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Delicious Donburi: The Ultimate Japanese Fast Food

Donburi (丼) literally means “bowl.”  It is a popular Japanese rice bowl dish that can consist of a variety of elements: vegetables, chicken, beef, pork, or fish. Donburi  is usually a full meal served in huge bowls, often made of ingredients simmered together and served over rice. Donburi are also sometimes referred to as sweet or savory stews on rice. A reasonably priced meal costs 500–1,000 yen, making it a popular fast food dish for Japanese and tourists alike.

The donburi simmering sauce used depends on the region, season, ingredients, and taste. A common sauce consists of dashi (a simple broth made from edible kelp and shavings of preserved, fermented tuna), mirin, and soy sauce. Donburi is usually made from almost any type of ingredient, including leftovers.Oyakodon

Donburi comes in several varieties such as these:

Tamagodon – scrambled egg mixed with sweet donburi sauce.

Katsudon – breaded deep fried pork cutlets (tonkatsu) simmered in onions and an egg.

Gyūdon – beef and onion simmered in  a mildly sweet sauce with onions, egg and sometimes shiraki noodles.

Tendon – rice topped with tempura.

Tentamadon- tempura simmered with sauce and a beaten egg.

Unadon – rice topped with unagi fillets grilled in kabayaki style (similar to teriyaki), glazed in sweet soy-based sauce.

Konohadon – sliced kamaboko (processed seafood product made from  various pureed white fish that are  formed into loaves, and then steamed until fully cooked and firm).

Karēdon – thickened curry of rice. Derived from curry udon.

Hokkaidon – thinly sliced raw salmon over rice.

Tekkadon – thinly sliced raw tuna that can have a mix of a variety of spicy ingredients, commonly a spicy orange sauce with spring onions.

Ikuradon – seasoned salmon roe on rice.

Kaisendon – sashimi on rice.

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Read all about Japanese immersion learning and studying abroad. Check out our eZasshi archives for more articles!