Transform your McNuggets into a Japanese meal with this super easy recipe! 

One of the most popular items on the menu at McDonald’s is their Chicken McNuggets. The only problem is, when you’re hungry you have to eat a lot of them to fill you up, which led our team to ask: Could there be a way to turn the bite-sized side items into an entire meal?

The idea of making a meal with McNuggets as the star ingredient immediately had our mouths watering, and we knew the exact dish the nuggets would be a perfect fit for – a homely, hearty Japanese favourite called katsudon.

For many people, katsudon conjures up the image of a dish containing pork cutlet, but the word “katsudon” actually combines the word “cutlet” with a shortened form of “donburi“, which is the word used for large rice bowls. That means “katsudon” can contain any type of crumbed and fried cutlet, as long as it’s on a bed of rice served in a donburi bowl, and chicken katsudon is a popular alternative to pork katsudon in Japan.

Seeing as the McNuggets are already fried, the recipe for making katsudon with McDonald’s nuggets is incredibly easy, and you don’t even need a pot, as we’ll be cooking everything in a bowl in the microwave.

So let’s get right to it, starting with the main ingredient you’ll need: a box of McNuggets.

▼ Conveniently, 15-piece boxes are currently priced at 390 yen (US$3.58) until 18 May in Japan, which is 30-percent off the usual retail price of 580 yen.

We only need six nuggets for this recipe, though, so we’ll keep the rest to snack on later. The full ingredients you’ll need are:

Ingredients (makes one serving)

  • Sugar – 15 grams (1 tablespoon)
  • Soup stock granules – 3 grams (half a teaspoon)
  • Soy sauce – 20 millilitres (1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon)
  • Water – 60 millilitres (4 tablespoons)
  • Sliced onion – 20 grams (about one-eighth of a whole onion)
  • Chicken McNuggets – 5-6
  • 1 egg, lightly whisked
  • Cooked rice


1. Mix the sugar, granulated soup stock, soy sauce, and water together to make a sauce.

2. Put the sliced onions into the sauce, cover with plastic wrap, and microwave it at 500 Watts for one minute.

3. Place the chicken nuggets on top of the onions and pour the whisked egg over them. Cover with plastic wrap again and microwave at 500 Watts for two minutes.

4. Place the mixture on top of a bowl of rice and you’re done!

How easy was that? The fast-food katsudon takes roughly five minutes to create, from start to finish, and the result is a delicious meal that looks great, smells divine, and fills you up with delicious flavour.

We couldn’t believe how easy it was to make, and as soon as we took our first bite, we were hooked. The extra ingredients added so much flavour to the nuggets, making them the best we’d ever eaten!

▼ And because we’d ordered a big box of them, we were able to feast on seconds.

We tried a few nuggets with two of the chain’s new sauces — Garlic Tomato, and Egg Tartare — but honestly, they just didn’t taste as good as they did in the McNugget Katsudon we’d made.

Now that we know how to make katsudon out of McDonald’s chicken nuggets, we’ll be adding them to our list of weekly dinner options, alongside this other super easy recipe for making katsudon in the microwave.

So remember, when life hands you McNuggets, make katsudon. You’ll be glad you did.

Related: McDonald’s Japan
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