Oyakodon (Japanese Chicken and Egg Rice Bowl) Recipe

Quick and easy, this popular restaurant dish is easy to perfect at home.

Oyakodon, in a white ceramic bowl alongside wooden chopsticks, a small ceramic bowl holding togarashi seasoning, and an additional bowl of oyakodon off to the left side.

Serious Eats / Qi Ai

Why This Recipe Works

  • The broth is flavored with a balanced mixture of soy sauce and sugar for a sweet and salty profile.
  • Adding the onions before the chicken and using a high proportion of broth allows you to simmer it down for better flavor.
  • Reserving extra egg yolks and adding them back to the bowl (or bowls) at the end gives the dish extra richness.

Super popular both at restaurants and at home, oyakodon (Japanese chicken and egg rice bowl) is sort of like the pizza of Japan—if pizza were the kind of soul-satisfying comfort food that's easy to make at home, with minimal ingredients, in about 20 minutes. This kind of quick and easy one-pot rice bowl is a huge time-saver in the kitchen.

In Japanese, oya means "parent," and ko means "child." Donburi, typically shortened to just don, means "bowl," though, like "paella" or "casserole," it's also the name of any dish served in a donburi. These dishes are frequently (but not always) composed of ingredients simmered together in broth, then poured over rice. In this case, the oya and the ko are chicken and egg.

Making Oyakodon Broth

To make it, I start with the classic Japanese sweet-and-savory combination of dashi, soy sauce, sake (make sure to use a dry one), and sugar. Some folks use mirin instead of sake; either will work. After combining these ingredients in a saucepan and bringing the mixture to a simmer, I add a thinly sliced onion. If you want to get all fancy or plan on making this a lot, you can spring for a donburi pan, a small, saucer-like skillet designed specifically for simmering ingredients destined for rice-topping. Otherwise, a skillet will do fine. (You'll just have to squish the ingredients around a bit to get them to fit perfectly on top of a bowl of rice.)

I like to use a little bit more broth than is typical—I start with about a cup for every three eggs—because I like to simmer it down to tenderize the onion and to concentrate the flavor of the stock. I find that cooking the onions for a full five minutes at a hard simmer before adding some thinly sliced chicken gives them plenty of time to tenderize.

Additional Oyakodon Ingredients

I also like to use boneless, skinless chicken thighs, which stay juicy as they simmer, though you can easily use chicken breast if you prefer. Just be sure to slice the chicken thin so that it cooks rapidly, and don't let it overcook! Five to seven minutes is plenty of time for thighs, and three to four minutes should do for breast.

Breaking open an egg yolk in a bowl of oyakodon.

Serious Eats / J. Kenji López-Alt

Once the chicken is cooked through, I add some sliced scallions. If you can get your hands on mitsuba, this is the place to use it. It's a Japanese herb that looks and tastes a bit like parsley, but the flavor is much milder. The aroma reminds me a little of watercress, but without any of the pepperiness. It won't make or break the dish, but it's nice to have if you can find it.

Next, I add eggs. The key here is to not overbeat them. You want to see distinct sections of egg white and yolk. Chopsticks are my favorite tool for beating eggs like this, and the chopsticks can then be used to drizzle the eggs into the simmering broth (see the video below). Traditionally, you'd cover and simmer the eggs until they're about half set, though nobody is stopping you from cooking them however you like them. Once the eggs are cooked, I pour the contents of the pan over rice. There will be quite a bit of extra juice. This is fine. It should soak into the rice and flavor the entire bowl.

Personally, I like to mix things up a bit by adding an extra egg white to the beaten eggs, reserving the yolk, cooking the oyako to medium, then adding the extra raw egg yolk back to the top of the bowl for mixing in.

But that's just me.


How to Make Oyakodon (Japanese Chicken and Egg Rice Bowl)

August 2016

Recipe Details

Oyakodon (Japanese Chicken and Egg Rice Bowl) Recipe

Cook 20 mins
Active 20 mins
Total 20 mins
Serves 2 servings

Quick and easy, this popular restaurant dish is easy to perfect at home.


  • 1 cup (240ml) homemade or instant dashi (see notes)

  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) dry sake

  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) soy sauce, plus more to taste

  • 1 tablespoon (15g) sugar, plus more to taste

  • 1 large onion (about 6 ounces; 170g), thinly sliced

  • 12 ounces (340g) boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breast, thinly sliced

  • 3 scallions, ends trimmed and thinly sliced, divided

  • 2 stems mitsuba (optional; see note)

  • 3 to 4 large eggs (see note)

To Serve:


  1. Combine dashi, sake, soy sauce, and sugar in a 10-inch skillet and bring to a simmer over high heat. Adjust heat to maintain a strong simmer. Stir in onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is half tender, about 5 minutes. Add chicken pieces and cook, stirring and turning chicken occasionally, until chicken is cooked through and broth has reduced by about half, 5 to 7 minutes for chicken thighs or 3 to 4 minutes for chicken breast. Stir in half of scallions and all of mitsuba (if using), then season broth to taste with more soy sauce or sugar as desired. The sauce should have a balanced sweet-and-salty flavor.

    A four-image collage showing the initial oyakodon cooking steps. The top left image shows the onions being cooked in broth. The top right image shows the chicken, uncooked, added to the pan of onions. The bottom left image shows the cooked chicken, onions, and broth in the pan. The bottom right image shows the cooked chicken, onions, and broth topped with scallions.

    Serious Eats / Qi Ai

  2. Reduce heat to a bare simmer. Pour beaten eggs into skillet in a thin, steady stream, holding chopsticks over edge of bowl to help distribute eggs evenly (see video above). Cover and cook until eggs are cooked to desired doneness, about 1 minute for runny eggs or 3 minutes for medium-firm.

    A two-image collage. The top image shows the pan of cooked chicken, onions, stock, and scallions having the whisked egg poured in. The bottom image shows the pan now containing all of the ingredients, including the egg.

    Serious Eats / Qi Ai

  3. To Serve: Transfer hot rice to a single large bowl or 2 individual serving bowls. Top with egg and chicken mixture, pouring out any excess broth from saucepan over rice. Add an extra egg yolk to center of each bowl, if desired (see note). Garnish with remaining sliced scallions and togarashi. Serve immediately.

    A two-image collage showing the oyakodon being plated. The top image shows the cooked mixture being put into a bowl with rice. The bottom image shows the bowl now topped with a raw egg yolk.

    Serious Eats / Qi Ai

Special Equipment



Homemade dashi is nice, but not necessary for this simple dish, which has so many other strong flavors.

Mitsuba is a Japanese herb similar to parsley. It can be found in Japanese grocery stores; omit it if unavailable.

For a richer finished dish, use 4 eggs, reserving 2 of the yolks. Beat the extra egg whites together with the eggs in step 2, then add the reserved egg yolks to the finished bowls just before serving.

Togarashi is Japanese chile powder, which comes in both ichimi (chiles only) and shichimi (chiles blended with other dried aromatics) versions. Either will work on this dish.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
635 Calories
19g Fat
63g Carbs
50g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2
Amount per serving
Calories 635
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 19g 24%
Saturated Fat 6g 29%
Cholesterol 436mg 145%
Sodium 960mg 42%
Total Carbohydrate 63g 23%
Dietary Fiber 3g 9%
Total Sugars 11g
Protein 50g
Vitamin C 9mg 45%
Calcium 114mg 9%
Iron 5mg 29%
Potassium 916mg 19%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)