Thursday, August 22, 2013

Oishii Donburi: Delectable Japanese Cuisine

Gyudonsource: Ethel Sonza
Wazzup Pilipinas!

Japanese cuisine is by far my favorite, from the complex and extravagant dishes they make, up to the simple yet delicious dishes. I have a lot of favorite food from the Japanese cuisine, especially sushi, but there is one dish that is simple yet very delicious (depending on how and who made it) and that is donburi. Donburi is a rice bowl dish that has fish, meat, vegetables or other ingredients that is simmered together and is served over rice. These dishes are often served in large bowls. 

(above: Unadon; below: Tendon)
source: avlxyz
There are different types of donburi, the most common in different restaurants, the Gyudon (Gyuniku Donburi) which has beef and onions simmered in soy sauce based broth that is topped over rice. An egg is usually placed on top of it, and while it's still hot, you mix everything together. 

Another type of donburi, which is actually my favorite since I love tempura, is the Tendon (Tempura Donburi) which is tempura, that is sometimes sided with vegetables, over steamed rice. If you want to make this, there is a recipe below that you can follow :) . The Unadon (Unagi Donburi) is grilled eel over rice.

source: Corpse Reviver
Katsudon (Tonkatsu Donburi) is a breaded deep-fried pork cutlets (tonkatsu) and onion which are simmered and binded by beaten egg, then it is topped over steamed rice. 

source: Nightshadow88
Another donburi dish; the Tekkadon (Tekka Donburi) is topped with a thin-sliced raw tuna sashimi with rice on the bottom. I personally like spicy food and the Spicy Tekkadon is a dish that I like very much, it is made with a mix of spicy ingredients, a spicy orange sauce, or both, usually incorporating spring onions and below this is rice. 

source: kina3
Oyakodon (Oyako Donburi) is known as the "parent and child" or "mother and child" donburi that is made of chicken, egg, sliced scallion (or regular onions), and other ingredients are all simmered together in a sauce and served on top of rice. 

How to Make: Tendon
  • 300g Cooked Rice
  • 75g Tempura Flour 
  • 4 Shiitake Mushrooms – rehydrated
  • 1/2 Renkon Lotus Root – peeled
  • 1/2 pack King or Tiger Prawns – shelled (keep the tail on)
  • 1/4 Aubergine 
  • Sunflower or Vegetable Oil
  • Cooking Chopsticks
For the sauce
  • 6 tbsp Mirin
  • 2 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 1 tsp Dashi
  • 2 tbsp Sugar
How to prepare
  1. When making a donburi it is better to start with the rice preparation as this takes the most time. If you have no idea about how to cook Japanese rice, you can follow our Japan Centre Online how to cook Japanese rice recipe to find out how to make perfect sticky rice. If you have bought some of our handy microwavable rice, or a have a rice cooker, you can skip these steps and prepare your rice as you normally would.
  2. So now the rice is cooking, let’s get our tempura ingredients ready to be fried! Begin by cutting the renkon and aubergine into slices of no more than a centimetre thick to ensure fast frying and removing the shell of the prawns leaving the tail attached.
  3. The next step is to pat the ingredients dry with a piece of kitchen paper and to place on a plate in the fridge prior to cooking. Chilling ingredients is the secret to a nice and crispy tempura batter!
  4. Now grab a heavy bottom pan and fill it approximately 2/3 with oil before heating it to 160-170°C (you could use a deep fat fryer to regulate the temperature). A thick pan is good for retaining heat but an iron wok is even better for this job. Check the oil is at the right temperature by dropping a splash of batter into the oil, if it sizzles then the oil is ready.
  5. Whilst the oil is heating up make sure to keep an eye on it whilst mixing 75g of tempura flour with 110ml of ice cold water to make the batter. The colder the batter and ingredients before frying, the lighter and crispier your tempura will be. You can use ice cubes to keep your batter extra cold.
  6. Now you’re almost ready to deep-fry! Dust the ingredients with a little flour, then dip into the batter, covering completely before placing the battered ingredients with your chopsticks into the oil and cooking for a minute or so on each side until the batter turns golden. Try not to cook too many pieces at one time as this will lower the oil’s temperature. Once cooked, remove from the pan and place on a wire rack before placing on kitchen paper to soak up the remaining excess oil.
  7. Finally let’s prepare the sauce. Put the mirin to boil on high heat and let all the alcohol dissolve. When you can no longer smell the alcohol just add the soy sauce, dashi and sugar and let the mix simmer for a few minutes.
  8. Finish by grabbing a donburi bowl and add the rice and tempura before covering with the tasty sauce.
Tips and Information:
You can use almost any vegetable or seafood to make tempura, just make sure that you cut them thinly enough to cook quickly.

It is better to make the batter mix just before deep-frying. Mix the batter as little as possible, just enough to make sure that there are no lumps. This prevents the gluten in the flour from stretching, ensuring that the batter is not chewy and is as light and crispy as possible. (source:

It may take a while before you get the hang of making this dish, but it will be worth all the hard work when you make the dish very oishii (delicious) and make it successfully. 

Contributed by: Kiara F. Sonza

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  1. Wow! I think this Japanese dish is soooo delicious. I want to try it! Nice article! :)

  2. Hmmm...... your article makes me hungry. I'll tell my mom to cook that for me.

  3. This was very informative! I might have to try and cook it~

  4. Onakasuita! I'm hungry by just looking at the photos. The food you described seems delicious, I want to try it when I visit a Japanese restaurant.


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