Oyakodon (Japanese Rice Bowl)

Oyakodon is one of our favorite family meals; our sons argue over who can take leftovers to school for lunch the next day. It literally means “parent-child rice bowl”. In this donburi (Japanese rice bowl dish), chicken thighs are cooked in a ginger-soy sauce and a fried egg sits atop a scoop of soft and creamy Japanese rice.

There are a few unusual ingredients in this recipe, but don’t let them discourage you. They’re fairly common staples in many Japanese recipes, and you can purchase them in relatively small quantities. We provide links to all of them – the more common gluten-free soy sauce (to keep our meals wheat-free) and the less well-known Ichimi togarashi powdered Japanese red chile; dried shaved bonito flakes; and Konbu dried seaweed sheets.

Oyakodon (Japanese Rice Bowl)

Oyakodon literally means “parent-child rice bowl”. It’s a donburi (Japanese rice bowl dish) in which chicken, egg, sliced scallion, and other ingredients are simmered together and served on top of a large bowl of rice. These chicken thighs are cooked in a spicy/sweet ginger-soy sauce and a hot fried egg sits atop a scoop of soft and creamy Japanese rice.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: dairy free, Japanese
Keyword: chicken, ginger, sugar-free, wheat-free, Whole Life Challenge
Servings: 6
Calories: 353kcal


  • 1/4 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken thigh
  • 2 tbsp sake
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger finely slivered
  • 2 1/2 cups Katsuobushi Dashi
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp mirin
  • 1 bunch green onions chopped rough
  • 4 eggs room temperature
  • 2 cups Japanese rice prepared
  • Ichimi togarashi to taste

Katsuobushi Dashi

  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 4 inch Konbu
  • 1 handful dried shaved bonito flakes


  • Make the Katsuobushi Dashi: Add your Konbu to the water in a microwave-proof container and microwave for about 2 minutes, just before the water starts to boil. Remove from the microwave and let it rest for 5 minutes. Remove the konbu and add a handful of bonito flakes. Microwave for another 2 minutes and then let it rest for 5 minutes. Strain out the bonito and retain the broth.
  • Prep the chicken: season both sides with salt, sake, and ginger.
  • Bring the Dashi, soy sauce, and mirin to a simmer in a large frying pan for about 3 minutes or until the liquids are reduced by half. Add the green onions and chicken and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, 5-7 minutes.
  • In another pan, fry your eggs until the whites are set and the yokes still runny. 
  • Ladle a serving of chicken with vegetables and broth over a scoop of Japanese rice; add one fried egg. Season with Ichimi togarashi, or Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste. Enjoy!


Every recipe we’ve tried from Nancy Singleton Hachisu’s beautiful cookbook, “Japan” has been delicious. Her instructions are fastidious and we occasionally struggle to find ingredients, but we’ve been able to adapt and find adequate replacements. We highly recommend this book!
We use gluten-free soy sauce to keep our meals wheat-free.
Ichimi togarashi is a powdered Japanese red chile; it adds a deliciously mild spice and we love it.
Katsuobushi Dashi is a highly flavorful broth that forms the base for many Japanese entrees. We used dried shaved bonito flakes in our version. Konbu is dried seaweed; if you find it at your local grocer, it will likely be in packages of flat sheets, hanging from a rack.

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