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Donburi (?, literally "bowl", also frequently abbreviated as "don", less commonly spelled "domburi") is a Japanese "rice bowl dish" consisting of fish, meat, vegetables or other ingredients simmered together and served over rice. Donburi meals are served in oversized rice bowls also called donburi. Donburi are sometimes called sweetened or savory stews on rice.

The simmering sauce varies according to season, ingredients, region, and taste. A typical sauce might consist of dashi flavored with soy sauce and mirin. Proportions vary, but there is normally three to four times as much dashi as soy sauce and mirin. For oyakodon, Tsuji (1980) recommends dashi flavored with light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, and sugar. For gyūdon, Tsuji recommends water flavored with dark soy sauce and mirin.

Donburi can be made from almost any ingredients, including left-overs. Not traditionally Japanese or Chinese, the hybrid dish indicates the popularity of donburi in Japan.

Varieties of donburi[edit]

Gyūdon beef bowl

Traditional Japanese donburi include the following:

  • Gyūdon (牛丼): beef and onion, simmered in soy sauce based broth on rice.
  • Tendon (天丼): tempura (some kinds of seafood and vegetables) on rice.
  • Tentamadon(天玉丼): tempura which simmered with beaten egg and topped on rice.
  • Unadon (鰻丼): unagi kabayaki (grilled eel) on rice.
  • Tamagodon (玉子丼): a scrambled egg mixed with sweet donburi sauce on rice.
  • Oyakodon (親子丼): simmered and egg dropped chicken and onion, on rice.
  • Katsudon (カツ丼): breaded deep-fried pork cutlets (tonkatsu) and onion are simmered and binding by beaten egg,then topped on rice. There are some regional variations in Japan.
  • Konohadon (木の葉丼): similar to oyakodon, but using thin sliced kamaboko pieces instead of chicken meat. Popular in Kansai area.
  • karēdon (カレー丼): thickened curry flavored dashi on rice. It was derived from curry udon or curry nanban(a soba dish). Sold at soba/udon restaurants.
  • Tekkadon (鉄火丼): thinly-sliced raw tuna on rice. Spicy tekkadon is made with what can be a mix of spicy ingredients, a spicy orange sauce, or both (usually incorporates spring onions).
  • Hokkaidon: thinly-sliced raw salmon over rice.
  • Negitorodon (ネギトロ丼): diced toro (fatty tuna) and negi (spring onions) on rice.
  • Ikuradon: (いくら丼): seasoned ikura (salmon roe) on rice.
  • Kaisendon: (海鮮丼): thinly-sliced sashimi on rice. Fish roe may also be included.
  • Tenshindon or Tenshin-han (天津丼 / 天津飯): a Chinese-Japanese specialty, consisting of a crabmeat omelet on rice; this dish is named for Tianjin, China.
  • Chūkadon: (中華丼): Literally meaning "Chinese rice bowl," consisting of a bowl of rice with stir-fried vegetables, onions, mushrooms, and thin slices of meat on top. This dish is similar to Chop suey, and is sold at inexpensive Chinese restaurants in Japan.

See also[edit]


  • Tsuji, Shizuo (1980). Japanese cooking: A simple art. New York: Kodansha International/USA. ISBN 0-87011-399-2.

External links[edit]