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Top 5 Popular Japanese Rice Dishes

By eunike
March 13, 2020

Rice is one of the most important foods in Japan. Like other Asian countries, Japanese people eat rice daily. In Japanese, rice is called gohan. The use of gohan in Japanese is extended with prefixes: asagohan (breakfast), hirugohan (lunch), and bangohan (dinner). It really shows that it is almost impossible for most Japanese to think of a meal without rice.

No wonder you can find various rice dishes in Japan. There are two main varieties of rice in Japan. The first is mochigome (glutinous rice), used mainly for making mochi, it has a sticky texture when cooked and has a firm and chewy texture. The next one is Uruchimai  (short-grain variety of rice), it is the most commonly used rice in Japan. It’s ideal for sushi, eating plain, and for use in a range of dishes. 

TokyoTreat has compiled top 5 popular Japanese rice dishes, of course, these dishes are made from the uruchimai. Let’s take a look:

  1. Onigiri

Source: justbento.com

Onigiri, or Japanese rice ball, is one of the simplest rice dishes and really easy to make. Onigiri doesn’t always have to take the shape of balls. It can also appear as a cylinder, a triangle shape, or a flattened disc. The rice may be plain, topped with a sprinkling of seasoning such as sesame seeds, bonito flakes, or red shiso powder, mixed with other ingredients such as flaked cured salmon and wakame seaweed, or filled with anything you like from tuna mixed with mayonnaise to spicy mentaiko, fried chicken, crumbled prawn, and ume plum. You can serve it cold, wrapped in nori, or grilled. You can easily find onigiri in Japanese convenience stores.

  1. Chazuke

Source: Youtube: JapaneseCooking101

We could say that chazuke is comfort food on rainy days or when you’re not feeling well. It is a bowl of rice that is soaked (usually) with hot green tea. You can add toppings to it such as seaweeds, fresh or cooked fish, arare rice crackers, sesame seeds, and furikake.

  1. Donburi

Source:justonecookbook.com

Donburi, more known as a rice bowl, is essentially a bowl of rice with specific toppings on top. There are dozens of donburi variations. Some of the popular varieties are oyakodon (topped with chicken and egg), tendon (topped with tempura), gyudon (topped with beef and onion). There are many worldwide chain restaurants that sell donburi like Yoshinoya which is very popular with its gyudon. Gyudon is often accompanied by miso soup and a side dish.

  1. Tamago Kake Gohan

Source: recipe-blog.jp

You may think that Japanese people usually eat a hearty breakfast consisting of grilled fish, an egg dish, pickles, side dishes, rice, and miso soup. In fact, there are many Japanese people who don’t have much time and can only prepare a simple breakfast, like tamago kake gohan. It’s an almost-no-effort breakfast featuring a bowl of hot rice with raw egg, soy sauce, and salt to taste. Then, mix it together with chopsticks so the egg becomes creamy and foamy and warms through. You can also add additional seasonings such as nori, mirin, or furikake to the mixture.

  1. Chahan

Source:  cookingwithmorgane.com

Do you also eat rice everyday? What’s your country's traditional rice dishes? Comment your answer in the comment box below.

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