When you were a kid, did you ever tell your mom you liked something and then she came home with the Costco-sized box which then led to an immediate hatred for the food because you ate so much of it? For me it was Pop Tarts and it had the same effect as the “Tequila Experience” (don’t worry, mom, the tequila experience came years later), but I’ve since come back around to Pop Tarts. Tequila….notsomuch.
My mom is the best and I love that she actually allowed me to eat Pop Tarts, let alone an entire Costco box of them. It was her way of indulging my American snack desires. I wanted to keep up with my best friend whose house was always stocked with Goldfish, mac ‘n cheese, chocolate pudding and Costco pizzas. The glory days. 

Growing up in a Korean household, my after-school snacks were different than most. My earliest memory of a snack, which is still my very favorite, is a bowl of white rice, a raw egg and soy sauce. Grossed out? Read about Ivan Ramen’s experience. When I’m hungry and don’t want to cook, it’s what I make. When I want a Korean breakfast, it’s what I make. Midnight snack? You guessed it. The only difference is that I make it with a cooked egg now, which totally bums me out, but it’s necessary because of the whole salmonella thing. 

Enter the Onsen Tamago. Translated, it means “hot spring egg” as it was originally cooked in Japan’s hot spring water. You slow-cook it in its shell and the end product is a glorious, soft poached egg that is so custardy you want to cry. I don’t mind poaching eggs, but you can make a heap of onsen eggs at the same time and the texture is silky with no bouncy egg whites. The perfect egg for coating perfectly cooked rice. Mmm...

Paired with another favorite dish of mine, Soboro Don which is the chicken and rice part, this may turn into the snack I make for my kid because she freaking loves it which delights me to no end.

Soboro Don with an Onsen Egg
aka Chicken & Rice with a Perfect Slow-Cooked Egg
serves 4

There are dozens of articles on how to cook onsen eggs on the interweb, but I defer you to Kenji. I prefer 145ยบ for 45 minutes for mine, but read his article to determine which egg works for you. You can make every element in this dish ahead of time, but the eggs take the longest so be sure to plan ahead.  

For the rice: 
2 cups uncooked rice

For the chicken: 
12 oz ground chicken
2t finely minced ginger
1t garlic
3T soy sauce
3T sake
1T rice wine vinegar
1t honey

4 onsen eggs (see note above)

Crumbled roasted and salted seaweed, furikake or sliced green onions for garnish

For perfect rice in a pot: 
Wash the rice in cold water until the water runs clear. This is paramount to cooking perfect rice. 
Place the rice in a medium, stainless steel pot and pour enough cold water over the top until it reaches about 1/16” above your middle knuckle when you lay your hand flat over the top of the rice. Don't laugh - it works. 
Place a tight-fitting lid on top and bring to a boil. 
Immediately reduce the heat to the lowest temp and simmer for 20 minutes. 
Turn the heat off, but leave the lid on for at least 10 minutes before fluffing and eating.  

For the chicken: 
In a medium nonstick skillet on medium high heat, heat 1 T of vegetable oil until shimmery. 
Add the ground chicken and cook for 2-3 minutes, breaking up the chicken with the back of a wooden spoon to keep it crumbly. 
Add the ginger and garlic. Cook for 1 minute. 
Add the soy sauce, sake, rice wine vinegar and honey and bring to a boil. 
Reduce to a simmer and continue cooking for 8-10 minutes. Set aside.

To serve, scoop a heaping mound of rice in a bowl and spoon some of the chicken and sauce over the top. Crack and place an egg on top and sprinkle with seaweed, furikake or green onions.
Prepare to enter food bliss. 


  1. That made my mouth water! I want to eat this every day:)

    1. Thanks, Amy!! I've done my job if I won you over :)



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