Updated: November 07, 2018
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What is Donburi? A Japanese Classic Explained

What is Donburi? A Japanese word you've probably numerous times by now. This article explains what it, how to make it at home and where to have it in Tokyo too! Enjoy!

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What is Donburi?

"Donburi" is a Japanese dish where cooked or uncooked ingredients are served over a bed of rice. It can include right about anything as long as it is served over rice.
For example, this can be a "kaisendon", a speciality of Hokkaido, which is basically incredibly fresh fish or seafood served over rice. That in itself can offer a wide range of possibilities.
It can also include cooked ingredients, such as "gyudon", which is simmered beef and onions over rice, or "katsudon", which is deep-fried pork over rice.

Here are some simple recipes you can try at home!

Soboro Donburi

Soboro donburi is a very easy meal to make at home. It also happens to be healthy and super tasty. This dish is usually made with minced chicken, eggs and edamame beans.

Salmon Ikura Donburi

Salmon ikura don is so incredibly simple, it's almost ridiculous. However, if you serve this at home for some guests with a nice bottle of chilled white wine, you're bound to impress your friends. All you need is raw salmon, salmon roe and shiso leaves to give it a nice presentation and taste. And voila!


This is probably one of the most popular donburi there is, both in restaurants and at home. In restaurants, it is usually quite cheap (under ¥500) and at home, it is very simple to prepare in a whim. All you need is to get beef, an onion and some pickled ginger.

Try it at a resto

A French twist

If you'd like to try donburis at a restaurant, you can try this French take on a Japanese classic. It's foie gras on top of a bed of rice. It's decadent and delicious!

A Japanese classic

This one is called the shiro bara don, and it's also a twist on a classic. The classic being tuna sashimi served over rice, except this one is served with a meringue of tuna fat on top. It's simply exquisite!


Whatever the form or shape you choose, enjoy this delicious Japanese delicacy, the donburi! Bon appetit!
Lili Wanderlust
I love travelling and discovering new cuisines. Japan has a panoply of local dishes to try. I also love yoga, coffee, reading, and cycling.

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