In Which We Rock Oyakodon

There is a “Japanese” teppanyaki restaurant in my hometown that Alex is addicted to. They serve hibachi style chicken, steak, or shrimp doused in a sugary sweet soy sauce with a truckload of rice and a side of onions. Plus that mayonnaisy-white “yum yum” sauce (which is, of course, an authentic Japanese creation…I kid…).

This week while reading the various food blogs I subscribe to, I stumbled across the dish Oyakodon which appears to be something very similar, though likely a bit healthier. We found it quite enjoyable, and really easy to make. I even ate leftovers for breakfast the next day. Alex took his leftovers to work and the reheated aroma brought more than one co-worker to his desk to investigate.

Oyakodon (interpreted from this recipe from Jenny Steinhauer and also this one)
Yum Factor: Alex – 7.5, Jessalyn – 6 (See my parenthetical notes for ideas for how to make it at least a 7 in the future)

– rice
1. Prepare enough rice for about 4 people. I use brown rice in my rice cooker so I got it started before I started prepping the recipe so it would be ready at the same time.

– about 2 cups chicken broth
– 7 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce (I use gluten-free Tamari)
– 4 tablespoons mirin
– 3 tablespoons sugar (in the future I might use brown sugar)
– 2 tablespoons sweet white wine
(in the future I might also add a bit of garlic powder and/or some minced ginger)
2. This is the broth. Put all ingredients in a large saucepot or soup pot, stir together, and heat over medium heat.

– 1-2 pounds chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
– 1 onion, sliced
– handful of mushrooms, thick slices
– 3-4 eggs, beaten together in a bowl
3. Season the chicken lightly with salt and pepper (and garlic powder?) to the broth and bring to a simmer for at least five minutes. You’re essentially poaching the chicken here, so you can also put the lid on the pot to help it along. (In the future, I might try searing the chicken in a pan, then cutting it into bite-size pieces, and then poaching to cook through).

4. When the chicken is cooked (take out a piece and cut it open, if you’re in doubt), add the onions and mushrooms, and continue simmering until the onions soften.

5. Bring the pot up to a boil and pour in the beaten eggs. Put the lid on, reduce the heat, and let simmer for 2-3 minutes. Serve over rice and top with sliced green onions (I also used up the spinach from the fridge in our bowls).

A comforting twist on chicken noodle soup. And perfect for warming us up after all the rainy days we’ve been having this week. If you’re worried about it being too sweet, don’t. It’s just sweet enough to give a little twist to this savory dish. Rock on, oyakodon–we’ll definitely be making you again, if only to use up the bottle of mirin I have now added to my cupboard.

3 thoughts on “In Which We Rock Oyakodon

  1. Natalie says:

    Yay Japanese!! Donburi (dishes served over a bowl of rice like that) are some of my and Nick’s absolute favorite Japanese food. That being said, Oyako don has never been my favorite.. the chicken always seems too slimy/boring/out of place? I’m not sure how to describe it! I might try your version of this recipe though =)

    Some donburi variations you might be interested in if you get the chance:
    Gyuudon – Super super thinly sliced beef + onions (one of my total favorites, I ate it almost every day in Japan. Tokyo Rose has one pretty close to what I remember)

    Unadon/Unagidon – Eel over rice! The eel is usually cooked in a really delicious sauce.

    Katsudon – Fried pork cutlets + egg + onion over rice. This is our FAVORITE. We probably make it once every week and a half! Which is totally unhealthy because it’s got so much fried pork, but…. it’s so amazing! It has a really unique savory flavor, I always end up eating way too fast because it’s so delicious… We follow this recipe pretty closely (which has lots of other Japanese recipes too!)
    You really need some hon dashi (a special fish stock) to make this dish authentic and delicious. We still need to get together for dinner some night, we have a ton of hon dashi and I could give you a couple packets!

    • Jessalyn says:

      Thanks for the great tips, Natalie! Admittedly my knowledge of Japanese cuisine is a bit limited. Would love to try some of your creations!

  2. […] sweet-potato chorizo soup, potato-leek soup, crab and corn chowder, mushroom-barley soup, and even oyakodon. There’s something rather poetic about making a soup: the rhythmic chopping of celery, […]

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