The Original Chicken Rice Bowl

In Southern California, with its large Asian population, the “rice bowl” is a common item in many restaurants, from the ethnic mom & pop shop (many of which make a great one!) to fast food joints (both those that qualify as Asian, like Yoshinoya, and downright American ones, like Jack-in-the-Box, all of which are pretty ghastly). The basic concept is a one-dish meal – some sort of topping served over rice. The homemade version is not only a one-dish meal, it’s also a one-pot meal, a style of cooking that is quick and economical and saves on the pile of pots to be washed! Here, then is a recipe for Chicken Rice Bowl – homemade and healthy! Review the Basic Steamed Rice post for directions on how to use different varieties of rice, how to wash and soak it, and how to cook it.


  • 2 c rice, washed and soaked
  • 3 c water if you’re using a pot, water up to the 2 c mark plus 1/2 cup more if you’re using a rice cooker
  • 4 oz cooked chicken, shredded – do your taste buds, your health, the earth, and the chicken a favor and buy sustainably raised if you can!
  • 6 fresh shiitake mushrooms, caps cut into thin strips, stems reserved for making soup
  • 1 scallion, minced
  • 1 tsp sesame oil



  1. Put the rice and water into the cooking pot or rice cooker, then cook according to the Basic Steamed Rice post only until the water reaches the level of the top of the rice.
  2. While the rice cooks to this point, combine the marinade ingredients, then add the chicken and mushrooms and let the mixture rest.
  3. Place the topping mixture over the partly cooked rice, sprinkle with 1/2 of the scallion, but do not stir. Cook until rice is done.
  4. Let the rice stand, covered, for 10-15 m, and only then mix gently, adjust the seasoning, top with the remaining scallion and sesame oil, and serve.

2 Responses

  1. Two questions — is the chicken already cooked before getting shredded/chopped/marinated? and approximately how long should the chicken/mushrooms be cooking with the rice? (ballpark, like 5 min vs 25 min) Thanks!

    • Thanks for the good catch! I’ve edited the post to answer your questions, but to answer you directly: chicken should be cooked. The amount of time it takes for the water to cook down to the level of the rice varies greatly depending on the type of rice used, whether you’re using a cooker or a pot on the stove, etc. Check the rice after about 10 m if you’re using white rice, after about 15-20 if you’re cooking brown.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s