Oyakodon is short for Oyako Donburi. It’s also the best type of Donburi if you ask me. Donburi means rice bowl and most rice bowls end in -don, for example, katsudon is a pork chop rice bowl and gyudon is a beef rice bowl. Oyako translates to parent and child. Oyakodon is made with chicken and egg – so that’s where the reference comes from. Oyakodon is prepared with grilled chicken and onion that is sautéed and then cooked in a sweet dashi. Egg is then added to the dashi mix and covered to steam. Once the eggs are cooked, the entire combination is served on steamed white rice.
When I first visited started visiting Japan more than 20 years ago, I was coming to work and I always flew into the same airport and had to wait for the bus to take me into town. While I was waiting, I would go to this little cafe where they prepared the most delicious dishes. One day I ordered oyakodon – at the time I had no idea what it was. But when I tasted the sweet chicken and onion cooked with eggs and served over a bowl of rice, it quickly became my favorite dish when I would visit. It wasn’t until several years later that I made my own and realized how easy it is to make this wonderful rice bowl. Since then I have made it many, many times for both myself and my family.