Easy Japanese Recipes

Soboro Don (Ground Chicken Bowl) 三色そぼろ丼

Update: Food pictures updated in September 2012.

April 2011

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.  We went to the Sierras for tubing and playing in the snow.  Kids had so much fun swimming at the hotel and playing in the snow during our stay.  We’re pretty exhausted from the physical fun trip but our kids wanted to stay there and didn’t want to come back at all.

The weather was nice and the scenery was gorgeous.  One of the greatest things about living in San Francisco is that within a 3-hour drive, you can either enjoy the snow or go to a desert.  Well, it was a really nice break for me away from working on computer and I’m recharged!

Today’s recipe is Soboro Don (Minced Chicken & Egg on Rice).  This dish is usually served at the end of a meal at Yakitori restaurants (chicken skewers).  Our children usually want to eat rice with their meals so we order Soboro Don for them even before we finish the yakitori meal.

At the restaurants, typically it’s just the mined chicken over rice.  However, at home the Japanese usually make it into Three-Color Soboro Don – as in brown chicken,  yellow eggs, and some green veggies (green peas and spinach are commonly used).

As the flavors are supposed to be sweet rather than salty, the children as well as adults enjoy this quick meal.  It was my favorite donburi (rice bowl) meal while growing up.  I especially liked it when I opened my bento (lunch box) at school lunch time and found Soboro Don in it.  Enjoy!

Soboro Don | Just One Cookbook.com

Soboro Don Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: Serves 2-3
  • 1 Tbsp. oil
  • ½ lb ground chicken (you can also mince chicken breasts/thighs)
  • 1 tsp. grated ginger with juice
  • 1 Tbsp. sake
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. Mirin
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. oil
  • 2-3 serving Japanese rice
  • ¼ cup defrosted green peas
  • pickled ginger (kizami shoga)
  1. Heat the non-stick frying pan on medium heat and cook the chicken until almost cooked through. Using wooden spoon, break up the meat into small pieces.
  2. Add sake, sugar, and mirin.
  3. Add soy sauce and continue to break up the meat into smaller pieces.
  4. Grate ginger and keep the juice. When meat is broken up to pieces, add the ginger with juice.
  5. Cook until the liquid is 98% gone. Transfer to a bowl for now and wash the frying pan.
  6. Beat the eggs in a small bowl and add sugar. Mix well until sugar is completely dissolved. Prepare several cooking chopsticks.
  7. Heat the oil in the frying pan over medium low heat and pour egg mixture in there.
  8. Hold several chopsticks in one hand and break the egg into small pieces. When it’s cooked, transfer to a bowl.
  9. Now you have three ingredients in a separate bowls.
  10. Serve rice in a bowl and put the three toppings on top as you like. Garnish with pickled ginger (kizami shoga).


Soboro Don | Just One Cookbook.com

Leave a Comment

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  • kat April 11, 2011, 1:16 am

    love soboro so delicious and easy to make :) looks like you had a great weekend!

    • Nami April 11, 2011, 9:07 pm

      Thanks Kat! Yes…we had so much fun. I was so tired all day and even took a 3-hour nap with the kids. =P

  • wendy April 11, 2011, 2:25 am

    looks so yummy and easy to make, i know what i’ll pack for nathan’s lunch next week! :)

    • Nami April 11, 2011, 9:08 pm

      Thanks Wendy! I’m sure Nathan will like this. Don’t forget to pack a spoon!

  • Allie April 11, 2011, 5:05 am

    I have never had soboro! It looks divine though :)
    Your children are adorable, so glad you had a nice trip/weekend!!

    • Nami April 11, 2011, 9:11 pm

      Thanks Allie!

  • Min {Honest Vanilla} April 11, 2011, 8:05 am

    Your children looks absolutely adorable :) I can just imagine them whinging all the way home, which actually reminds me of me when I was a kid! This does sound like a super easy and wonderful dish to make on a simple day ;)

    • Nami April 11, 2011, 9:24 pm

      Thank you Min! Yes, my daughter copies whatever my older son does, which makes it worse as she becomes like an echo. I’m glad they had fun, and hope to take them somewhere soon. Yes, this is perfect for a simple and BUSY day. ;)

  • DeniseB April 11, 2011, 9:39 am

    This looks like a great donburi make for lunch for the preschool boys I watch and think they will enjoy it and I know I will ! Thanks for the recipe!

    • Nami April 11, 2011, 9:56 pm

      Hi Denise! You are welcome! Hope the boys will like it. :-)

  • Lindsey@Lindselicious April 11, 2011, 10:24 am

    Yay I have all these ingredients already. I’m going to make this for my boyfriend for his bento this weekend! (Poor thing has to work Sat and Sun)

    • Nami April 11, 2011, 10:05 pm

      Hi Lindsey! You are making Obento for your BF? How sweet!! I pack “leftover” for my husband’s lunch. LOL. I hope he will like it. :-)

  • Delishhh April 11, 2011, 10:25 am

    What an adorable family you have – just gorgeous! Sounds like you had a fabulous weekend. This dish looks so simple and delicious – very nice!

    • Nami April 11, 2011, 10:28 pm

      Hi Ewa! Thank you. This picture was “okay” because my son at least look at the camera. Most pictures my kids are looking somewhere. I guess I took so many pictures of them…and they don’t pay attention anymore. :-(

  • Mika April 11, 2011, 10:28 am

    Looks so yummy! AND I love your picture! I need to ask you to come and to take some pictures for my jewelry very soon ; )

    • Nami April 11, 2011, 10:29 pm

      Thanks Mika-san! Sure I’ll take pictures of your jewelry – need to schedule as our weekends are getting full.

  • Beth Michelle April 11, 2011, 10:38 am

    Oh.My.God. Your kids are too cute!! Ahhhh! Glad you guys had a good weekend! And, I love the way you presented this dish, so pretty! It sounds really yummy too!

    • Nami April 11, 2011, 10:36 pm

      Thanks Beth! My kids are crazy animals. :-D We had too much fun and now I’m too tired… hehe.

  • Sandra's Easy Cooking April 11, 2011, 10:49 am

    This sound divine, love the flavors in this dish and it look like a great comforting meal! Great photo of you and your family! Your kids are adorable!!! Thanks you for sharing your weekend with us!!!

    • Nami April 11, 2011, 10:39 pm

      Thank you Sandra! I always debate if I should talk about my family more or just focus on recipes, and haven’t made up my mind yet. Haha.

  • Belinda @zomppa April 11, 2011, 11:00 am

    What a sweet photo. This bowl of donburi is making me HUNGRY!

    • Nami April 11, 2011, 10:54 pm

      Thanks Belinda! Haha me too I can eat the bowl again (just had dinner 5 hours ago…)!

  • Sandra April 11, 2011, 11:45 am

    Good looking family! Glad your weekend was fun. This is a quick and simple recipe. Just what I need right about now. What are your breaking up the meat and stiring the eggs with?

    • Nami April 11, 2011, 11:01 pm

      Thanks Sandra! I use cooking chopsticks, several of them. It’s faster to separate meat and eggs. If you use just a pair, it will take forever to break into small pieces… In Japan (probably other Asian countries too) we have “cooking” chopsticks, which are wooden and longer than regular chopsticks. In case you are interested, you can buy them at Asian market. :-)

  • Gourmantine April 11, 2011, 2:47 pm

    Nami, this is one of the reasons I love your blog, every time I visit, I learn something new!
    p.s. Lovely family photo and your children are so cute :)

    • Nami April 11, 2011, 11:13 pm

      Thank you Gourmantine! I think I learn way more when I visit your site though. LOL. And thanks for your compliment about my kids. :-)

  • Happy When Not Hungry April 11, 2011, 4:38 pm

    This dish looks delicious! Love your family photo too! Hope you guys had fun in the snow :-)

    • Nami April 11, 2011, 11:21 pm

      Thank you Kara! We had a great time there and my kids were really sad to leave. Back to our regular life… :-)

  • Juliana April 11, 2011, 6:31 pm

    Nami, so nice to “meet” you and your family…the kids are so cute…what a blessing. This dish looks delicious, love the simplicity and yet so yummie. I love how you presented…so pretty. Have a great week ahead :-)

    • Nami April 11, 2011, 11:43 pm

      Nice to meet you too, Juliana! Thank you for your kind words. :-) Have a great week too!

  • shannon April 11, 2011, 6:43 pm

    Nami – You’re right! They do have the same shirt on & on the same day too! Too funny! I know where you shop now! I love love love this family photo. Your kids are adorable! I also love the bowl your dish is in, & I love your new blog layout with the foodbuzz pics, & I especially love your cooking . . . xo

    • Nami April 11, 2011, 11:50 pm

      Hi Shannon! Yes, that store has been my favorite after kids were born. They don’t mind going, which is why I can actually “shop”. The bowl is a set of red and blue and it’s a Japanese plum flower. Since I can’t find any nice Japanese dish, I asked my best friend for my b-day last year. :-D I’m glad someone notice it. Hehee.

      • shannon April 12, 2011, 7:20 pm

        I love Japanese dishes . . . the simple designs. I can’t seem to find any I like here. Did you BFF send them from Japan?

        • Nami April 12, 2011, 8:15 pm

          Yes she did… she went to a couple of stores, take a picture with her phone, sent it to me, and I liked this one most. Such a convenient world! It was like I was shopping there.

  • Jamie April 11, 2011, 9:19 pm

    Your family is so adorable! You guys remind me so much of ourselves!! Does that make sense?

    I still continue to be amazed at the sheer breadth of your cooking talent. Did you learn this all from family growing up?

    • Nami April 11, 2011, 11:53 pm

      Hi Jamie! Thanks, and I know EXACTLY what you mean. LOL!!! Yes, I learned from my mom who cooked every night. Not only that, she “made” me stay in the kitchen and help her cook dinner…. In that sense, I didn’t have a choice! But now I’m thankful for what she did. But I was too young and all I wanted was just to eat not to cook… LOL.

  • Firefly April 12, 2011, 12:59 am

    You have a beautiful family :) so glad you had a nice weekend :)

    I love this dish, never made it myself but have tried it before at a friends house. Thank you for the recipe.

    • Nami April 12, 2011, 2:53 pm

      Thank you Suzana!

  • Biren @ Roti n Rice April 12, 2011, 5:46 am

    That’s a lovely family picture and your kids are adorable! When my boys were younger, we used to do a lot of outdoor things like that. Now that they are a little more grown, they have their own activities and I miss the things we used to do.

    That’s a very tasty looking donburi. Our family would love it!

    • Nami April 14, 2011, 12:34 am

      Hi Biren! I see… I understand what you mean. They will have their own friends and will be busy with their own activities. I must enjoy this time! Hopefully by then I get to spend more time on cooking and trying new things such as baking sweets!

  • Nami April 12, 2011, 2:55 pm

    Hi Kelly! Thanks for visiting my site. I’ll check yours now. :-)

  • Peggy April 12, 2011, 4:53 pm

    You have such a cute family Nami! Glad you all had a great weekend!

    • Nami April 12, 2011, 5:11 pm

      Thanks Peggy! How’s your week so far after the vacation? Looking forward to your new post!

  • Tiffany April 12, 2011, 7:21 pm

    Looks delish! And your family is beautiful!!! So glad you had such a great weekend!

    • Nami April 12, 2011, 8:17 pm

      Thank you Tiffany! :-)

  • Manu April 12, 2011, 11:39 pm

    What a great blog you have Nami! :-)
    I really like this recipe, I think my little girls would love it to!!! :-)
    You have a beautiful family! <3

    • Nami April 13, 2011, 12:25 am

      Thank you Manu! It’s really nice to meet you! We moms always look for recipes that kids would like. :-) I hope your cute little girls will like this recipe!

  • Ellena April 13, 2011, 2:21 am

    So nice!!! I love this and I am sure kids will love it tooo…..miced egg and meat. Great for kids :)

    • Nami April 14, 2011, 12:40 am

      Hi Ellena! Yeah these are great for kids because of sweet soy sauce taste. :-)

  • Dee April 13, 2011, 11:18 am

    Looks yummy! Your children are adorable. Glad to see you guys had so much fun :) Myself, I could go without seeing snow for the rest of my life!

    • Nami April 14, 2011, 12:45 am

      Hi Dee! Hahahaha… I guess you had ENOUGH of snow this year (or every year). We don’t get snow here so it’s a fun adventure for the kids! My son was so happy making angel shape. :-)

  • skip to malou April 13, 2011, 12:38 pm

    Hello Nami,
    wow I love your space here. I’m glad I’ve bumped into you at Foodbuzz. So many fantastic recipes you have that I would love to try too! This miso soup for one, I haven’t made one before but will start with your basic recipe haha.

    great family picture, glad you had a fun vacay.

    looking forward to know you more.. read more posts.. and try your food.


    • Nami April 14, 2011, 12:47 am

      Hi Malou! It’s really nice to meet you! I’m looking forward to following you and learning from you too! :-)

  • Susan Wenzel July 12, 2012, 10:03 pm

    This is one of our favorite quick dishes (but I always use a bunch of peas to add more vegetables). I especially love the ginger taste in the chicken!

    ~Susan (I am taking a break from my food blog because of school work and summertime…)

  • Susan Wenzel July 12, 2012, 10:05 pm

    PS – I wish I rememberd you live in San Francisco. We were just there this week. I would have asked you where to eat! (although we ended up eating a delicious dimsum sampler somewhere in Chinatown).


  • Asmita September 22, 2012, 8:39 am

    This looks yum!

  • Bam's Kitchen September 22, 2012, 5:08 pm

    It looks like a real fun trip! Just adorable how you line up your little peas on the plate. I love your attention to details. Take care, BAM

  • httpmom September 24, 2012, 2:12 pm

    Thanks for this…it was one of my daughters favorites as a child!

  • mjskit October 19, 2012, 8:31 pm

    So glad you did a bento box with this because I had missed it. I love this and is definitely a dish that would be a huge hit with Bobby and me.

  • katie April 10, 2013, 10:28 pm

    I would like to make this with ground beef. It would be a cheap and easy meal. :)
    We have so much ground beef in our house.

    • Nami April 11, 2013, 10:27 am

      Hi Katie! Ground beef works too! Hope you enjoy it! :)

      • April March 20, 2014, 3:22 am

        I tried this with ground beef today… but my beef produced a lot of grease. There isn’t a leaner version available for sale at the store I shop at, so what do I do? Does ground chicken do this or not? I typically have ground beef on hand, but maybe I’ll buy some chicken too if it makes this dish easier. It’s such an easy and tasty meal.

  • Z. July 10, 2014, 3:12 am

    Hi Nami,
    I was wondering what can I use instead of mirin and sake?

    Thank you :)

    • Nami July 13, 2014, 7:09 am

      Hi Z! If you can’t consume alcohol, you can avoid both of them, but add more sugar (and water to dilute a bit). :)

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