oyako don, and it’s truly exquisite. The meat is juicy Oyama chicken and is bound with freshly laid eggs from Okayama Prefecture. And that the shop uses 6 types of soup stock. It is the ultimate cup made with Hidaka kelp and Soda bonito. Kyoto oyako don with light soy sauce and Kujo green onions is also a perfect match for sake.
Ningyocho Hana (人形町 花)
A popular shop that is open on Sundays is in Ningyocho. The oyakodon here uses Kagoshima red chicken satsuma, but it is famous by the fact that it contains various parts such as thigh, neck and heart. You can crush the yolk in the middle, add condiments such as yuzu pepper, or make ochazuke with chicken soup stock.
If you’re ever in Tokyo, you must try authentic oyakodon. All you have to do is cook rice, make the sauce, add the chicken and enjoy it for lunch or dinner (or both!) because it’s full of sweet and savory flavor. It’s also quite a well-loved Japanese recipe, but chicken is more of comfort food because chicken is cheaper and more accessible. These days it’s everywhere, from family restaurants to street stalls, to specialty oyakodon fast-food establishments.