The Difference: Oyakodon vs Katsudon

As you may know, the word “Donburi (丼)” has two meanings.

One refers to a bowl called “Donburi-Bachi (丼鉢)”, which is deep and usually made from ceramic material, while the other stands for a rice bowl dish served in a Donburi-Bachi bowl.

When used in the latter meaning, Donburi is usually abbreviated to “Don (丼)” and used as a suffix, like “Una-don (鰻丼)“, “Oyako-don (親子丼)”, and “Katsu-don (カツ丼)”. 

Oyakodon vs. Katsudon

Donburi-Bachi (丼鉢)Donburi-Bachi

As I wrote before, Unadon is a portmanteau of “Unagi (鰻: freshwater eel)” and Donburi. But do you know what Oyakodon and Katsudon stand for?

Since Oyakodon is quite similar to Katsudon, today I will explain how the former differs from the latter.


First off, in the names of Oyakodon and Katsudon, “Oyako (親子)” literally means “parent and child” in Japanese, while “Katsu (カツ)” is the word for “cutlet”.

Chicken or Pork?

Oyakodon (親子丼)Oyakodon

But Oyako here stands for chicken and hen’s egg, the main ingredients of Oyakodon.

On the other hand, the Katsu in Katsudon stands for “Tonkatsu (豚カツ)” pork cutlet.


Specifically, Oyakodon uses bite-size chunks of chicken thighs.

After the meat is simmered in a sweet soy sauce-based dashi-rich sauce with onion strips and covered in beaten eggs, they are placed on a warm bowl of white rice.

Katsudon (カツ丼)Katsudon

Meanwhile, the Tonkatsu for Katsudon is usually “Rosu-Katsu (ロースカツ)” made with pork loin.

In cooking, the pork slices and onion strips are first simmered together in a sweet soy sauce-based dashi-rich sauce, like Oyakodon.

Then, they are covered in beaten eggs and served on a warm bowl of white rice.


As chicken thighs have 229 kcal per 100 grams, while pork loin is 327.9 kcal (as a reference), Oyakodon is generally lower in calories than Katsudon.


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. For the purpose of enriching your life, I would like to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures, and facts and trivia.

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