Tamago Kake Gohan (Japanese-Style Rice With Egg) Recipe

20140416-tamago-kake-gohan-recipe-14.jpg
Photographs and video: J. Kenji López-Alt

Why It Works

  • The hot rice helps thicken the egg slightly, giving the whole dish a lighter, fluffier texture.
  • Beating the eggs and rice thoroughly with chopsticks introduces air into the egg whites, making them fluffier.
  • Soy sauce, MSG, and furikake are all umami-rich ingredients that give the dish a nice savory flavor.

Tamago gohan (literally "egg rice")—rice mixed with a raw egg—is Japanese comfort food at its simplest. Start with a bowl of hot rice, then break an egg into it. Season it with a little bit of soy sauce, a pinch of salt, and a shake of Aji-no-moto, a Japanese brand of pure powdered MSG. (Like most Japanese people, I have no hang-ups about eating MSG.) Whip it up with a pair of chopsticks until the egg turns pale yellow and foamy and holds the rice in a light, frothy suspension, somewhere between a custard and a meringue.

0:49

It's one of my favorite recipes of all time, and something that can be made in minutes.

Recipe Facts

Active: 3 mins
Total: 3 mins
Serves: 1 serving

Rate & Comment

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cooked hot white rice (about 12 ounces cooked rice; 340g)
  • 1 egg (plus 1 optional egg yolk)
  • Soy sauce
  • Kosher salt
  • MSG powder, such as Aji-no-moto or Accent (optional)
  • Mirin (optional)
  • Hondashi (optional; see note)
  • Furikake (optional; see note)
  • Thinly sliced or torn nori (optional)

Directions

  1. Place rice in a bowl and make a shallow indentation in the center. Break the whole egg into the center. Season with 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce, a pinch of salt, a pinch of MSG, 1/2 teaspoon mirin (if using), and a pinch of Hondashi (if using). Stir vigorously with chopsticks to incorporate egg; it should become pale yellow, frothy, and fluffy in texture. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary. Sprinkle with furikake and nori (if using), make a small indentation in the top, and add the other egg yolk (if using). Serve immediately.

Notes

Hondashi is powdered dashi that can be found in any Japanese market and most well-stocked supermarkets. Furikake is a seasoning mixture typically made with seaweed, dried sweetened bonito, and sesame seeds, among other ingredients. It can be found in any Japanese market.

This Recipe Appears In