Asians will always have a special place in their heart when it comes to rice. Donburi, or Don for short, is a Japanese dish which consists of stir-fried meat such as beef, chicken, fish or pork cutlet and vegetables served on a rice bowl.
Donburi simply means bowl in native Japanese tongue, indicating that the food is served in a bowl. It is a staple food for the Japanese. Japanese rice bowls are not only available at restaurants or street stalls but are commonly made at home as well. This dish can also be packed in a bento for eating out.
What Is A Ten Don?
Ten don is short for Tempura Donburi, and it is usually written as “tendon” in restaurant menus. The dish is composed of Japanese rice with crispy tempura. Most foods can be made to tempura, but vegetables such as brinjal or okra are generally used while the protein of choice is usually seafood.
The name for tendon can be changed if only particular ingredients are used. For instance, ebi ten don for rice topped with shrimps or unagi ten don for rice topped with eel only. Most of the time, ten don is dressed with a sweet sauce that makes the rice very flavourful.
Elements In A Donburi
The sauce used for different types of donburi may differ, but the sauces used for a donburi are usually dashi, mirin, soy sauce and sugar. Every ingredient plays a part in the sauce flavour, and the absence of an element may affect the taste.
The rice used in a donburi is pearl rice or standard Japanese rice. The duration to cook the rice dramatically affects the texture of the dish. Usually, the rice is cooked slightly hard to let it remain its form after soaking in the donburi sauce.
History Of Donburi
The history of a donburi can be traced back to the Edo era between the year 1603 to the year 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 was usually eaten at the theatre. Since then, the dish became prevalent and spread across Japan because it is tasty and easy to prepare. At the same time, rice dishes such as chameshi-ya (rice cooked in Japanese tea) also grew popular. This prompted rice bowl restaurants to appear all over Japan.
Different types of donburi also begun to appear all around Japan after the Meiji era between the year 1868 to 1912 in Japan. Deep-fried pork was famous as Emperor Meji brought western cooking culture into Japan, and the ban on pork consumption was lifted at around the same time.
Types Of Ten Don
There are several varieties of ten don, depending on which ingredient one uses to make the tempura on top. The popular choices include ebi (shrimp), sakana (fish), nasu (eggplant), kinoko (mushrooms), kabocha (pumpkin), satsumaimo (sweet potato), shiso (perilla) and kakiage (vegetables). The batter can be thick or thin depending on the preparation process of the tempura.
How To Eat A Donburi
Donburi can be simply 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 with a spoon and the topping using chopsticks.
Where To Find Ten Don In Malaysia
Ten don can be found in all Japanese sushi restaurants in Malaysia. It can also be found at some standalone Japanese restaurants in some neighbourhoods.
Find more Japanese cuisine on foodpanda!