Donburi 丼 are simple and fast meal. It is a large bowl of hot rice with toppings. We often make it for lunch as it is not only easy to assemble, but also easy to clean up after the meal. Many restaurants often serve donburi at lunchtime as an affordable option, often just “one coin” or 500 yen. There are restaurants that specialize in donburi like Yoshinoya (beef) or my personal favorite, Tenya (tempura). Many restaurants in the outer market of Tsukiji will sell seafood donburi, which is usually what we make at home as we often have fresh sashimi in the house.
One of Tokyo’s most famous donburi dishes is the oyako-don, literally “mother and child”, from Tamahide in Ningyocho. Tamahide is a fifth generation shop that serves chicken and eggs in a savory soy broth. The restaurant is so popular that I’ve never seen it without a line out the front door. Creamy half-cooked scrambled eggs dotted with juicy chicken is a comfort food dish in Japan.
The kanji for donburi is easy to recognize on any menu. 丼 As you can see here, it almost looks like a dish with something inside of it.
From the Asahi newspaper, here is a list of popular donburi in Japan.
1. katsu-don – tonkatsu
2. una-don – unagi
3. kaisen-don – fresh seafood
4. ten-don – tempura (usually shrimp)
5. oyako-don – chicken and eggs
6. gyu-don – thinly sliced beef in a soy broth
7. chuka-don – Chinese-style, often stir-fried meat and vegetables
8. tekka-don – maguro sashimi
9. uni-don – uni sea urchin
10. ikura-don – ikura salmon roe
11. kakiage-don – tempura
12. tentsu-don – Chinese-style omelet with vegetables covered in a thick, slightly sweet and tart sauce
13. anago-don – anago
14. tamago-don – raw egg
15. shirasu-don – baby boiled anchovies
16. yamakake-don – grated yamaimo and maguro sashimi
17. ma-bo-don – Chinese ma-bo- dofu (a spicy tofu and ground beef mixture)
18. buta-don – grilled pork
19. yakiniku-don – grilled beef