Different Types of Donburi (Rice Bowl Dishes)

  • 2 min read

Different Types of Donburi (Rice Bowl Dishes)

If you've ever visited Japanese restaurants, you've likely seen donburi on the menu. Donburi, or rice bowls, are the perfect choice for a quick and delicious meal in Japan. Named for the large bowl that the dish served in, called a “don”, donburi combines a bowl of steamed rice with meat, vegetables and sauce, and is usually served with a side of pickles and miso soup. It's an all-in-one meal that’s both convenient and filling. 

Donburi comes in a wide range of choices, differing in their toppings. Next time you're in a Japanese restaurant, consider trying one of these five delicious donburi. You may even consider making one yourself!


Different Types of Donburi (Rice Bowl Dishes)


This very comforting dish has a long history in Japan, having first been invented in Tokyo in 1891. The name comes from the word oya which means “parent” and ko which means “child”. It literally means “parent-and-child-bowl” as its main ingredients are chicken and egg. The ingredients are simmered in a soup stock before being added to the rice bowl.


Different Types of Donburi (Rice Bowl Dishes)

Meaning “beef bowl,” this version of donburi contains beef, along with onions, raw egg and other combinations of vegetables, simmered in a sauce made of mirin, dashi and soy sauce. 


Different Types of Donburi (Rice Bowl Dishes)

This dish often makes an appearance on menus in Japanese restaurants in America and is also a popular donburi choice in Japan. Katsudon is served with breaded deep-fried pork cutlets (tonkatsu) and is accompanied by cooked onions and a beaten egg on top of rice. It's typically comes with a tonkatsu sauce which is thick, savory and sweet. You can also find some regional variations throughout Japan.


Different Types of Donburi (Rice Bowl Dishes)

Tendon is a guilty pleasure and a filling meal. It's a rice bowl served with crispy tempura and drizzled with a dressing made from soy sauce. You can add additional ingredients, such as scallions or egg, or a bit of broth instead of soy sauce.


Different Types of Donburi (Rice Bowl Dishes)

Unadon comes from the word “unagi,” which means “eel”. It's a large bowl of steamed white rice topped with fillets of eel. The eel fillets are grilled in a style known as ‘kabayaki’, similar to teriyaki. Unadon was the first type of donburi and was invented in the late Edo Period, during the Bunka era (1804-1818).


Suzan AdemAbout the author: Hello, my name is Suzan, 20 years old student in Sofia University, Bulgaria. My major is Japan, so as can you guess I’m now studying about their rich and beautiful culture and language as well. That is why I find great pleasure doing these articles as it gives me the opportunity to expand my knowledge and it’s easy doing something you love.

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