Happy Donabe Life

Soy-Flavored Simmered Ground Chicken

Tori Soboro

Very popular among Japanese people of all ages, this juicy simmered ground chicken is cooked in simple seasonings of soy sauce, sake, mirin, and sugar, and is typically served over plain rice. When I was a teenager, this dish, tori soboro gohan, used to be one of my favorite items in the bento my mom made me to take to school for lunch. My version has the accent of a generous amount of shredded ginger to stimulate your appetite. I like to serve it with a very soft-boiled egg (with runny egg yolk) over freshly cooked donabe rice. You can also enjoy it as a topping for steamed kabocha, asparagus, or tofu.


Miso-shiru Nabe (large)




  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) sake
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons raw brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoon mirin
  • 1 pound (450 g) ground chicken (preferably dark meat)
  • 2 tablespoons very finely julienned peeled fresh ginger
  • Sansho powder, for serving


  1. Combine the sake, soy sauce, sugar, mirin, and the chicken in the donabe. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly to crumble the chicken.
  2. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring frequently, until the broth is reduced by half or so. Add the ginger and stir.
  3. Turn off the heat and let it rest for 15 minutes.
  4. Serve into individual bowls and sprinkle some sansho powder to enjoy.

Tori Soboro over donabe-cooked rice is simply a delight.


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