Happy Donabe Life

Nao Man Gai (Chicken Over Rice)

Naoko-style Asian Chicken Rice

This dish is inspired by kao man ghai, a very popular Thai-style chicken rice dish, (or the Singapore-style is known as Hainanese chicken rice), and I made it in my donabe Japanese version with mostly Japanese ingredients. So, I call it Nao Man Gai! The rice is cooked with rich Japanese chicken stock with chicken on top, so the rice tastes really special even on its own. The chicken is sliced and served on top of the rice along with two kinds of special sauces. Don’t forget to make non-boiled “boiled eggs” by placing eggs on the inner lid of Kamado-san when cooking the rice. The eggs are ready when the rice is ready, and they taste so good with the dish!


Kamado-san (3 rice-cup size)




  • 1.5 lbs (650 g) boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 tablespoons liquid shio-koji
  • 2 rice cups (360 ml) short grain rice, rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cups minus 2 tablespoons (330 ml) Japanese chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons sake
  • 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 4 – 5 cilantro sprigs

Miso-Vinegar Sauce

  • 1 clove garlic, finely grated
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated ginger
  • 2 tablespoons miso
  • 1/2 teaspoon tobanjan (Chinese hot bean paste; optional)
  • 1 teaspoon Japanese black vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon raw brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Japanese chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon sliced dry chili (can substitute with 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes)
  • Chopped cilantro to taste

Ayu-Ginger Sauce

Suggested accompaniments: eggs, radish, tomato, cilantro, lime, etc.


  1. Combine the chicken with the shio-koji in a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let it marinade for 30 minutes up to overnight (refrigerate them if marinating for longer than 30 minutes).
  2. Combine the rice, the chicken stock, the sake and the salt in Kamado-san. Let the rice soak for 20 – 30 minutes.
  3. Add the cilantro springs over the rice. Pat dry the chicken and place gently on top in an even layer. Cover Kamado-san with both lids (if you want to make the non-boiled “boiled eggs”, place eggs on the inner lid at this point, leaving the holes unclogged) and cook over medium-high heat for 13 – 15 minutes, or until 2 – 3 minutes after the steam starts puffing out of the top lid.
  4. Turn off the heat and let it stand for 20 minutes. (If you are making eggs, remove the eggs after 15 minutes.)
  5. Meanwhile, make the sauces. Mix together all the ingredients for the Miso-Vinegar Sauce in a bowl and transfer to a small serving bowl. Mix together all the ingredients for the Ayu-Ginger sauce in a different bowl and transfer to another small serving bowl. Set aside.
  6. Remove both lids of Kamado-san. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board. Remove the cilantro sprigs and discard. Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces.
  7. Scoop the rice and divide into individual plates. Top the rice with the chicken, and serve with the sauces and your choice of accompaniments.

Cilantro sprigs and chicken are added to the donabe and cooked together with the rice in the chicken stock.
Eggs are cooked in the same donabe as the rice. By placing eggs in the inner lid of Kamado-san, you can make non-boiled “boiled eggs” while cooking the rice. It’s like killing two birds with one stone!
The rice becomes so shiny and so rich in flavor.
Enjoy with two kinds of sauces.
Good combination with Egg Drop Vegetable Soup.


Suggested Tools and Tableware

Ingredients Used in this Recipe

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