A donburi is a bowl of white rice with toppings. There are many different kinds and they are very popular in Japan as everyday food. I love them because they are so easy to make, filling, and delicious. Among the most popular ones are: 

tendon (天丼) – w/ tempura (shrimp, mushroom, eggplant, etc. whatever is in season)
katsudon (カツ丼) – w/ pork cutlet and egg
butadon (豚丼) – w/ pork, onions, and a sweet teriyaki sauce
oyakodon (親子丼) – oya means “parent” and ko means “child”, so in this case “parent and child bowl” means chicken and egg. Hokkaido, famous for its salmon, has its own version of oyakodon: slices of salmon sashimi and roe. 

You won’t find this dish in a usual Japanese restaurant. But it’s pretty tasty, and making it with veggies grown in Hokkaido just makes it even better. 

Serves 1

1 tsp chopped ginger

3 shiitake mushrooms, stems taken out and sliced

1/4 cup water chestnuts for some added crunch (bamboo shoots and lotus roots would work as well; just stay away from the canned versions!)

200 g firm tofu, drained, sliced into small cubes

a few stalks of komatsuna (Japanese mustard spinach), chingensai (Chinese cabbage), or other leafy vegetables (not lettuce!), parboiled and cut into bite-sized pieces

chopped green onions, for garnish

1 1/2 cups freshly cooked white rice (brown rice also works well and is healthier)

1 tbsp oil


1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce

1 1/2 tbsp sake

1 tbsp sugar

1 tbsp mirin

1. Combine soy sauce, sake, sugar, and mirin, and set aside. 
2. Saute ginger on medium heat to get the flavour going, about 30-45 seconds. 
3. Add sliced shiitakes. You want them brown and slightly crispy, so about 2 minutes each side. 
4. Add water chestnuts, and after about a 30 seconds, the tofu. Keep sauteing for a minute, then add the Japanese mustard spinach. 
5. Immediately pour in the sauce and turn down the heat to low. 
6. When everything has been coated in sauce, turn off the heat and serve on a bowl of steaming rice. Add some chooped green onions for garnish.