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…
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.
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.