oyakodon for 1

Oyakodon for 1

Today I’d like to share one of my own favorites for solo cooking: oyakodon for 1. This is simple and quick to put together, and it’s both tasty and easy.

Oyako-don is a classic Japanese dish composed of chicken, onion, and egg over rice. It’s a one-pot dish (well, two if you use a rice cooker) and goes together very quickly. In Japanese, oya means “parent” and ko means “child”, so this is literally parent-and-child rice bowl, in case you like multicultural puns with your meal. Simmer bite-size chicken pieces, tender onion, and softly cooked egg together in a sweet/salty sauce. This is definitely comfort food!

You’ll need a bowl of cooked rice: your choice of style. Me, I use a rice cooker and make short-grain rice, but if you prefer another variety, use it. Cut a chicken thigh – yes, you can use breast if you prefer; the cooking time will be just a little shorter. Cut a very small onion. Measure and mix some liquid ingredients, and lightly beat an egg. Then it’s just a matter of putting stuff in a small skillet, and cooking until things are done. You’ll be eating within 15 minutes.

For the cooking: put the onion and seasoning/sauce in a cold skillet, and bring it to a boil. Simmer this to both cook the onion and reduce the liquid; this concentrates the flavors. Then add the chicken, cook it gently, flipping the pieces once. Drizzle most of the egg over everything, cook until nearly done, then drizzle the rest of the egg, sprinkle with green onion, and in a minute or two everything is ready. Serve it over a bowl of hot rice, and dig in!

And that’s all there is to making oyakodon for 1.


oyakodon for 1

Oyakodon for 1

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: chicken, rice bowl, eggs, serves 2, small batch, serves 1, solo eating
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 1 serving
A traditional Japanese rice-bowl dish: chicken and egg (parent and child) bowl. Chicken, onions, eggs in a savory sauce.
Print Recipe


  • 1 tiny onion (ping pong ball size), peeled alternative: ¼ regular onion or 1 large shallot
  • 1 medium boneless skinless chicken thigh, about 5 oz
  • 1 teaspoon sake for marinating the chicken
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup dashi or chicken stock
  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon mirin
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 green onion, sliced thinly
  • 1 bowl cooked rice


  • If you're using one, start the rice cooker: I'd use ½ rice cup, for a single serving, but if you are very hungry, use a full cup. If you're not using a rice cooker, you'll still need a bowl of cooked rice.
  • Prepare the chicken: trim the fat from the chicken thigh. Cut the thigh along the grain into strips not quite an inch wide. Next, angle the knife and slice the strips against the grain into pieces about an inch square (sogigiri cutting technique). Put the chicken in a bowl and sprinkle with the sake; let this stand for 5 mintues or so, while you continue with the recipe.
  • Prepare seasonings: combine the dashi (or stock), soy sauce, mirin, and sugar in a small bowl or measuring cup and stir well until the sugar is dissolved.
  • Slice the onion or shallot lengthwise, about ¼ inch wide and reserve. Crack the egg(s) into a separate small bowl; beat the egg slightly.
  • Cook: first, put the onions in a cold 8" skillet, then add the seasonings mixture. That mixture should just cover the onions; if it doesn't, the pan is too big (in which case use a smaller pan) Turn the heat to medium and bring the mixture to a simmer. Once simmering, add the chicken on top of the onions and make sure they are evenly distributed. Once simmering again, lower the heat to med-low and cook, uncovered, about 5 minutes, until the chicken is no longer pink and the onions are tender. Halfway through, flip the chicken pieces.
  • Add the egg in 2 stages: ⅔ first, then the rest later. Increase the heat to medium, and make sure the liquid is simmering (small bubbles around the edges). Drizzle ⅔ the eggs in a circular pattern over the chicken and onions, avoiding the edges of the pan. When the eggs are still runny but just set, add the rest of the eggs to the center and around the edges of the pan. Add green onion on top and cook on med-low until the egg is done to your liking.
  • Slide the chicken/egg mass over a bowl of rice; drizzle some (or all) of the pan sauce over the top.


Note: if you prefer to use chicken breast, the cooking time will be a bit less. Cut part of a chicken breast half; the ones I find in my grocery store are huge and you only need about 5 oz of chicken.