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Donburi (, literally "bowl", also abbreviated to "don" as a suffix, 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. When need to distinguish, the bowl is called donburi-bachi (丼鉢) and the dish is called donburi-mono (丼物). 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 leftovers.

Varieties of donburi[edit]

Traditional Japanese donburi include the following:

Gyūdon (牛丼)[edit]

Gyūdon beef bowl

Gyūdon, literally beef bowl, is a Japanese dish consisting of a bowl of rice topped with beef and onion simmered in a mildly sweet sauce flavored with dashi (fish and seaweed stock), soy sauce and mirin (sweet rice wine). It also often includes shirataki noodles, and is sometimes topped with a raw egg or a soft poached egg (onsen tamago).

Butadon (豚丼)[edit]

"Buta" means pork. Butadon is a dish made with pork instead of beef in a mildly sweet sauce. Butadon originated in Hokkaido but is now enjoyed all over Japan.[1]

Tendon (天丼)[edit]


A Japanese dish consisting of tempura on a bowl of rice. The name "tendon" is an abbreviation of tempura and donburi.

Tentamadon (天玉丼)[edit]

Tempura which is simmered with beaten egg and topped on rice.

Unadon (鰻丼)[edit]


Unadon (an abbreviation for unagi + donburi, "eel bowl") is a dish originating in Japan. It consists of a donburi type large bowl filled with steamed white rice, and topped with fillets of eel (unagi) grilled in a style known as kabayaki, similar to teriyaki. The fillets are glazed with a sweetened soy-based sauce, called tare and caramelized, preferably over charcoal fire. The fillets are not flayed, and the grayish skin side is placed faced down. Una-don was the first type of donburi rice dish, invented in the late Edo period, during the Bunka era (1804–1818)

Tamagodon (玉子丼)[edit]

A scrambled egg mixed with sweet donburi sauce on rice.

Oyakodon (親子丼)[edit]


Simmered chicken, egg, and sliced scallion served on top of a large bowl of rice. The chicken is also sometimes replaced with beef or pork in a variation referred to as Tanindon (他人丼).

Katsudon (カツ丼)[edit]


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.

Sōsukatsudon (ソースカツ丼)[edit]

Sōsukatsudon is similar to Katsudon, but with sliced cabbage and sweet-salty sauce instead of egg.[2]

Konohadon (木の葉丼)[edit]

Similar to oyakodon, but using thin sliced kamaboko pieces instead of chicken meat. Popular in Kansai area.

Karēdon (カレー丼)[edit]

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)[edit]

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 (北海丼)[edit]

Thinly-sliced raw salmon over rice.

Negitorodon (ネギトロ丼)[edit]

Diced toro (fatty tuna) and negi (spring onions) on rice.

Ikuradon (いくら丼)[edit]

Seasoned ikura (salmon roe) on rice.

Kaisendon (海鮮丼)[edit]

An elaborate Kaisendon at Tsukiji fish market

Thinly-sliced sashimi on rice. Fish roe may also be included.

Tenshindon or Tenshin-han (天津丼 / 天津飯)[edit]

A Chinese-Japanese specialty, consisting of a crabmeat omelet on rice; this dish is named for Tianjin, China.

Chūkadon (中華丼)[edit]

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]