Sunday, June 3, 2012


The first part of DONBURI names usually indicate the tasty rice topping. "DON" refers to the method of delivery, the rice bowl. So Ten ("tempura") + Don (bowl) = TENDON!

Tempura veggies and or seafood over rice with a sweet and savoury sauce. TENDON, like other donburi are often eaten with a small vegetable side dish or salad and a bowl of miso soup (as below)

Beef ("gyu") is simmered with onions in a sweet soy based sauce to become GYUDON. A little salty pickled ginger gives the flavour a final kick.

A Japanese take on a "schnitzel". A pork cutlet ("katsu") is breaded in a crispy breadcrumb ("panko") batter and may be served with tonkatsu sauce. The sauce is savoury with a hint of worcester and fruit. With katsudon, an egg is added in the final minutes of cooking and the dish is garnished with green or fried onions.

Grilled or BBQ freshwater eel is "unagi". Pop a few thick slices onto a bowl of steaming hot rice and garnish with sansho (a Japanese peppery herb) Voila! UNADON...

Many cultures (and thus cusines) have certain foods that are considered "taboo" to serve. One of the best known is the Jewish reference to "not boiling a kid in it's mothers milk". A "child" is never served alongside it's "mother". This is reversed in Japan. OYAKODON roughly translates as "mother and child" and consists of chicken cooked with egg, veggies and seasonings.

IKURADON is similar in the sense that slices of salmon sashimi are served with salmon roe over seasoned sushi rice.

Other "sushi bowls" include CHIRASHI, NEGITORODON and TEKKADON. Sushi rice is used instead of hot steamed rice and topped with raw fish and seafood. CHIRASHI often has tamago (omelette), unagi (eel) and veggies mixed in with sushi rice on the bottom, and is topped off with slices of mixed sashimi. Sanbiki's chirashi (below) is a customer favourite. 

NEGITORODON is made with fatty tuna (toro) and finely chopped spring onion (negi) Like other donburi, sushi bowls are popular "Grab and Go" meals for busy bodies.

TEKKADON has raw tuna (not fatty) that is sometimes marinated with soy, sesame or a spicy sauce before being put over rice. Finely cut nori (dried seaweed) garnishes the tekkadon below.

Unlike sushi or sashimi, no special etiquette or rules pertain to eating and enjoying donburi. Japanese people do not themselves pour soy sauce directly on to plain white rice but it may be added sparingly to donburi if desired. And of course never leave you chopsticks sticking straight out of the rice bowl. This is how offerings are presented to the dead!

 Instead rest your chopsicks on the rim of the bowl or on the "hashioki" (chopstick rest) that may be provided. If one is not provided in a restaurant, some Japanese will fashion their own from the chopstick wrapper....

 More soon! Enjoy DONBURI sit down at Sanbiki or visit Mori Mori for Grab and Go sushi and bowls. Made fresh daily!

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