Raw egg on rice? YA or NAH the truth about Tamago-kake-gohan

First-time visitors to Beef-bowl (Gyu-don) restaurants in Japan such as Sukiya and Yoshinoya might be surprised to see that the set menu’s come with a raw egg on the side. This purely Japanese phenomenon comes from the love of eating raw eggs on rice – and the raw egg (for some, the yolk only) apparently tastes great as a topping on Beef bowls. 

‘Tamago-kake-gohan’ literally means egg on rice. The dish is easy to make – all you need is a fresh raw egg that you crack on the rice and mix with a dash of soy sauce and you are done. Some people only use the yolk of the eggs, but it all comes down to personal preference.

Most Australians would initially cringe at the thought of eating a raw egg at all (I did when I heard about it for the first time anyway) especially when there were scared from the media about salmonella chicken and eggs in the early 2000s. However Japanese people have been eating raw eggs for hundreds of years – and won’t be stopping any time soon. The key is to make sure you are using only the freshest eggs on your rice!

After a buzz on Twitter in Japan a few months ago, we decided to make tamago-kake-gohan with the special recipe a Twitter user made after 50 attempts. The final recipe drew so much attention for being totally ‘UMAI’ (YUMMY).

For this recipe, all you need is:

  • Cooked Japanese rice
  • Fresh egg(s)
  • Soy sauce
  • Sugar
  • Dashi powder of your choice

(1) Separate the yolk and the egg whites into two different containers.

(2) Add a few drops of soy sauce, ½ pinch of sugar and ½ pinch od dashi powder to the egg whites and whisk intensely for EXACTLY 90 seconds (90 seconds is a MUST – the recipe says so!)

(3) Serve yourself a bowl of rice, and make a little crater in the middle like a mini volcano.

(4) Gently place the yolk on the rice crater you made, then top with the eggs whites and other ingredients.

(5) Mix well and enjoy!

I have previously tasted the regular tamago-kake-gohan which simply consists of the raw egg topped with a dash of soy sauce, and quite enjoyed it, but after tasting this recipe it totally made sense. Adding in a touch of Sugar and dashi gave the dish a special strength to the overall creamy and mellow flavour of the egg yolk and rice. The great thing about this dish is that it is very customisable – I recommend topping with some thinly sliced scallions to give the dish a little bit more life and texture with the presence of fresh vegetables.

If you are a fan of runny eggs and are up for trying something new (and are not scared of raw eggs) I would definitely recommend trying this dish at home. Its super simple to whip up making it the perfect side dish to have with any meal.

If you live in Sydney be sure to look out for YAMAGISHI Happy Eggs who officially recommend their fresh eggs for tamago-kake-gohan!


Amelia Spagnolo-Messinger
Videographer / Photographer
Amelia Spagnolo-Messinger