Donburi: The Don of All Rice Bowl Dishes

Written by on June 10th, 2020 // Filed under Blog

What is Donburi? 

Donburi is also known as a Japanese rice bowl dish, with the Japanese term ‘don’ literally meaning ‘bowl’. It can include a variety of ingredients that accompany the rice, as you can see below. Let’s be acquainted with the more popular versions of donburi.


“Katsu” means breaded deep fried pork cutlets. Tonkatsu is cooked in broth, the pork cutlets are panko-crumbed deep fried and Japanese style scrambled egg with onions are placed on a bowl of rice. A sweet and spicy tonkatsu sauce or even just soy sauce finishes the dish, and a sprinkle of sliced green onion leaves adds color. Katsudon meat is not limited to pork – you can have chicken, white fish or even potatoes. The word “katsu” in Japanese means “to win”. 


“Gyu” means beef in Japanese. It consists of a rice bowl with beef and onion simmered with sauce, and sometimes topped with raw egg or a soft poached egg. It is simmered in a mildly sweet sauce flavored with dashi, soy sauce and mirin. It sometimes also includes shirataki noodles. Japanese people usually eat gyudon with beni shoga  or pickled ginger. Gyudon is the most famous bowl dish in Japan. 


Unagi means eel in Japanese, hence, unadon is unagi donburi, which means eel rice bowl dish. They usually serve the eel with sweetened soy sauce. The taste of unagi in Japan is considered as the best in the world. However, the price of this dish is expensive, compared with the other bowl dishes. 


This is simply Tempura Donburi. In Japan, tempura does not only mean breaded fried shrimp or prawn, but also refers to other deep fried pieces of battered seafood and vegetables, such as fish, okra, sweet potato, pumpkin, among others. It comes with its own sweet tempura dipping sauce.


It is a rice bowl with many kinds of fresh raw seafood. In fact, kaisen means ‘seafood’. Japanese people usually use maguro (tuna), ebi (shrimp), ikura (salmon roe), uni (sea urchin), kani (crab), ika (squid), etc. This is ideal for sushi and sashimi lovers. Kaisedon is also more expensive compared to the other bowls.

Donburi meals are popular not only among Japanese, but also among foreigners too. Their popularity may be because of their affordable price range; they’re actually cheaper than a set Japanese meal. With several variations of Donburi, it can cater to a wide variety of eaters. 

Easily Loving Donburi in Federal Way

Drop by K-Ton in Federal Way and you’ll surely easily settle down with the donburi of your choice. We serve all your favorites.