Soboro Donburi: Seasoned Ground Meat over Rice / by Alice Zhao

Ok I have to tell you, I am SO proud of this set of quail egg photos. This photo just became my new desktop background. This set came out way cooler than I anticipated and it pushed us to try something new. One of my new year's resolutions was to take our food photography to the next level. And this was definitely our first step in doing so!

Back to the dish at hand, Jared had a similar version of Soboro Donburi while on his trip to LA last month... when he ate at Yakitoriya without me... sigh. Soboro Donburi is essentially seasoned ground meat and egg (usually scrambled) over rice. It's an extremely simple dish and it makes for a fantastic and quick mid-week meal. You can use any type of ground meat for this recipe, but I consider ground chicken thigh to have the best flavor. The version they served at Yakitoriya had a raw quail egg cracked on top, so Jared though he'd recreate it at home.

(we used pork this time)
Soboro Donburi

1lb ground chicken (pork/turkey/beef)
3 tbsp tsuyu (Japanese seasoned soy sauce)
1 tbsp mirin
1/2 onion (minced)
green onion (chopped)
roasted seaweed (shredded)
sesame seeds
egg yolk (optional)


  • In a skillet, heat on high until the pan is really hot. Add 1 tbsp of oil and add the ground meat
  • Spread the meat in the pan and leave it alone for a few minutes to create a nice sear
  • Break apart the meat clumps to bits
  • Add the minced onion and cook for a few more minutes
  • Add the tsuyu and mirin and cook until the liquids are almost dried up
  • In a piping hot bowl of rice, sprinkle the green onion, sesame seeds and seaweed.
  • Then quickly layer the meat on top of the rice.

Note: As an option, you can add a raw egg yolk on top of the rice. Stir the rice/meat/egg yolk together so the hot rice and meat will cook the egg yolk a little. If you would like the egg to be fully cooked, place the whole bowl in an oven at 350 F until it is done. As we said earlier, it is usually served with a scrambled egg.

I especially love this version with the layers of egg yolk, seaweed, ground meat, chopped scallions and sesame seeds over rice. It's the perfection combination.

and a bonus image...
does this not look like a cookbook cover? hahaha.
i change my mind, THIS one gets to grace my desktop. :)