Food & Drink

Tamago Kake Gohan Is the Easy Recipe That Helped My Family Love Breakfast Again

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My mother is aware of that I am keen on pickled ginger atop tamago kake gohan. I do know she is aware of — as a result of on busy days throughout quarantine when she occurred to be the primary one up, there was all the time a little bit of pickled ginger ready on the breakfast desk, proper subsequent to the rice cooker and uncooked eggs. However my mother prefers bonito flakes on hers, so if my dad or I ready breakfast, we all the time put some in just a little dish and positioned it in entrance of the place she usually sits. The chosen add-ons for a bowl of tamago kake gohan say one thing concerning the eater, and to know somebody’s topping preferences by coronary heart is to care about that particular person.

This well-liked savory Japanese breakfast, which interprets as “egg over rice” (and is typically abbreviated as TKG), is exceptionally easy. Crack a uncooked egg right into a bowl of sizzling cooked rice and sprinkle in some choose seasonings — like salt, mirin, soy sauce, and hondashi (on the spot dashi granules) — earlier than utilizing chopsticks to whip it vigorously right into a fluffy, creamy suspension. The meal is splendidly mellow and umami-rich, to not point out uncomplicated to make. However I believe it’s the toppings that actually elevate this fast breakfast into consolation meals — one which nurtured my household in the course of the pandemic.

Once I got here house to California in the beginning of quarantine, I assumed that staying with my household would afford us many alternatives to take a seat right down to correct household breakfasts. No extra granola bars scarfed down in the course of the commute! No boiled eggs peeled on the workplace!

The fact unfolded just a little in a different way. What appeared like a chance for higher autonomy turned out to be the waning of work-home separation. Job duties began to creep into private time, and that meant regularly delaying or eschewing breakfast completely; the sheer quantity of cooking three meals a day was starting to overwhelm.

One morning, I got here downstairs to see the rice cooker on the “maintain heat” setting, a bowl of uncooked pasteurized eggs beside it. Earlier than my dad even opened his mouth, I knew what he had in thoughts: tamago kake gohan. I hadn’t seen this on our breakfast desk shortly, however the déjà vu was instant.

My father spent loads of time in Japan for work, which gave him a lifelong  appreciation for Japanese meals — a curiosity and curiosity he imparted to me all through my childhood. Tamago kake gohan is a much-loved easy meal in Japan, the place grocery shops even promote specialty soy sauces designed particularly for the dish, and there are restaurants that specialize solely in tamago kake gohan. My dad was first launched to the dish in Tokyo many years in the past — and he’s made it at house recurrently ever since. Once I was a child, tamago kake gohan was a favourite of ours, and the breakfast was good for rushed mornings earlier than faculty and work — partially as a result of the sleek, creamy texture was conducive to scarfing down.

Through the years, life acquired busier, and breakfasts grew to become less complicated and fewer hearty. However that morning, seeing how extended isolation was draining us of our power, my father introduced that it was time to reinstate breakfasts. It didn’t must be difficult, he insisted, but it surely did must be eaten.

Tamago kake gohan simply is likely to be the right working-from-home breakfast. The Japanese meal is something however time-consuming — a one-bowl breakfast that requires little prep or washing up. You’ll be able to merely scoop some rice right into a bowl, crack an egg over high, and shortly whip all of it collectively earlier than personalizing it with just a few favourite toppings. On days when copious Zoom calls preclude us all from sitting right down to breakfast as a household, realizing and prepping one another’s chosen add-ons has turn into a small gesture of endearment that helped us not solely keep nourished — but in addition related throughout an uneasy 12 months.

My household has tamago kake gohan to thank for getting us again into our breakfast groove. I now know that my dad enjoys beneficiant sprinklings of wasabi furikake and an additional egg yolk on his, and that my mother by no means wavers from bonito flakes and natto on hers. And I do know they know my timeless loyalty to pickled ginger and sliced scallions. In an in any other case unpredictable time, it was a small consolation that this a lot, at the least, was sure. And though we’re out of quarantine and again to work now, residing underneath separate roofs once more, I believe tamago kake gohan — and a household custom — will likely be sticking round.

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