Oyako literally means parents and children in Japanese and is a reference to two of the dish's main ingredients: chicken and egg. Oyako is a donburi, also called a don, which means rice bowl. The chicken and eggs are simmered in a flavorful broth and then the mixture is spooned over bowls of steamed Japanese rice.
This is a traditional Japanese dish that has been around quite some time--it was first cooked at Tamahide, a Tokyo restaurant, in 1891. Now it is a popular menu item at Japanese diners.
Dashi soup stock is a key ingredient in many Japanese soups including miso soup as well as many noodle dishes. It is made when water is boiled with edible kelp (kombu) and shavings of preserved, fermented skipjack tuna (katsoubushi). It is then strained to create the broth. Mirin, an essential Japanese condiment, is a rice wine similar to sake but with a lower alcohol content and higher sugar content.
- 1 2/3 cups dashi soup stock
- 7 tbsp. soy sauce
- 1/4 cup mirin
- 3 tbsp. sugar
- 3/4 lb. boneless chicken thighs (or chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces)
- 1 onion (thinly sliced)
- 4 eggs
- 4 cups Japanese rice (steamed)
- Optional: nori (dried seaweed), cut into strips
Add chicken and simmer on low heat for a few minutes. Add onion slices and simmer for a few more minutes.
Lightly beat eggs in a bowl.
Bring the soup to a boil, and pour the eggs over chicken and onion. Turn the heat down to low and cover with a lid. After about one minute, turn off the heat.
Spoon steamed rice into individual deep bowls, and serve simmered chicken and egg on top of the rice. Sprinkle strips of dried nori on top if you would like.