Eggs are an incredibly versatile ingredient and can be used in thousands of different dishes. The way that eggs are cooked in each country varies depending on the ingredients that are available, as well as culture. Oddly, the same can be said for chicken. While the Japanese add eggs in so many of its dishes (they call it “tamago”) such as sushi and soups, there is one dish that sticks out as being especially eggy (and chickeny) with good reason. That dish is a donburi bowl that is cleverly named oyakodon.
What is the Meaning Behind Oyakodon?
The word “oyakodon” literally translates to a donburi that is made from a “parent-and-child”. Why would a bowl of food be so crudely and graphically named after a parent and child you may ask? The answer is: because the dish really is made up of the parent and child. Japanese culture loves using poetic language, thus adding a hidden background story to some of their names for certain things. So, the parent in the oyakodon is the chicken ingredient, and the child is the egg ingredient. The Japanese simply thought it was a poetic and witty name to give to such a delicious dish.
How to Properly Eat Oyakodon
Because it’s a Japanese dish, eat it like the Japanese do – with chopsticks (no knife and fork this time) and straight from the bowl. However, there is a technique to getting the best experience out of your oyakodon. You’ll notice that the toppings are placed above the rice. This means that your ratio of rice to egg and chicken may not be proportionate, and you might just finish everything and have so much leftover rice. The solution to this is to eat it from the bottom up. Start by getting chunks of rice from the bottom to incorporate it with the toppings, and you get an evenly balanced meal.
The Best Oyakodon in Tokyo
It’s relatively easy to find oyakodon anywhere in Tokyo. You should be able to find it in any restaurant that serves donburi, as it’s relatively easy to make and eaten by many in Japan because it’s quick and isn’t difficult to cook. One restaurant that’s got good reviews is Hashidaya Honten in Shibuya. It serves both yakitori and oyakodon (those two make most of their menu) and its reviews rave about the perfect consistency of their runny egg, and tender chicken, and steaming rice. When it comes to the best oyakodon in town, however, many will point to the origin and veteran of creating oyakodon – Tamahide.
Tamahide; the Restaurant that Started Oyakodon
The restaurant that created and popularized this dish did so as far back as the year 1891, but the restaurant business of Tamahide has been up and running since 1760. You can get your fix of Japan’s best oyakodon in the branch of Tamahide located in Nihonbashi. Expect a long line of people wanting a taste of this marvelous dish, but the wait is worth it. Tamahide doesn’t serve anything else except for oyakodon, but it comes it a set meal. It’s also a cash-only food joint. Aside from the main course, one order comes with a side dish of green onion, broth, and roasted tea. A single order here costs around 1,500-2,000 yen.
Whip A Meal Up Using the Best Oyakodon Recipe
If Japan is too far away, worry not – you can make oyakodon yourself. The most popular (and thus, presumably the best) recipe online calls for 4 cups of water, an onion; halved and diced, 2 cups of raw jasmine rice, 4 chopped up boneless and skinless chicken thighs, 4 eggs, 3 tablespoons of brown sugar, three tablespoons Japanese rice wine, ¼ a cup of soy sauce, and 2 cups of dashi stock.
To begin the procedure, you must first make rice. Wash the rice until the water isn’t murky anymore. This takes about three to four rinses. Once the rice is properly cleaned, add the 4 cups of water, and bring that to a simmer, and let it cook for 25 minutes.
Using a nonstick pan, brown the chicken. Once it’s browned, add in the chopped onion until that’s softened. Next, add the liquids; stock, followed by the mirin and soy sauce. Add the brown sugar and melt it in the mix. Continue letting this all simmer for 10 minutes. You should notice that the consistency of the glaze around the chicken has thickened.
In another bowl, beat the eggs, and add them into the chicken mix on the nonstick pan. Cover the pan, and let the egg cook for a minute – or five. Take a bowl, add your desired amount of rice, then top off with the egg and chicken creation. Add half a cup of the sauce/drippings from the pan, and voila – you’ve made yourself some oyakodon.
How to Make the Special Oyakodon Sauce
Sure, oyakodon is made primarily out of eggs, chicken, and rice – but the sauces combined to create the glorious gooey mixture that coats the chicken and egg really carries the dish. The sauce is just a reduction of six ingredients; (optional) sake, dashi, soy sauce, mirin, sugar, and onions/scallions. Marinated bits of the chicken and egg give this sauce more body. Basically, if you ever just crave the sauce and can do without the extra trimmings from the eggs and chicken, you can combine the proper ratios of those ingredients, and let them simmer. Keep it in a container to use on any dish you like.
Buy A Pan Made Just for Cooking Oyakodon
Oyakodon is often cooked as a quick meal, especially when the rice is ready made. Cooking the chicken and egg portion only takes a little less than 15 minutes, so oyakodon lovers want to be able to cook it with as much convenience as possible - thus, the oyakodon pan was born. The oyakodon pan is different from any other normal pan because its handle is vertical. This vertical handle makes it easier to slip the chicken and egg toppings straight into the bowl, instead of risking the possibility of spilling the contents of a pan with a flimsy horizontal handle. You can buy one of these in online stores that sell Japanese restaurant supplies. Prices for these special pans range from $18 to $40+.
Calories and Nutrients in Oyakodon
A ball-park figure for calories coming from an average amount of oyakodon should be around 590 calories. This is coming from the breakdown of the ingredients that would usually make up the meal. One cup of medium grain white rice would be 242 calories. Add some chicken breast without its skin, and you’ll have around 143 calories. A single large egg should be worth 72 calories, while the tablespoon of rice wine adds another 70 calories. Don’t forget 24 calories for the 1 and a half teaspoon of sugar and 14 calories for the soy sauce, 10 calories for the sake and 8 calories for the .2 cup of scallions. 8 ounces of the chicken broth yields 2 calories.
Based on the mentioned servings, the total fat you’ll get from your meal is 7.6 grams, 2.2 of which is saturated. Cholesterol is at 281.6 mg, sodium at 2,154 mg. Carbohydrates reach 78.7 grams, sugars, 20.3g. The protein in this meal is worth 42.8 grams. This meal is highest in Vitamin B6 (gives you 43.9% of your required daily intake), 93.7% of Niacin, and 74.6% of Selenium. It has trace amounts of other vitamins and minerals as well, such as Vitamin A, B-12, C, D, E, calcium, copper, folate, iron, magnesium, manganese, pantothenic acid, phosphorus, riboflavin, thiamin, and zinc.
Search “Oyakodon Near Me” For Great Restaurants Around Your Area
Craving for some oyakodon now? It’s easy to find out where to go to get that oyakodon fix. No matter where you are in the world, google can help you out there. To find out which restaurants in your area serve oyakodon, simply google “Oyakodon near me”, and google reply with a whole host of results that you could sift through. If you want to be extra sure that the restaurants suggested have the dish you want, you can call their phone number (it’s usually provided by the website that suggests the restaurant) and find out before heading there in person.
The Best Oyakodon in NYC
Being such a diverse city, there are tons of options to pick from when it comes to eating good oyakodon in the big apple. Restaurants that are suggested are Sakagura, Katsu-Hama, Yakitori Totto, and OOTOYA Times Square, just to name a few. They have all garnered ratings higher than 4 stars and earned their spot on the list of recommendations for oyakodon and Japanese food in general. It now boils down to your location and preference as to the ambiance of the restaurant, as well as the other meals they serve.
Sakagura scores a 4.5 and is known for its super sake (over 200 kinds) and small servings of Japanese food. It’s on 43rd street in New York, NY. Hatsu Kama is more laid back, scoring 4.0, and also makes a mean tonkatsu (fried pork cutlets). Yakitori Totto, reviewed by 275 people and hitting a 4.5 in its ratings, is more of an in-and-out busy place for great yakitori. OOTOYA, found in Times Square, has a more traditional feel to it compared to the other spots, with 195 people rating it an average of 4.4 out of 5 stars. It serves Japanese comfort food such as hot soup and noodles (soba) and yakitori as well as hot pots, attracting tourists.
Want A Systematic Tutorial on How to Make Oyakodon? Visit YouTube
Not everybody does well with reading instructions. Some prefer a more audio-visual kind of example. Long time ago, the only way this would be attainable to cook in front of someone. Now, however, YouTube makes it so much easier to see and learn techniques that chefs sometimes have hard time putting on paper. Not only do they get to copy the process in every phase, but they also see what the product looks like every step of the way so they have a point of comparison. There are dozens of videos on YouTube that teach you how to cook oyakodon, each with their own methods, styles, and recipes.
The beauty about oyakodon is that it doesn’t have an acquired taste. It’s got a great balance of both protein and carbs to fuel you throughout your day. It is loved and can be appreciated by people all over the world, crossing cultural and age boundaries. In Japan, it reminds many of home and a delicious, every-day lunch that fills one up. It’s also incredibly malleable; you can top it with your favorite seasonings and eat it how you want it.
Oyakodon is great to eat on all occasions. If you haven’t tried it yet, take any chance you get to do so. Or, you can make a bowl of it to say hi to an old friend – she’ll surely thank you for it.