Friday food treat: Tamago kake gohan

Photo credit: chia.a.kiing via instagram

Photo credit: chia.a.kiing via instagram

Here is a popular rice dish that is simple to prepare. It is frequently eaten for breakfast but really is an option at any time of day.

What is tomago kake gohan?
Tamago kake gohan is abbreviated to TKG. It is a  rice dish with a raw egg is mixed in. Extra flavourings include soy sauce which is poured over hot rice. Apparently the dish is so popular that now there are even tamago kake gohan restaurants.

Let’s look at the originso of the dish. Gohan means rice or food. Kake means “splashed” or “dashed”.  “Tamago kake meshi” – meshi means rice or food, “tamago gohan”, or simply “tamago kake”.

How to make the dish
The rice may be cold, recently cooked or reheated. The egg may be broken directly into the rice bowl (before or after the rice), or beaten in a separate bowl beforehand. Some people dig a “well” in the mound of rice to pour the egg into. 

Three variations
Here are three different ways of preparing a meal of tamago kake gohan.

  • Mentaiko and butter – Add the mentaiko (cod’s roe), butter and an egg in the bowl of rice. Pour soy sauce, according to your preference. The mentaiko is already salty, so a small amount of soy can be used.. Butter makes the dish rich and tasty. The distinctive umami of mentaiko is good.
  • Avocado and wasabi TKG – Slice a quarter of an avocadoto put on top of the rice and egg. Then add soy sauce and wasabi.
  • TKG carbonara  Cut bacon (1/2 a slice) into 5mm squares. Cook in a frypan until crispy.  Add an egg to the rice. Pour 30mL milk  in and sprinkle in some parmesan cheese. Add the bacon and pour on some soy sauce.

The history of the dish
The diet of the anciet Japanese people was made up of fish and shellfish. Eating meat and poultry was rare. The influence of Buddhism was present. However, poultry was still eaten as compared to meat.

During the Edo period people began to eat eggs. In about 1877 Kishida Ginaka (1833 – 1905) an active journalist in Japan was regarded as the first person in Japan who ate eggs. It is said that he recommended egg-hung rice.

This is an easy dish to prepare and lends itself to interpretation and variation.  Will you give it a try?

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