This Delicious Japanese Breakfast Costs Under $1
'Tamago kake gohan' is my go-to post-workout meal and takes just 15 minutes to make
Get full access to Outside Learn, our online education hub featuring in-depth fitness, nutrition, and adventure courses and more than 2,000 instructional videos when you sign up for Outside+.
Easy to make, perfectly nutritious, and incredibly tasty. When it comes to most meals, you’re lucky to achieve two of those attributes. But tamago kake gohan—Japanese for “egg rice”—manages all three and does it for under $1 in ingredients per serving.
Pre-lockdown, I always rewarded myself for going to the gym with a hearty takeout meal immediately afterward. But as I transitioned to the new normal, in addition to improvising home workouts, I needed to adapt with something I could whip up in my own kitchen. Anything I cook during the middle of a workday needs to be easy to make and easy to clean up. I was also looking for food containing ample protein and plenty of carbs. While searching for simple, rice-based options, I remembered my favorite Japanese breakfast and discovered J. Kenji López-Alt’s recipe for making it.
What You’ll Need
- A pot with a lid
- A measuring cup
- A bowl
- 1 cup white rice
- 2 whole eggs and one egg yolk
- Soy sauce to taste
- Furikake (a Japanese rice seasoning made from sesame seeds and seaweed) to taste
- Sriracha to taste
Making Japanese-style egg rice couldn’t be easier. Just cook a cup of white rice according to the package directions. Once that’s done, spoon the rice into a bowl, crack two raw eggs atop it, and add some soy sauce and furikake. A good bowl of egg rice is defined by its foamy texture, which you achieve by beating the raw eggs into the rice with chopsticks. López-Alt suggests doing this vigorously, to help incorporate air into the mixture. I then finish my rice bowl with a raw egg yolk for added protein. (As long as the rice is hot enough, the eggs should partially cook, but if you’re worried about raw eggs, you can always use pasteurized ones.) Add some sriracha and a little more furikake. Eat it while it’s hot.
The end result provides about 22 grams of protein, 44 grams of carbs, 17 grams of fat, and 430 calories, according to the nutrition details on the various packages I use.
Wouldn’t this dish be healthier with the addition of vegetables? Absolutely. It’s great with slices of avocado, some extra seaweed (already an ingredient found in furikake), or, even better, a pickled vegetable like kimchi, which adds a layer of sour spiciness.
Tamago kake gohan is so quick and simple to make that it’s become my go-to post-workout meal five days a week. After eating it, I feel clearheaded, energetic, and not overly full. I also avoid the unsettled tummy I sometimes get from other post-workout shakes and meals. Not bad for a buck.