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Mother and Child over Rice: Oyako-don

Not human mother and child.  This is not going to be weird, spooky story at all.

It’s one of many Japanese soul food dishes.  Oyako means “parent and child(ren).”  This dish is made with chicken and egg and that’s why it’s called “Oyako”-don.  Some Oyako-don restaurants are very serious about what they serve, like this very famous and beloved Oyako-don restaurant called Tamahide in Tokyo, established in 1760.  This is something my mom barely made when I was growing up.  I felt I was struck by thunder when my kindergarten class mate’s mom (our neighbor.  My mom and she were so close) made it for me one day.  Nostalgia…

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Oyako-don for 2:  Chicken (I used breast, cut in bite size), 1/2 x  onion, 2 x eggs, sugar, sake, mirin (sweet wine), soy sauce, dashi (bonito stock).  Mix all the liquids, then cook onions for a few minutes and then add chicken. Cook until chicken is tender.  Turn the heat off.  Then add beaten eggs and cook about 3 minutes with low heat or until eggs are done per your preference.  Add that over rice.

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I tried to eat this at a couple of different restaurants but  I always prefer to eat at home.  I think that is because I want to cook my eggs MY way and also my memory of that evening when our neighbor made it for me while my mom was out.  I was missing my mother but I couldn’t hide my excitement to eat this dish I hadn’t seen before.  It smelled sweet and looked so colorful and fun.  I remember it tasted so joyous!

I don’t make my Oyako-don with that much of excitement anymore, but I still enjoy it when I do.  The combination of smells between the sugar, dashi, soy sauce, chicken and onions!  You don’t have to do much, all you have to do is to wait until it creates its magic.  That few minutes of patience, that alone is worth cooking this dish.

It was delicious.

3 Comments

  1. Smaaak says

    I love chicken, I love egg, I love the dish you speak of in Japanese restaurants. But I never knew the name. ‘Mother and son’…… it never occurred to me that it is so. Suddenly I wasn’t sure it is right to eat this dish, it just doesn’t sound right. I was quite horrified when I realized.

    But after looking at your recipe I decide I will try it, since you make it sound so simple, maybe minus dashi since I do not know what that is or if it’s available.

    But I mustn’t remember the name, really makes it hard to swallow. (Denial is acceptable?)

    Thanks for the recipe. I am sure I will feel as warm as you did with it.

    • Thank you so much for leaving your comment and I loved your honesty 🙂 You can try without dashi. Please let me know how you think about the dish. Have a wonderful one wherever you are!

      • Smaaak says

        I’ll let you know when. I’m not too often in the kitchen. This time I had bought chicken wings, so that’s no good for Mother and Child. I’m in Hong Kong. Lot’s of Japanese food here but my main go to dish is usually salmon, fat tuna, arkshell, yellowtail sushi or sashimi and crab roe salad until I found out they spray these raw meat with preservative….. no wonder my body get a reaction to them. And I thought it was the saltiness of the soyasauce.

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