The picture below embodies how a delicious breakfast in the eyes of Japanese people can be a vision of nightmare for many foreigners: miso soup, rice topped with natto (fermented soybeans), and a raw egg.
Rice is the principal food in the Japanese diet, even in the morning, so there are many side dishes and toppings that match it. One of them is “raw eggs.” It’s something you would probably not try in your home country, unless maybe you are 100% sure they are from the day. Luckily, most eggs sold in the Japanese market and served in restaurants are safe and delicious to eat raw.
How to eat tamago kake gohan like a Japanese
Beat it with your chopsticks, add a little soy sauce and pour it over the steaming rice. This is called ‘tamago kake gohan’ (literally: rice with an egg poured on it) in Japanese.
Variations such as adding chopped green onion, mentaiko (marinated roe) or a drop of sesame oil, are also highly popular among the locals. If you are a natto adventurer and are not afraid of the smelly, slimy fermented soybeans, you’ll be happy to know that the taste of natto becomes milder when topped with a raw egg.
Although tamago kake gohan was originally a simple way to top rice off, special soy sauce and eggs targeted at this specific dish, as well as specialized restaurants, have appeared on the market!
It is not rare for raw eggs to be served with breakfast at Japanese hotels and ryokan, in which case make sure to give it a try at least once!