Experiences - Asia

Must-eat in Japan – Oyakodon

Among the many dishes that you savour in Japan Oyakodon is a must-have. Oyakodon is chicken and egg in seasoned sauce over rice in a bowl. Oyako means parents and children, like chicken and egg, and don (donburi) means a bowl. It’s a quick and easy, whole meal in one bowl and is a healthy dish since everything is boiled with no oil added.

You can find Oyakodon in most of the casual restaurants in Japan and most commonly at Udon noodle shops since they have very good Dashi (fish sauce) for noodles. For Oyakodon the sauce is very important and if you have good sauce, your job is half done. Of course, making it at home is easy and healthy.

Oyakodon

Image Courtesy: Yuichi Sakuraba used under the Creative Commons Licence

At some of the yakitori restaurants, the chicken is often skewered and grilled first to bring down the fat and then grilled in charcoal, which brings out a wonderful flavour in Oyakodon. However, most of the preparations at home involve frying the chicken in the pan. It’s important to leave the skin-on because it keeps the chicken moist and adds flavor.

If you are making Oyakodon at home and want to get rid of the fat in the chicken, just put it in a cold dry pan, and skin it down with the weight on top. The fat in the skin which goes in contact with the pan while slowly raising the temperature reduces the fat and leaves a crisp layer of chicken skin that’s brimming with flavor. The chicken becomes spongy when dipped in the sauce and absorbs all the wonderful flavors in the dashi, ensuring each juicy morsel of chicken is flavourful.

Japan - Oyakodon Recipe

Image Courtesy: George Alexander Ishida Newman used under the Creative Commons Licence

After roasting the chicken you boil the mirin by adding the dashi, soy sauce and sugar along with chunks of chicken and simmer it until the chicken absorbs all the sauces. This is followed by running the beaten eggs until it forms a fluffy layer and is seasoned with green onions. Portion out the egg and chicken into a bowl of steamed rice and drizzle with the remaining sauce.

With flavourful chunks of chicken, wrapped in a blanket of eggs Oyakodon is something you just can’t miss.

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