Nowhere will a bowl of rice, since that is exactly what donburi (丼) means, taste as good as in Japan itself. More so, given the fact that the Japanese serve this simple dish in countless different ways. As such, it will certainly prove appealing to both meat-eaters and vegetarians. It is also a great way to make use of any leftover food, as well as any seasonal products during spring and summer. What are the most popular donburi recipes and how to prepare them in accordance with the Japanese culinary art?

Oyako donburi with chicken

Oyakodon (親子丼) is the so-called bowl with a parent and a child and refers to the fact that the top of the dish is actually covered with a poultry “parent” and “child”. In this case, the “parent” is chicken meat, and the “child” is an egg. The meat is usually cooked in special fish broth containing soy sauce and sake. The egg, however, is placed on the rice raw. Yet another form of Oyakodon includes a different combination of a parent and a child, with salmon and roe being placed on the rice instead of chicken and egg. In such a case, it may also be referred to as sake oyakodon (鮭 親子丼).

Gyūniku donburi with beef

Gyūdon (牛丼) denotes a bowl of rice with a cow. The pieces of beef meat are thinly sliced and served with a spicy-sour sauce. Sometimes a raw egg is also is added to the dish, like in the case of oyakodon. The dish is commonly served as a type of Japanese fast food. However, a version of this dish served in renowned restaurants includes the most expensive beef in the world – Kobe. Kobe is the meat of an extremely exclusive species of cow, called Wagyu. Such animals are usually strongly pampered by their breeders. As such, their meat is incredibly delicate and is of the highest quality.

Tendon – donburi with tempura

For anyone familiar with Japanese cooking habits, the existence of donburi with tempura comes as no surprise. Proper preparation of tendon (天丼) depends on adequate tempura batter, as well as an appropriate frying method. When used with delicate products, such as fish and vegetables, the batter should be rather thin, whereas, in the case of firm products, such as seafood or meat, it should be denser. Donburi toppings should be fried in a wok in oil heated to about 180 degrees. After the tempura is ready, it is dipped in soy sauce before being placed on the rice in order to further improve the taste of the dish.

Kaisen donburi with seafood

A recipe for donburi with seafood is referred to as kaisendon (海鮮丼). This particular dish is considered to be very specific and unique because all of its ingredients are served with the use of the sashimi (刺身) method. It is a style of serving in which fresh seafood is neatly diced or sliced and seasoned in a sensible manner. The most renowned masters of this culinary art are able to extract completely new tastes from the meat, simply by slicing it in just the right way.

Chukadon – a Chinese version of donburi

Now comes the time for a bowl of rice in a vegetarian-friendly version. Chūkadon (中華丼) is a Chinese-style donburi Apart from rice, the main ingredients of this dish are typical Asian vegetables. We have complete freedom of choice in this regard and as such, we can create spectacular proprietary dishes. It is a good idea to include vegetables like:

  • fresh corncobs,
  • shiitake mushrooms,
  • snake beans,
  • onions,
  • peppers (chilli),
  • Chinese cabbage.

Vegetables are stewed in oyster broth. The entire dish, on the other hand, is usually flavoured with typical Middle Kingdom spices, i.e. ginger, garlic, coriander or turmeric.

Donburi – a Japanese dish made to measure

Donburi, an important part of the Japanese cuisine, is a dish that everyone can compose in their own, unique way. It can serve both as simple fast food, like in the case of gyūniku, as well as a light and healthy meal, like chūkadon. It is not without reason that some food outlets in Japan only ever serve donburi. The offers of such restaurants may often include dozens of different variations of the popular rice bowl.

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