Niratama Donburi ニラ玉丼ぶり

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Egg with Chives Over Rice (Niratama Donburi) | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

Mondays are short days for my children.  I go pick them up at 12:30 pm and come straight home.  While they are changing out of their school uniforms, I usually make some quick lunch for us if we don’t have any leftover from previous night’s dinner.  For a while their favorite was this quick dish called Niratama Donburi (ニラ玉丼ぶり), or Egg with Garlic Chives Over Rice.

Literally translated niratama means garlic chives (nira) egg (tama shorten for tamago).  Sometimes we add a little bit of thinly sliced pork (buta) and that’s called Buta Niratama (豚ニラ玉).  Eggs and garlic chives are cooked on high heat till fluffy outside and still soft inside.  We like to eat it as a single main dish, so we serve it over steamed rice.  The chives I use for this dish are garlic chives (or sometimes called Chinese/Asian chives) and different from the chives used as herbs in Western cuisines.

Egg with Chives Over Rice (Niratama Donburi) | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

I don’t know quite how to explain the flavor, but this simple dish is really, really delicious.  The first time I made this for my husband, he had a strange look on his face when I told him what we’re having as he didn’t believe the combination would work, and definitely thought it would not taste good.  After the first bite, his eye sparkled and said, “wow, the flavor is so unexpected and so good, can you please make this more often?”  The gentle hint of garlic chive mixed with the fluffy egg and rice balances each other really well.

I think most non-Japanese never heard of or seen this dish before because we eat this at home rather than at a restaurant.  This is one of recipes that I cook to use up the big bundle of garlic chives.  Here in the U.S., garlic chives come in a big fat bundle.  I don’t mind a big head of lettuce but garlic chives… I can’t eat it every single day.  So if you got a bunch of garlic chives at home and not sure what to make, try this recipe! :)

Egg with Chives Over Rice (Niratama Donburi) | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

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Niratama Donburi
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: Serves 2
Ingredients
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp. sake
  • ½ tsp. soy sauce
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. oil (See Note)
  • 1.5 oz (43 g) garlic chives, rinsed and pat dry
  • 2 cups steamed rice
    Niratama Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Combine eggs, sake, soy sauce, salt, and black pepper in the medium bowl and mix (but do not over mix).
    Niratama 1
  2. Cut the garlic chives into 2” (5 cm) pieces.
    Niratama 2
  3. Heat ½ Tbsp. oil in a wok over high heat and cook the bottom white part of garlic chives until wilted. Then add the green part and quickly stir fry.
    Niratama 3
  4. Transfer the garlic chives into the bowl with the egg mixture.Niratama 4
  5. Heat the remaining oil into the wok over high heat. When the wok is hot (smoke is coming off the wok), add the egg and garlic chive mixture into the wok. The egg mixture will get fluffy around the edges. Mix the center of the egg mixture and gently fold.
    Niratama 5
  6. When the egg is almost cooked, put rice in a serving plate/bowl and transfer the egg with garlic chives over the rice.
Notes
I understand you want to use less oil as much as possible for healthy diet, but you will need enough oil to make the egg "fluffy". When the egg is added to the hot oil, egg immediately fluff up. Without oil, it may stick to the wok/pan. Please test how much oil is necessary for this dish as it depends on your cookware.

Speaking of cookware, stainless steel wok/pan is recommended to use for this recipe as it is required to cook on high heat. Non-stick woks/pans are designed to use on low/medium-low heat only.

If you add meat/seafood, cook it first and transfer to a plate. Put back into the wok/pan when you cook the egg and combine well.

Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.

 

 

 

 

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  1. I’ve never actually tried chives, just green onions, in recipes that asked for them but I’ve got to pick up a bunch and check this dish out. It seems easy and good too. :)

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  2. Janice

    Hi Nami,
    You post stirred up a memory of my parents making a dish like this for me when I was a child! Thanks for the trip down memory lane. Can’t wait to make it.
    Thanks!

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  3. Pat McC

    Nami: Believe it or not, I have been enjoying this dish for years! I usually but a little sesame oil in with the eggs, though. I grow my own garlic chives in a big pot (1st and 2nd years, they look like blades of grass – still edible, but small – on the 3rd year they are so well established in the pot, being perennials and very winter hardy, I just cut what I need and use); they do go dormant in the winter, so you have to freeze some which diminshes the flavor BUT, they are still quite potent! Thought you might like to know that. I love the dish and so do my friends who like eggs!
    The garlic chives only need to be watered if they are unusually dry. 3rd year they bloom and make seeds too! So pretty and the bees like them! Pat

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    • Hi Pat! I love that you add sesame oil. Even little bit brings the nice aroma to the dish. I’m jealous of your garlic chives garden. I live on the hill and it’s very windy AND we get wild animal visiting all the time, so I don’t grow anything in my backyard. Your story was very interesting and thank you for sharing! :)

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  4. I am quite familiar with the combination of Chinese chives and eggs (I believe it is a home-style Chinese dish? No?). However, I usually cook this combo “omelette” till it is a bit drier and then fill up sandwiches with it. I like how runny your version is and yes, best suited over steamed rice. I have also made a egg-drop soup version before with chives. If I am not wrong, Chinese chives also impart some kind of subtle umami to dishes – so probably this is why they are so delicious and in this case, delicious with eggs. 😀

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    • I actually asked my husband but he’s not familiar with this dish in Taiwanese/Chinese cuisine. BUT he could be wrong as he has been living in the US for a long time…. 😉 I agree about umami flavor. My mom loves adding it to Yakisoba noodles, Tonjiru (pork and veggie miso soup), and gyoza. If it’s not too much, it tastes even better! She said the balance is the key… :)

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    • Hi Steve! Thank you once again for the pointing out my typo! It happened many times…and I should be super careful! I better not to do it at 2 in the morning! >_< Hope you enjoy this dish! :)

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  5. Eha

    Darling Namiko-san ~ methinks very, very many people around the whole wide world enjoy this forever and again – well, I do anyways :) !!!!! Chives – surely the one herb which survives our rather mild winters and which I [rather naturally] have by the bucketload at this time of the year!!! I am simple!! Just plant the plain ones and of course about three times as many garlic chived!!!! How can one even vaguely say they cook without these in the back garden :) ?!!!! Lovely recipe, lovely presentation!!!!!!!

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    • Hello Eha! Thank you for your sweet comment! I had no idea garlic chives were so popular to plant in the yard! I thought they are something we buy from the stores (well, of course we can grow anything ourselves!). =P

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  6. donna mikasa

    Oh, this is so nostalgic for me, Nami! My father grew chives and would make himself chive omelets for breakfast! I think I’ll make this in his memory! Thank you!

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  7. In Poland (at least in my family) scrambled eggs with chives are one of the most popular scrambled eggs versions. I like it a lot, make it very often (in general I love eggs with chives), so this one with garlic chives must be excellent. I am very impatient to test it soon! Thank you for a wonderful easy idea. (Time to plant garlic chives and see if they grow inside too… I always have them in spring, summer and autumn. )

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  8. Maya

    Hiya Ms Nami,
    Thank you for such a easy and tasty recipe.
    We dont have nira (Japanese kind) here.
    Chives are quite thin (more for garnishing).
    Can I use green onions instead (and add garlic as nira has garlicky taste).
    Thank you.
    Kindest regards Maya

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    • Hi Maya! Sure, you can actually use anything to cook with the egg. However, to aim this particular flavor, garlic chives (or Chinese chives) are kind of necessary as they have quite distinct flavor. But if you cannot find them, don’t worry. Substitute with green onions. :)

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  9. Hi, Nami!!! It seems that eggs and rice are something that we have in common. Yes, I grew up eating scrambled eggs with a creamy rice… I used to love it! In fact, it is still comfort food for me until this day. I love your dish!!!! Your children must be quite happy eating it and I bet they will have memories of it.

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  10. hi Nami, We have omelette at least once a week, but never with chives – this looks really excellent. I think rice and egg are a good combination.

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  11. Bob

    Great recipe. Nira are a little hard to find in my area but I also make this dish using pea sprouts which also have a unique flavor to them.

    I really appreciate your food blog, it is a constant resource for my meals.

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    • Hi Bob! I hear some people say they grow garlic chives in their backyard (I didn’t know it was such a popular veggie to plant!) and I also hear some people like you say it’s hard to get. What an interesting ingredient! 😀 You found a great substitute and thank you so much for sharing it with us!

      Thank YOU for following my blog, Bob! You’re too kind. :)

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  12. I too have noticed that garlic chives come in gigantic bunches. I never know what to do with them, so I just don’t buy them as often as I’d like! But this looks like an excellent way to eat a whole big handful in one fell swoop. :) Delicious!

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  13. It may be just a simple egg dish but I fell in love with it at the first pic. it really looks so delicious and the garlic chives sound really great to me. This would make a great meal and no I never heard of this dish before.

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  14. 美味しそう!今直ぐ食べたい=)おしゃった通り、レストランでニラ玉どんぶり見えませんね。紹介して頂どうもありがとうございました。

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  15. Love homey dishes like these – so tasty and easy to whip up :) Love the chives in here, we usually add green onions or preserved radishes. Will have to try the chives next time, thanks so much for sharing Nami and hope you have a great weekend!:)

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  16. Candice

    Hi Nami,

    Mmm…looks yummy! This dish looks like something my dad has made at home. I believe the chinese characters are 大蒜韭菜 (garlic chive)?

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    • Hi Candice! I’m not sure how to write in Chinese character. Japanese uses “katakana” or “hiragana” characters for garlic chives (we write ニラ or にら) and no kanji at all. :( Thank you for your kind compliment!

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  17. I love this recipe, Nami! So simple and comforting…just like all of your recipes ;). Your children have much to look forward to after school!

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  18. cristina

    I’m on the lookout for these garlic chives/Chinese chives, Nami. I’m intrigued by what the flavor must be like. Delicious looking egg dish over rice – could eat for any meal of the day.

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  19. Eugene S. Conlin

    This recipe is also good using Ramsons (aka Allium ursinum or wild garlic – not as strong taste as garlic) in place of the chives.

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  20. This looks like wonderful, comforting food. I know my kids and I would love this. I have seen garlic chives in my Asian store.. now I’m definitely going to buy it and give this a go. :)

    PS.. Happy Blog Anniversary! I saw your post for the Anniversary and amazing giveaway… I follow you everywhere and I am adding my entries for the giveaway a few at a time to distribute my chances about. :) *** fingers crossed*** :)

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  21. I would not even think twice about diving into these gorgeous eggs over rice! It looks like comfort food to me, Nami :) Have a fantastic weekend!

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  22. Well you know me, this is my kind of food. Quick, easy, and yet flavorful. Garlic chives – delicious ingredient, Nami. I hope you are having a fun weekend and wish you a great week ahead. :)

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  23. I use chives quite often in my kitchen but have never tried garlic chives.
    Sounds very interesting and tasty.
    As we have quite a large Japanese community here, I’ll ask one of my friends where to get garlic chives because I must try this dish out:)

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  24. I’ve never heard of garlic chives before but I want to try them. We don’t eat as much rice as we used to but I would love this dish and so would the Mr.

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  25. This looks so good, Nami and also good for you. I love garlic chives. I think this is perfect for so many of those occasions when you desperately want something good to eat but are short on time xx

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  26. April

    Made this for the first time today and, unfortunately had to make a few substitutions (white wine instead of sake…. chives & garlic instead of garlic chives) and OMG!! It was really good! I can’t wait to hunt down the garlic chives and make the recipe properly!

    This dish now has a permanent place on my “go-to dinner” list. :o)

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  27. This is a perfect lunch for Bobby and I! Whenever I have leftover rice, I usually cook up a fried rice dish using stuff in the fridge, so egg with rice – perfect. Now I just need to find some garlic chives. I use to grow them and was planning on growing them again this year. Great recipe Nami! Thanks!

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  28. Such a wonderful – and may I call it also- frugal dish. It is new, delicious, frugal and easy … I have never heard of garlic chives so from where can I get it? Korean market? if I cannot get it what would you recommend for an alternatives to get the wonderful taste and aroma?

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    • Hi Amira! Asian markets, including Korean, should have them. Good alternatives are regular chives, green onions, etc. But of course, it’s missing the good flavor from garlic chives. :)

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  29. Hi Nami! I’m actually on a diet due to overeating on holidays and I was checking out some of your recipes, they all seem to fit in my diet with some variations but I love them, I’m getting tired of the routine and I would love to try your recipes, they look easy and delicious

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  30. Nami, congratulations of your three-year blogoversary. Your recipes are truly unique and I always loved the simple way you adhere to in describing all your recipes. Egg with garlic chives is such a simple, but flavourful concept. I think kids all over the world would love it! Atleast my kids will!! :)

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  31. I love add chilli and garlic chives for my omelette, but never stir fry the garlic chives first….
    tempting to try this version, i guess the garlic chives got nice caramelized flavour after stir fry…

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  32. Dear Nami, now I finally know what to use the garlic chives in. I have seen them and looked at them quite a few times at my favorite Asian market but up to now, I never knew what to use them for – thanks for providing this lovely yet simple recipe and for teaching me yet again another wonderful dish to prepare for the family!

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  33. I’m definitely going to try this! I wish I knew about this dish earlier so I could eat it after school as well! Haha! Anything with eggs are delicious!

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  34. Sarah

    Dear Nami,

    I am a stay-at-home struggling to feed my family good home cooked meals (especially my picky toddler who only eats Asian food). I’m so thankful to have stumbled upon your blog. I love this recipe in particular. I usually make a morning omlete w/ green onion and thinly sliced zucchini or squash over rice. After reading your recipe I switched to chives and added soy sauce and mirin (at the moment we don’t have sake in the house). There are definitely new flavors that shines! Your site has become a wonderful reference to Japanese/Asian cooking. Thank you!

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    • Hi Sarah! I’m so glad you found my site and tried this recipe! Hope you enjoy other Japanese recipes too! Thanks so much for your feedback. :)

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  35. june

    Hi Nami,

    Usually chinese will cook ‘oyster omelette’ with chives. It is simply just oysters+egg+chives+salt+msg+pepper. It is available everywhere in Singapore hawker centres. But I have never tried your recipe before and I can already smell it. I will definitely try to cook your egg+rice as I believe yours is a super healthy version.

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    • Hi June! I LOVE oyster omelette! I don’t like oysters but that’s the only exception that I’d eat. 😀 Hope I get to visit SG one day and try that… Hope you enjoy Niratama recipe! :)

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  36. My garlic chives plant was getting a little tall and this was the perfect use for them. Such a quick and delicious breakfast for my family!

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    • Hi Tara! I’m so jealous you have garlic chives in your yard! I’m glad you liked this recipe. Thank you so much for your kind feedback! :) xo

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  37. Oohh! My mom makes this dish too and it’s so simple and tasty! One of my friends gave us a ton of seeds so my mom planted a whole bunch around the house because it also keeps the bugs away. =)

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  38. Eve

    This looks delish, but this chives looks exactly the same like the one we have in Austria (as in regular chives9? You can also cut and freeze the chives perfectly – to sprinkle over egg dishes to your heart’s content whenever you like. Just as good as fresh …Love chives and eggs in any combination. Lunch for tomorrow sorted :-) thanks !

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    • Hi Eve! I do freeze scallion, but completely never thought of that chives can be frozen too! I have to freeze it next time! Thank you for sharing!! Now I can buy a big chunk of garlic chives. 😀 I hope you enjoy the lunch! :)

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