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Tamago Kake Gohan, or simply T.K.G. (Egg Over Rice)

Date Published: Last Update:2015/05/11 Food , , , , , ,

Tamago Kake Gohan (T.K.G)

Tamago Kake Gohan @ Fukumimi

Tamago Kake Gohan, T.K.G. in short, is a popular, very simple Japanese meal.

“Tamago” is the Japanese word for egg, while “Kake” is derived from the verb “kakeru” means to pour something over and “Gohan” for cooked rice.

Straight to its name, you basically just need an egg, of course raw one, some warm cooked rice and soy sauce.

These are the steps to make TKG:

  1. Prepare a warm cooked rice in a bowl.
  2. Break the egg and pour in the middle of rice. If you are hesitant to eat the egg white, you can skip it and only use the egg yolk. You can also beat the egg in a separate bowl beforehand.
  3. Add some drops of soy sauce to taste.
  4. Mix it up and that’s it, ready to eat!


Illustration of a basic preparation of Tamago Kake Gohan

For variations, you can also add toppings such as seaweed strips, chopped spring onions, bonito flakes, even cheese! Try different toppings and come up your own version.

Just recently, I saw on TV another way to prepare TKG. First, mix the egg white with rice until it’s fluffy. After that, add the egg yolk and mix. By doing this, there will be no more lumps of egg white ― that many people might have difficulty dealing with.

A little background about chicken egg consumption in Japan

According to Wikipedia, consumption of chicken eggs in Japan began during Edo era. Before that, Japanese food was mainly centered around seafood. The Buddhism’s belief about not hurting or killing animals (could be a misunderstanding) might have been one of the reasons why consumption of animal meat, including that of chicken, is rare at that time.

By the time of Edo era, people became fond of growing chicken in their backyards. After witnessing that chicken eggs (unfertilized one) do not hatch, people began to think that it is not a living creature and eating it no longer considered as a taboo. This leads to a growing consumption of chicken eggs. At that time, the custom of eating raw egg on rice did not exist yet, the fact that it was still very expensive back then.

Then you might wonder, when did Japanese start to eat TKG?

One theory is, Kishida Ginkou from Misaki town was the first person who ate TKG and recommended it to people around him. It is actually indicated in a published book entitled Koushouyoushuu written by Yohei Oomori in page 199.

I can’t remember when was the first time I had it. But I’m pretty sure it wasn’t one of my favorite meals. Until I had the chance to have it again during our company trip in Kochi Prefecture, which I will share to you on my next post.

So, if you plan to try out TKG, just make sure you are confident about the freshness and safety of the egg you will use and you trust your source to avoid food poisoning caused by salmonella. We don’t want that, right?

Did you know?

In Japan, the best-before date written on the packaging of the egg actually indicates until when you can eat it as raw. You can still eat the egg even if it’s beyond the best-before date as long as you cook it very well and as soon as possible. But even if it’s still within the best-before date, when it has a crack, only eat it when it’s cooked.

Tamago Kake Gohan – Wikipedia
Kishida Ginkou – Wikipedia
Nihon Yousei Kyoukai (Japan Poultry Raising Association) – Details about best-before date

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A gaijin in Okayama who enjoys viewing cherry blossom in spring, fireworks in summer, eating grilled sanma (Pacific saury fish) in autumn and oden in winter.

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