Feb 10
2012

Tamago Kake Gohan (Egg Over Rice)

in Breakfast, Eggs & Tofu, Japan, Japanese, Rice & Noodles

Tamago kake gohan (卵かけご飯) (“egg over rice”) is a popular Japanese breakfast dish, which consists of hot steamed Japanese rice, topped with raw egg, and toppings.  Ten years ago I doubt that the thought of eating a raw egg would have sounded the least bit appetizing.  (Although I’ve never been one to turn down a spoonful of cookie dough, which definitely includes the aforementioned raw egg.)  But then Japan “happened” to me.  As I’m sure is doubtlessly evident through this blog, Japan has been a defining influence in my life.  My experiences there have worked their way into the nooks and crannies of my life and slowly changed me into a different person.  Tamago kake gohan represents one of the more literal changes.  I now consider raw egg to be incredibly appetizing.  (Did I really just write that?)  I think my first encounter in Japan with a raw egg was eating sukiyaki for the first time.  Sukiyaki is a type of Japanese hot pot that is cooked table-side in an iron pot.  It consists of thinly sliced meat simmered with a variety of vegetables and other ingredients in a broth.  The traditional way to eat sukiyaki is to grab items out of the pot and dip them in a bowl of raw, beaten egg and then eating them.  I will always try something once, and so I watched my Japanese friend’s technique and followed suit.  I was surprised to find that it was delicious.

Safest Choice Eggs

Then I was introduced to tamago kake gohan (sometimes called TKG for short).  I cannot explain how ridiculously comforting this dish is.  I like to make a little well in my bowl of hot rice in which to crack my egg into.  I drizzle a tiny bit of soy sauce mixed with dashi (Japanese sea stock) over my egg, then use my chopsticks to break the egg yolk and mix the egg into the rice.  The hot steamy rice changes the raw egg into a sort of velvety yellow sauce.  The egg isn’t quite cooked, but it isn’t completely raw either.  The soy sauce dashi mixture add a bit of salty seasoning to the rice, making the flavor of the egg really pop.

Tamago Kake Gohan

There is no correct way of making tamago kake gohan (which is why I’m just writing about it, rather than sharing a true recipe).  Some people beat the egg first, then pour it over their rice.  Some people only use the yolk.  Toppings can include whatever you feel like adding.  Scallions, nori, furikake, bacon . . . all are delicious!  This dish is so popular in Japan that is sometimes called TKG for short.  Ajinomoto has made a short movie about making tamago kake gohan, and there is even a book which shares 365 days of making different versions of tamago kake gohan.

* A note about food safety: In Japan, each egg is stamped with the date on which it was laid, so you always know exactly how old your eggs are.  Raw egg is never something people are afraid of in Japan.  Here in the States though, raw egg is a different story, and although I admit to not worrying about it a whole lot for myself, I do worry about my children.  So for them, tamago kake gohan isn’t a frequent breakfast option.  Then at Camp Blogaway this past summer I was introduced to Safest Choice eggs.  These eggs are pasteurized, which eliminates the risk of salmonella.  Perfect for tamago kake gohan!!

Safest Choice Pasteurized Eggs

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

jenjenk February 10, 2012 at 10:15 am

You know this is my FAVORITE breakfast/lunch/dinner option!!! I could eat this all day every day!! In Japan, my family has chickens so we’re never worried. In the states, I cook my egg, sunny side up and it almost gives me the same feeling of tamago gohan! :)

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LiztheChef February 10, 2012 at 10:46 am

Oh, I am THRILLED to find a brand of pasteurized eggs. For recipes like this and others I have that use raw eggs, I have had to pass on, because my family cannot eat “normal” raw eggs. Such a gift, plus a lovely recipe. Thanks!!

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Yuri - Chef Pandita February 10, 2012 at 12:52 pm

This is one of my favorite childhood dishes! I used to eat this with my dad all the time. Steamy rice, raw egg, shoyu :) I rarely eat rice anymore but my boyfriend LOVES hot stone bibimbap. My parents have egg laying hens and when we go to the Korean restaurant, I bring the eggs for his bibimbap. You should see us walking into the restaurant, eggs in hand [yes, eggs. He says one isn't enough and always asks for two!]

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sami February 10, 2012 at 1:45 pm

it’s kind of funny… so i sort of like to brag about it…

my dad used to make this for me whenever i came home after a night of clubbing/drinking. kekeke. it’s reaaaally just the perfect little bite at 3 or 4 in the morning. hahaha!

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hiroko February 11, 2012 at 11:19 am

This is my all time favorite comfort food!!! When I moved to US to attend college, I didin’t know about safety about eating raw eggs in US….nothing ever happend:) I like to eat mine with natto and lots of scallions.

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Andrea T February 11, 2012 at 5:59 pm

o, wow. i ate this dish once or twice when i lived in japan. my x-husband is Japanese and his mother made it for me. seeing the photo makes me miss japan. i ate so much more healthier than and i was in a much better environment of peace where we lived.

when i moved back to the states, i refused to buy American rice and now only buy Japanese rice from the Japanese market. since it is all shipped from japan, i do not get to buy groceries very often and do the best that i can.

so i will try this with cooked egg and share it with my son. he may not remember but he ate Japanese food for the first 2 years of his life. this will be a wonderful treat for him.

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Doris February 11, 2012 at 7:07 pm

We used to eat this alot when I was growing up but stopped after the egg warnings. Will look for the pasturized eggs to have it again.

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Anna @ hiddenponies February 11, 2012 at 8:33 pm

Hmm, I am still on the eat-raw-cookie-dough-but-not-raw-eggs-I-can-see bandwagon, but you have be moving closer to being convinced… :) Gorgeous pictures!

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Anna @ hiddenponies February 11, 2012 at 8:34 pm

Oops, have ME moving closer, not “be”. Dohp.

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pam February 12, 2012 at 3:11 pm

this is also my most favorite childhood comfort food. Deeply satisfying and comforting. My mother just called it tamago gohan. It is best using japanese short grain rice, eaten when the gohan is just finished cooking so it is very hot and the texture is silky and and oh so good!

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love cooking February 23, 2012 at 10:34 pm

Egg is one of my favorite. But eating totally raw egg will be a new adventure for me. But, I think I should at least try once. It looks so nice. :)

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Liiitza February 28, 2012 at 9:23 pm

I love Tamago kake gohan!!

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blk April 6, 2012 at 1:01 pm

c’mon it’s raw egg, yeah it’s uncommon to eat raw eggs in my country.
but then i tried to make tkg, and….it’s good!

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Arudhi@Aboxofkitchen June 4, 2012 at 10:06 am

Hello, Rachael! I found your post on TKG while I was posting my version of TKG, so I thought I should include a link to this post. Thank you for the safety tips and I hope you don`t mind me sharing the link :) By the way, I think the Ajinomoto`s commercial clips about TKG is very convincing! Thanks for sharing the info about the book too!

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Adam October 9, 2012 at 10:49 am

i know this is an old post but i love this dish i was stationed in japan for 2 years and loved every minute of it now im back in the states i miss the food. To all those people who have reservations about eating raw egg this is the same as pasta carbonara where the heat of the cooked pasta (or rice in this case) cooks the egg i make both these dishes at home and have never had an issue or concern about the egg

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www.socialblast.co.uk June 5, 2013 at 3:53 pm

You made some good points there. I looked on the internet for more information about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this site.

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Beth December 9, 2013 at 2:08 pm

Ate this today for dinner. I loved it! It’s so good and filling. I’m going to have to try this for breakfast one day.

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nhammm January 2, 2014 at 8:30 am

Simple yet wholesome! Thumbs up…

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nidira February 11, 2014 at 4:29 pm

Would you recommend using store-bought eggs here in the states? I want to try this so bad!

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