This is one of my favorite Japanese dishes and even if you’re not a fan of sushi or teriyaki, I strongly suggest you try it out. It’s admittedly not pretty to look at… but the intricate flavor is like nothing else. The name of the dish literally translates to “Mother and child” because it utilizes both the chicken AND the egg. My husband’s mom used to make it for him as a child, using her grandmother’s recipe, but I was first introduced to Oyako Donburi when I was sixteen. It was at a tiny restaurant in San Francisco while Ryan and I were attending the Cherry Blossom Festival together. I was in love! …and Ryan was ok too. Lol! It wasn’t until years later, when we’d moved to the countryside (and two hours from the nearest descent Japanese restaurant) that I realized how easy it would be to make at home. The only problem: Although we now live in a multigenerational household with my mother-in-law, she’s survived five massive strokes and a carotid artery bypass operation that has left her completely paralyzed and with limited speech abilities. She had never written the recipe down and both her mother and grandmother have long ago left this world. But with diligence and patience, I’ve created a recipe that both my MIL and my husband agree “Tastes like grandma’s”. Enjoy!
2 cups rice (brown or white)
Water for rice
1 tablespoon Oil
2 chicken breasts, cut into small strips
2 cups chicken broth (a 14.5 oz can works perfectly too!)
1 onion, cut into thin slices
2 carrots, cut into thin slices
1 bunch green onions, chopped
2 cups (1 package) sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup Soy sauce
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons sugar
10 eggs, lightly beaten
FOR BROWN RICE:
1. Stir two cups brown rice and one tablespoon olive oil or butter, uncovered, over medium-high heat until a few kernels have turned white. Stir constantly so it doesn’t burn to the bottom of the pot.
2. Add four cups water to the pot (watch out! It’ll sizzle!) and bring to a boil. Stir well, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 1 hour. Start making Oyako Donburi when 15 minutes are remaining on the timer.
FOR WHITE RICE:
1. Combine two cups rice and three cups water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Start making Oyako Donburi immediately.
FOR OYAKO DONBURI:
1. In a large pot, cook chicken in oil over medium-high heat until cooked through.
2. Add onion and stir just enough to combine.
3. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Immediately add carrots and mushrooms. Bring to a boil again then reduce heat and simmer for two minutes.
4. Add soy sauce, salt and sugar. Mix well and simmer for another two minutes.
5. Add half the green onions and gently stir to combine.
6. Pour the beaten eggs over the chicken mixture. DO NOT MIX!!
7. Cover pot with a lid and let simmer for 5 minutes, then remove lid and allow to simmer another 5 minutes uncovered.
8. Serve in a bowl, over rice, with remaining green onions sprinkled on top. Drench the rice with broth like a soup.
9. Eat. Yum!