The Difference: Oyakodon vs Katsudon
As you may know, the word “Donburi (丼)” has 2 meanings; one refers to a bowl called “Donburi-Bachi (丼鉢)” that is deep and usually made from ceramic material, and the other refers to a rice bowl dish that is served in a Donburi-Bachi bowl.
When the Japanese word is used in the latter meaning, it is generally 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)”.
Oyako-Don vs Katsu-Don donburi rice bowls
As I wrote about it before, Una-don is a portmanteau word of “Unagi (鰻: freshwater eel)” and Donburi, but what do Oyako-don and Katsu-don stand for?
Since Oyakodon is quite similar to Katsudon, today I will explain what they are and how the former is different from the latter.
First off, in the name, “Oyako (親子)” literally means “parent and child”, while “Katsu (カツ)” is the Japanese word for “cutlet”.
Chicken or Pork?
And Oyako in Oyako-don stands for chicken and hen’s egg which are the main ingredients of Oyakodon. On the other hand, the Katsu used in Katsu-don is usually a Japanese-style pork cutlet called “Ton-katsu (豚カツ: pork katsu)“.
Specifically, Oyakodon is made using chicken thighs. The bite-size meat is simmered in a sweet soy sauce-based dashi-rich sauce with onion strips, covered in a beaten egg, and the cooked chicken is placed on a hot bowl of rice.
Meanwhile, Katsudon is usually made using pork loin, and just like Oyakodon, the deep-fried breaded pork slices and onion strips are first simmered together in a sweet soy sauce-based dashi-rich sauce, then covered with a beaten egg, and the cooked pork is served on a hot bowl of rice.
As you can guess from the above, in general, Oyakodon is lower in calories than Katsudon. As a reference, 100 grams of chicken thighs have 229 kcal, while pork loin has 327.9 kcal per 100 g.