The beef rice bowl that comes with egg is a perfect one-bowl dish for Asians. The dish originated from Japan and has spread throughout Asia due to its popularity and Asians’ love for rice. Rice bowls, also known as donburi or don, for short, is a Japanese dish consisting of stir-fried meat such as beef, chicken, fish or pork cutlets and vegetables served on a rice bowl.
Donburi means bowl in the native Japanese tongue, indicating that the food is served in a bowl. Japanese rice bowls are not only available at restaurants and as street food but are commonly home-cooked for the family. This versatile dish can also be packed in a bento to bring to school or workplace.
What is Beef with Egg Rice Bowl?
Beef with Egg Rice bowl is also known as ‘gyudon’ in Japanese. Gyu originates from the Chinese pronunciation for cow while don is the Japanese word for bowl. Beef with egg rice bowl is essentially a bowl of rice topped with beef and onion simmered in a mildly sweet sauce flavoured with dashi, soy sauce and mirin.
Elements in a Beef with Egg Rice Bowl
Other than beef and onion, this dish is sometimes served with shirataki noodles and is sometimes topped with a raw egg or a soft poached egg. A prevalent food in Japan, it is commonly served with pickled ginger, ground chilli peppers and miso soup.
The rice used in a donburi is the typical standard Japanese rice used across different Japanese dishes. The time for cooking the rice dramatically affects the texture of the dish. Usually, the rice is cooked till slightly hard to let it remain in its form after soaking in the donburi sauce.
History of Beef with Egg Rice Bowl
The history of donburi can be traced back to the Edo era (1603 – 1867) in Japan. The first-ever don to appear in Japan was the unagi don. A broiled eel was placed on a bowl of hot steamy rice, and this dish was typically eaten at the theatre. Concurrently, rice dishes such as chameshi-ya (rice cooked in Japanese tea) were also famous. Thus restaurants serving rice bowls started to appear all over Japan. Different types of donburi also begun to appear all around Japan after the Meiji era (1868 – 1912) in Japan.
Due to Westernisation, Western customs like eating beef were implemented and spread throughout Japan. Gyudon is thought to originate from Sukiyaki-don and the ancient dish of gyūnabe, where thin slices of beef are cooked with vegetables in a pot. At some occasions, the sliced beef was also placed on top of rice and served in a bowl.
The first popular rendition of this dish originated from the Kanto region. The first Yoshinoya restaurant selling gyudon was then opened in 1899 at the fish market in Tokyo’s Nihonbashi district.
How to Eat a Donburi
Donburi can be eaten with a pair of chopsticks, also known as hashi in Japanese along with a spoon. One can mix the sauce and rice together, then eat the rice using a spoon and the toppings and side dishes using chopsticks.
Where to find Beef with Egg Rice bowl (Gyudon) in Malaysia
Gyudon can be found in various Japanese restaurants in Malaysia, such as Sukiya Tokyo Bowls & Noodles (KL Eco City Mall) and Enishiya. It can also be found in other Japanese bento restaurants around the city.
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