Authentic Tamago Kake Gohan Recipe: Japanese Rice with Raw Egg

By Edwin

In the realm of social media cooking content creators, there’s one thing that tends to ruffle our feathers: undercooked eggs. It’s not that we dislike them – quite the contrary, I personally love them. But the moment you mention anything about eggs that aren’t fully cooked, you’re bombarded with comments like “that’s still alive” or “take it to the vet, it needs help.”

So, I’m bracing myself as I share this recipe and I might avoid checking my phone for a couple of days. Tamago Kake Gohan is a celebration of the undercooked egg, a fusion of risotto and carbonara, and one of Japan’s most famous everyday dishes, where the preference for barely cooked eggs is practically a religion. The beauty of this dish lies in its simplicity and quick preparation: warm rice nuked in the microwave, mixed with an egg, and that’s it. Ready in three minutes, and if you ask me or any Japanese person, absolutely delicious. The heat of the rice is enough to just barely cook the egg, creating a creamy sauce bursting with flavor, especially if you use high-quality eggs.

The dish is typically made with leftover rice from the previous day – but not older – which results in drier rice that absorbs the soy sauce we’ll add to season it better, and integrates more seamlessly with the egg since the grains are looser. Although the simplest version of the dish is just eggs and rice, it can be elevated with any flavorful garnish: furikake would be the most traditional option, a Japanese classic that’s essentially umami in powder form; but any spicy sauce like Laoganma or a drizzle of sriracha will also work wonders.

Time: 5 minutes

Difficulty: None


  • For 1 person
  • 250 g of cooked white rice (preferably refrigerated overnight)
  • 2 teaspoons of soy sauce
  • 1 egg + 1 yolk
  • Optional extra yolk for topping
  • Optional furikake for garnish


  1. Heat the rice in the microwave for two minutes, or until it’s hot to the touch.
  2. Meanwhile, beat the egg and yolk.
  3. Add soy sauce to the white rice and mix until all grains are coated.
  4. Gradually add the egg, whisking with two chopsticks or a spoon simultaneously. Continue whisking until the egg is creamy and fully incorporated into the rice.
  5. If desired, top with an extra egg yolk and furikake.

Now let’s delve deeper into each component of this dish, its cultural significance, variations, and tips for perfecting it at home.

The Essence of Tamago Kake Gohan

Understanding Tamago Kake Gohan

Tamago Kake Gohan, often abbreviated as “TKG,” is a staple in Japanese cuisine, particularly among college students, busy workers, and anyone looking for a quick, satisfying meal. Its simplicity is deceptive; while it may seem like nothing more than eggs mixed with rice, there’s an art to achieving the perfect balance of flavors and textures.

The Role of Rice

Central to Tamago Kake Gohan is the rice itself. Japanese rice, known for its sticky texture and slightly sweet flavor, is the preferred choice for this dish. The rice should be cooked just right – not too soft and not too firm. Using day-old rice is crucial; it’s drier and less sticky, allowing it to absorb the egg and soy sauce mixture evenly.

The Egg Factor

The star of the show is undoubtedly the egg. In Japanese cuisine, there’s a deep appreciation for the simplicity and purity of raw or barely cooked eggs. The egg adds richness and creaminess to the dish, transforming plain rice into a comforting meal. It’s important to use fresh, high-quality eggs, preferably from free-range chickens, for the best flavor and texture.

Soy Sauce: The Flavor Enhancer

Soy sauce plays a dual role in Tamago Kake Gohan. Not only does it season the rice, but it also adds depth of flavor and a touch of umami. Japanese soy sauce, with its complex aroma and well-balanced taste, is ideal for this dish. The key is to add just enough soy sauce to enhance the flavor without overpowering the delicate taste of the egg.

Optional Garnishes and Variations

While Tamago Kake Gohan is delicious in its simplest form, it’s also a canvas for creativity. Traditional toppings include furikake, a Japanese seasoning blend made from dried seaweed, bonito flakes, sesame seeds, and other savory ingredients. Furikake adds texture, flavor, and visual appeal to the dish.

However, the possibilities for customization are endless. You can experiment with different toppings and sauces to suit your taste preferences. Some popular variations include:

  • Sesame Seeds: Toasted sesame seeds add a nutty flavor and crunchy texture.
  • Green Onions: Finely chopped green onions provide a fresh, aromatic element.
  • Nori: Thinly sliced nori (seaweed) sheets add a briny, umami-rich flavor.
  • Pickled Vegetables: Tangy pickled vegetables, such as radishes or cucumbers, offer a contrast to the richness of the egg.
  • Spicy Mayo: A drizzle of spicy mayonnaise adds heat and creaminess to the dish.

Feel free to get creative and tailor the toppings to your liking. The beauty of Tamago Kake Gohan lies in its versatility – it can be customized to suit any palate or dietary preference.

Tips for Perfecting Tamago Kake Gohan

Choose the Right Rice

The key to achieving the perfect texture in Tamago Kake Gohan is using the right type of rice. Japanese short-grain rice, also known as sushi rice or japonica rice, is the preferred choice. Its sticky texture helps the egg adhere to the grains, creating a creamy consistency.

Use Day-Old Rice

For optimal results, use leftover rice that has been refrigerated overnight. Day-old rice is drier and less sticky than freshly cooked rice, allowing it to absorb the egg and soy sauce mixture more effectively. Additionally, refrigerating the rice overnight helps to prevent it from becoming too mushy when heated in the microwave.

Heat the Rice Properly

When heating the rice in the microwave, be careful not to overcook it. The goal is to warm the rice until it’s hot to the touch, but not piping hot. Overheating the rice can cause it to become mushy and lose its texture. Use a microwave-safe dish and cover it with a microwave-safe lid or plate to prevent splattering.

Gradually Add the Egg

To ensure a smooth and creamy texture, add the beaten egg to the rice gradually, while continuously whisking or stirring. This allows the egg to evenly coat the rice grains and prevents clumping. Be sure to mix the egg thoroughly to incorporate it into the rice mixture.

Customize to Your Taste

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different toppings and seasonings to customize Tamago Kake Gohan to your taste preferences. Whether you prefer it simple and traditional or loaded with toppings, the beauty of this dish lies in its versatility. Feel free to get creative and make it your


Serve Immediately

Tamago Kake Gohan is best enjoyed immediately after preparation, while the rice is still warm and the egg is creamy. Serve it in a bowl and garnish with your favorite toppings for added flavor and visual appeal. Enjoy it as a quick and satisfying meal any time of day.


Tamago Kake Gohan is more than just a simple rice dish – it’s a culinary tradition deeply rooted in Japanese culture. Its humble ingredients and quick preparation make it a beloved comfort food for many, offering a perfect balance of flavors and textures in every bite. Whether enjoyed as a quick breakfast, a hearty lunch, or a late-night snack, Tamago Kake Gohan is sure to satisfy your cravings and leave you craving more. So why not give it a try and experience the magic of this iconic Japanese dish for yourself?