Quick and delicious, this Beef and Egg Rice Bowl called Tanindon is comfort food at its best. With thinly sliced beef and eggs cooked in a savory-sweet sauce and served over steamed rice, you’ll devour every bite! It’s a speedy meal that you can make in 20 minutes!
If someone asks what are my go-to quick meals, I’d probably say donburi. Donburi refers to a Japanese rice bowl dish that’s topped with savory meat, seafood, tofu, or vegetables. The most popular donburi—or “don” for short—are Gyudon and Oyakodon. Today I’m here to introduce another favorite called Beef and Egg Rice Bowl, or Tanindon (他人丼).
What is Tanindon?
Tanindon (他人丼) is a classic donburi dish made with beef or pork with sliced onion and egg cooked in a savory-and-slightly sweet sauce and served atop of steamed rice. It is like a cousin to both gyudon and oyakodon. Let’s see the difference:
- Gyudon – beef and onion slices are simmered in dashi broth and served over steamed rice.
- Oyakodon – chicken and onion slices are simmered in dashi broth, topped with drizzle of eggs, and served over steamed rice.
- Tanindon – beef or pork and onion slices are simmered in dashi broth, topped with beaten eggs, and served over steamed rice.
Tanin (他人) literally means “outsider, stranger, or unrelated person” in Japanese language, so tanin-don is a playful reference to oyakodon (oyako means “parent and child”). Contrary to oyakodon, which uses chicken and egg, tanindon is made with egg and an unrelated meat, which is beef (or pork).
Tanindon vs. Kaikadon
On the topic of names, this donburi dish can also be called differently depending on the regions in Japan on account of the historical background. People in western Japan, such as the Osaka area, call the rice bowl Tanindon and they prefer beef over pork as the choice of meat.
However, in eastern Japan such as Tokyo area, it goes by the name of Kaikadon (開化丼) and either beef or pork is used. Kaika means civilization in Japanese. The name has to do with the start of Japan’s modernization and the consumption of beef in the Meiji era, but let’s save the details before it gets too confusing. Most importantly, you know what to order from the menu when you’re in Japan.
How to Make Tanindon
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Thinly-sliced beef – I highly recommend ribeye or chuck. You can’t buy thinly sliced meat at a Japanese/Asian grocery store? Slice your own!
- Green onions
- Dashi (Japanese soup stock) – New to dashi? Read this post first. You can make this soup stock with dashi powder, dashi packet, or from scratch.
- Seasonings – soy sauce, sake, mirin, and sugar
- Steamed rice
- Pickled red ginger
Overview: Cooking Steps
- Cut the onion, beef, and green onion.
- Put the onion slices, beef, dashi, and seasonings in a pan.
- Cook the ingredients until they are cooked through.
- Drizzle beaten eggs and put the green onion on top.
- Serve over steamed rice in individual bowls and enjoy!
5 Tips to Make Beef and Egg Bowl
- Flash freeze the beef (for 10 minutes) until the surface of the meat hardens for easy slicing.
- Slice the onion thinly so that it will cook faster.
- Spread the onion slices in the pan and put the meat on top.
- Use a tight-fitting lid so the simmering broth will not evaporate and you’ll have a sauce to spoon over steamed rice.
- Slowly drizzle a small amount of the beaten eggs over the simmering beef. Place your cooking chopsticks at the edge of the bowl that contains the beaten eggs. This will help drizzle the eggs. Do not mix the eggs with beef.
Quick Side Dishes to Serve with Tanindon
Tanindon is a fulfilling dish on its own so you don’t really have to pair it with anything. However, if you would like to serve the rice bowl with one or two side dishes, here are my recommendations:
- Vegetable Miso Soup
- Japanese Cucumber Salad (Sunomono)
- Okra with Ginger Soy Sauce
- Broccoli Blanched with Sesame Oil
- Spinach with Sesame Miso Sauce
Tableware from Musubi Kiln
I’ve partnered with a great ceramic online shop from Japan called Musubi Kiln. You will get 10% off with a coupon code JUSTONECOOKBOOK for your purchase. In this post, I’ve used:
- Senzan Kiln Bold Tokusa Tobe Donburi Bowl M
- NATAME Yamanaka Lacquer Miso Soup Bowl
- Seikou Kiln Traditional Pattern Kutani Coaster
Beef and Egg Bowl (Tanindon)
For the Seasonings
For the Garnish
- pickled red ginger (beni shoga or kizami beni shoga)
- shichimi togarashi (Japanese seven spice) (optional; sprinkle for a spicy kick)
- Before You Start: For the steamed rice, please note that 1½ cups (300 g, 2 rice cooker cups) of uncooked Japanese short-grain rice yield 4⅓ cups (660 g) of cooked rice, enough for 2 donburi servings (3⅓ cups, 500 g). See how to cook short-grain rice with a rice cooker, pot over the stove, Instant Pot, or donabe.
- Gather all the ingredients. I usually put the thinly sliced beef in the freezer for 10 minutes because it‘s a lot easier to cut semi-frozen meat.
To Prepare the Ingredients
- First, thinly slice ½ onion.
- Cut 1 green onion/scallion into thin slices.
- Next, crack and beat 2 large eggs (50 g each w/o shell) in a small bowl.
- Then, take out ½ lb thinly sliced beef (chuck or ribeye) from the freezer. Cut the sliced meat into pieces 3 inches (7.6 cm) wide.
To Cook the Tanindon
- In a large frying pan (do not turn on the heat yet), add ½ cup dashi (Japanese soup stock), 3 Tbsp soy sauce, 2 Tbsp sake, 2 Tbsp mirin, and 1 Tbsp sugar. Mix to combine.
- Next, add the onion slices and spread them throughout the pan, separating the onion layers.
- Then, add the meat on top of the onions. Separate the thin slices of beef so the meat covers the onions.
- Cover the pan with a lid and start cooking over medium heat.
- When the meat is cooked, skim off the scum and fat from the broth with a fine-mesh skimmer. Turn down the heat to simmer and continue cooking, covered, for 3–4 minutes.
- Slowly drizzle a thin stream of the beaten eggs over the simmering beef, placing your cooking chopsticks at the edge of the bowl with the eggs to control the flow. Do not mix the egg with the beef. Sprinkle the green onions on top and cook covered on medium-low heat until the egg is done to your liking (but don‘t overcook it). Usually, rice bowls with eggs in Japan are served while the egg is almost set but still runny. Remove from the heat.
- Divide 2 servings cooked Japanese short-grain rice into individual donburi rice bowls and put the beef and egg mixture on top. If you’d like, drizzle any remaining pan sauce on top. Top with pickled red ginger (beni shoga or kizami beni shoga) and shichimi togarashi (Japanese seven spice) (optional). Enjoy!
- You can keep the leftovers in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days and in the freezer for a month.