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What is Oyako Udon?
Oyako udon (親子うどん) is a simple dish made with pan-fried chicken thigh and simmered egg served in a light, dashi base udon soup.
You might have heard the term “oyako” before in the more famous dish “Oyakodon”. In Japanese, Oyako (親子) means “parent and child” and refers to the chicken and egg being served together.
While Oyakodon and Oyako Udon use similar ingredients, the biggest difference is that Oyakodon is served over rice, and Oyako Udon is served in a noodle soup. The egg is prepared differently too.
How I Developed This Recipe
When I set out to develop this Oyako Udon recipe, I wanted to create a comforting, heartwarming sensation.
In my experience, the magic of Oyako Udon lies in its simplicity. So, I’ve kept the salt on the lower side, allowing the natural flavors of the chicken to shine through.
I think this dish is a symphony of subtle flavors, where each ingredient plays its part harmoniously. I hope you’ll give it a try and experience the warmth of home-cooked feeling!
Ingredients & Substitution Ideas
- Udon Noodles: I always love the chewy texture of these thick wheat noodles. Whether you choose pre-boiled, dried, or frozen udon, they’re the star of this dish.
- Boneless Chicken Thigh: I’ve tried using both chicken breast and thigh, but in my opinion, go for the skin-on thighs. They’re juicier, and the flavor is unbeatable thanks to the additional fat.
- Green Onion: I typically use thick long green onions (naga-negi). But, if they’re hard to find in your area, leeks are a great substitute. The dish still tastes amazing!
- Dashi Broth: The soul of our soup! My go-to is simple awase dashi, but there’s also vegan dashi. And if you’re pressed for time, instant dashi granules or dashi packets do the trick.
- Soy Sauce: Kikkoman soy sauce is my recommendation for affordability without compromising on taste. Want to explore more about soy sauce? Check out my comprehensive soy sauce guide on selecting the perfect one for Japanese dishes.
- Mirin: Always look for “hon mirin” (本みりん). Hinode Hon Mirin is both top-quality and budget-friendly. For more options, see my 20 Most Useful Condiments and Seasonings for Japanese Cooking post.
- Grated Ginger: Sometimes, for convenience, I swap this out with Ginger paste. It’s just as good!
- Potato starch: In my experience, cornstarch or tapioca starch can be used as alternatives.
- Egg: I’ve made this recipe using medium-sized eggs, but S or L-size eggs work just as well.
- Toppings: I used finely chopped green onion sprinkled with Japanese chili powder (shichimi togarashi). It adds that extra kick!
Curious about the exact brands and products that bring my recipes to life? Discover the brands and ingredients behind my recipes at the Sudachi Amazon Storefront. Explore my handpicked pantry essentials and find your next kitchen favorites!Jump to Full Recipe Measurements
Visual Walkthrough & Tips
Here are my step-by-step instructions for how to make Oyako Udon at home. For ingredient quantities and simplified instructions, scroll down for the Printable Recipe Card below.
First things first: Grab your boneless chicken thighs and cut them into bite-sized pieces. From my perspective, this size is perfect for a hearty bite without being overwhelming.
Sprinkle a pinch of salt and pepper over them for a light seasoning.
Now, this is where the magic happens. Heat your frying pan on medium. Once it’s hot, add cooking oil and place the chicken in the pan, skin-side down.
I’ve always found that crisping up the fat and skin first improves the texture and taste. Fry them for about 3 minutes, ensuring the skin gets crisp golden-brown.
Then, flip them over and fry the other side for 2 minutes.
Combine dashi stock, salt, soy sauce, mirin, and ginger paste in a medium saucepan. Mix it all together and bring to a boil.
Once boiling, reduce the heat to let it simmer.
Here’s a thought: a well-thickened broth makes all the difference. I made a slurry by mixing cold water with potato starch in a small bowl to achieve this.
This slurry ensures the egg floats evenly in the soup, enhancing the overall texture and making sure the flavor clings to the noodles. Pour this slurry into the simmering broth, stirring continuously.
In my experience, adding potato starch directly to hot broth results in gummy, unpleasant lumps. That’s why it’s crucial to mix it with cold water first.
Then, add the crispy chicken pieces and the green onions to the broth. And here’s my favorite part: pour in the chicken juices from the frying pan. It’s these little touches that make the dish truly special.
Whisk the eggs in a separate bowl until well beaten. With the broth on medium heat, slowly drizzle in one-third of the whisked egg.
The temperature of the broth will dip, so be patient. Wait for it to bubble again before adding the next portion of egg. This technique ensures the egg forms delicate ribbons throughout the soup.
Once all the egg is added, gently stir just a couple of times and remove the pan from the heat. Overmixing is a no-no, as we want those beautiful egg ribbons intact.
Rinse the cooked udon with hot water and divide it into serving bowls. Pour an equal amount of the subtle broth over the noodles.
Garnish with finely chopped green onions, and for a spicy kick, sprinkle some Japanese chili powder.
Enjoy!Jump to Full Recipe Measurements
How to Store
In my honest opinion, there’s nothing like a bowl of freshly made Udon noodles in soup. It’s a comforting dish that’s best enjoyed immediately.
But in case you over-estimate your appetite, you can store the soup in the refrigerator as leaving the noodles in the soup for an extended period can lose their texture, turning them soft and mushy.
The soup can be stored in a sealable container in the refrigerator for one to two days, then reheated and served with a fresh batch of noodles. Note that freezing is not recommended because the soup contains eggs.
I hope you enjoy this Oyako Udon recipe! If you try it out, I’d really appreciate it if you could spare a moment to let me know what you thought by giving a review and star rating in the comments below. It’s also helpful to share any adjustments you made to the recipe with our other readers. Thank you!
More Japanese Udon Recipes
- Tori Nanban Udon (Chicken and Green Onion Udon Soup)
- Chicken Yaki Udon (Garlic, Soy Sauce and Butter Udon Stir Fry)
- Tsukimi Udon (Udon Soup with Egg)
Want more inspiration? Explore my Udon Roundup Post for a carefully selected collection of tasty udon recipe ideas to spark your next meal!
Oyako Udon (Chicken and Egg Udon Noodle Soup)
- 150 g boneless chicken thigh(s) skin-on, boneless
- 1 pinch salt and pepper
- 30 g green onion(s)
- ½ tsp cooking oil
- 500 ml dashi stock
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp mirin
- ½ tsp ginger paste or grated fresh ginger
- 2 portions udon noodles
- 1 tbsp cold water
- 1 tbsp potato starch or corn starch
- 2 medium egg(s)
- finely chopped green onion(s) finely chopped – optional
- Japanese chili powder (shichimi togarashi) optional
- Cut 150 g boneless chicken thigh(s) into bite size pieces and sprinkle with 1 pinch salt and pepper.
- Cut 30 g green onion(s) into diagonal slices about 5mm thick and set aside.
- Heat a frying pan on medium and once hot, add ½ tsp cooking oil and place the chicken in the pan skin-side down. Fry for 3 minutes.
- Turn over and fry on the other side for 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside for later.
Noodles and Broth
- Cook 2 portions udon noodles according to the instructions on the packaging.
- In a medium saucepan, add 500 ml dashi stock, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp soy sauce, 1 tsp mirin, and 1/2 tsp ginger paste. Mix everything together and bring to boil. Once boiling, lower the heat to simmer.
- Take a small bowl and make a slurry by mixing 1 tbsp cold water with 1 tbsp potato starch. Pour the slurry into the broth and mix thoroughly.
- Add the chicken and 30 g green onion(s) to the broth. Make sure to pour in the chicken juices from the frying pan for extra flavor.
- Turn the heat back up to medium and bring to a boil once more. While you're waiting for it to boil, crack 2 medium egg(s) into a bowl and whisk them thoroughly.
- Once the broth starts to boil, drizzle in one third of the whisked egg. The egg will reduce the temperature of the broth, so wait for it to start bubbling again before adding the next third. Repeat until all of the egg is in the soup, then mix and remove from the heat.
- Rinse the cooked udon with boiling water and then divide into two serving bowls, then pour the broth over the noodles.
- Garnish with chopped finely chopped green onion(s) and Japanese chili powder (optional).