The ExPat Returneth

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Chicken & Rice: What Else Do You Need?


How many countries have a classic chicken and rice dish? I know one of my favorite meals at my friend's house is arroz con pollo, rice and chicken. 

My taste buds melt at the thought of arroz con pollo... 

As I write, my stomach is making a noise similar to a lawnmower hitting a chunk of wood. That's how good it is. And maybe she'll share the recipe (hint, hint) for the blog. But I've got another chicken and rice dish for you, another recipe I've brought home from Japan. This is my go-to meal and a family favorite. It’s simple, fairly healthy, and very cheap to make. 

Oyakodon literally translates as parent and child (oyoko) rice bowl (don), but the basic translation is chicken and egg on rice. A very traditional meal that you can find in many restaurants and homes in Japan, this is another simple and delicious Japanese dish that doesn't involve raw fish.

One of these days maybe  I'll slip raw fish into the mix, but I'd rather inspire you with these great comfort foods from Japan that are easy to make outside the country. 

chicken & onion in sauce

It should serve 4 people, but the ratios are easy to double.

*3-4 chicken thighs: deboned, deskinned and cut into bite-size pieces
1 onion, sliced thin
4 TB soy sauce
4 TB mirin (Japanese sweet cooking wine, easy to find now in major supermarkets)
3 tsp sugar
1 c. water
3 beaten eggs

Hot cooked rice (3-4 cups). Japanese rice is short grain, stickier and less dry than long grain. But use what you've got. That's my motto.

  1. Combine all ingredients in a skillet except the egg and rice. Boil for about 4 minutes (until chicken no longer looks pink).
  2. Add the beaten egg in a thin stream, turning the pan, so that it covers the cooked mixture.
  3. Continue to cook until eggs are almost firm.
  4. Scoop rice into individual bowls and ladle chicken and egg mixture on top of the rice.
    Adding beaten egg

You can’t get much easier than that! 
*To make it healthier, you could use chicken breast meat. Japanese people generally use thigh meat, but we’ve cooked with breast. Just be sure not to cook it too long. 
Letting eggs set
Now it's your turn! Do you have a simple chicken and rice dish from your expat country or something similar? Let's swap recipes. Send it to me and I'll post it in a Quick and Dirty Wednesday.  


  1. Definitely going to try this. Have you ever done anything like this with tofu? Georgia is a vegetarian who loves eggs.

  2. Yum! I'm definitely going to try this too. I'll make sure to tell the kids the recipe comes from my friend who used to live in Japan and knows all about those bathroom stalls that Mater tried to use in Cars 2. I think it will predispose them to liking the recipe. ;)

  3. Thanks Cat & Denise!
    Cat--you could try it with tofu, although it would probably work better with aburaage tofu (deep-fried tofu). You can find it in an Asian food store & looks yellow, wrinkly & a little fluffier than regular tofu. (Have you been to Oriental Market in Newnan? I can take you sometime if you want).

    Also, I make mabodofu a lot, which is a Chinese tofu & sauce dish popular in Japan. It also uses ground pork, but you can probably leave that out. We had it 2 nights ago. My kids love it & uses regular tofu. Maybe I'll do that recipe in the next few weeks.

  4. Larissa, I made this tonight for dinner! It was really yummy! Thanks for the recipe! --Angela

    1. So glad you liked it, Angela! One of our favorites.