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Oyakodon: Chicken and Eggs Over Rice

Oyakodon: Chicken and Eggs Over Rice

Learn how to make Chef Isao Yamada's incredibly tasty version of Japanese comfort food classic Okayodon. This recipe features uma dashi, chicken, eggs, and rice, creating a satisfying and delicious lunch. Follow the step-by-step guide to prepare this flavor-packed dish at home.

Here is Chef Isao Yamada's incredibly tasty version of a Japanese comfort food classic: Okayodon. Oyako means "parent and child," a reference to the eggs and chicken in this simple rice dish. What you do is cook chicken and onions in umami-rich uma dashi, that is, dashi spiked with mirin and soy sauce in a 4:1:1 ratio. Then you swirl in eggs, pour over rice, and presto, satisfying lunch! Yamada-san's twist is swirling in the eggs -- and plopping in whole egg yolks, too, which he gently sets. The result is even more eggy richness over the rice, and an even more delicious dish. Here's how my man Yamada-san prepared the dish for 4 servings:

Oyakodon (Chicken and Egg Over Rice)


  • 1 cup dashi
  • 1/4 cup mirin
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 chicken leg, boned, skinned, and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 cup thinly sliced negi (or substitute with onion or scallion)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 cups cooked steaming rice, divided into 4 bowls
  • Shichimi togarashi (for garnish)


  1. Prepare the Umadashi: In a small saucepan, combine dashi and mirin. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then add soy sauce. Once the liquid boils again, remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.

  2. Cook Chicken and Negi: Pour 1/3 cup of the umadashi mixture into a skillet, adjusting the amount as needed based on the skillet's size. Add chicken and negi (or onion/scallion), and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer.

  3. Add Beaten Eggs: Once the chicken turns white and is cooked through, swirl in the beaten eggs. Use a bowl and chopsticks to guide the eggs into the skillet in a circular motion, ensuring even distribution.

  4. Place Egg Yolks: Spoon the egg yolks into the skillet's four corners, taking care not to break them. Cover and cook for about 3 minutes, until the yolks set. Then, gently break the yolks.

  5. Assemble the Oyakodon: The oyakodon should be slightly runny. Evenly distribute the chicken and egg mixture over the prepared bowls of rice, ensuring each bowl receives an egg yolk. Garnish with shichimi togarashi to taste.

Techniques and Their Purposes:

  • Making Umadashi: Combining dashi, mirin, and soy sauce creates a flavorful base that infuses the chicken and egg with umami and a subtle sweetness.
  • Swirling in Beaten Eggs: This technique ensures the eggs cook evenly in a light, fluffy layer, complementing the tender chicken.
  • Adding Egg Yolks Separately: Placing the egg yolks in the skillet and allowing them to set before breaking them incorporates rich, creamy textures into the dish.
  • Serving Runny: Oyakodon is traditionally served with the egg slightly runny, creating a comforting, velvety sauce that enhances the rice.

This classic Japanese dish combines the savory flavors of chicken and the gentle richness of eggs, accented with the subtle heat of shichimi togarashi for a satisfying meal.