What is Tanindon?
As you might already know, Oyakodon is a popular Japanese rice bowl dish made with chicken, onion, and egg. Tanindon (他人丼) is a similar version made with beef or pork instead of chicken.
Oyako (親子) is a Japanese term representing a parent and child, often egg and chicken in a cooking context, such as Oyako Udon. On the other hand, the word Tanin (他人) means “other people” and refers to the fact they’re unrelated. So, the name Tanindon signifies the unrelated nature of pork and eggs.
In Kansai (Western Japan), it is commonly referred to as “Tanindon,” while in Kanto (Eastern Japan), it is sometimes called “Kaikadon (開化丼)” because using meat like pork or beef was very new to Japan, and represents Japan’s civilization and enlightenment “Bunmei Kaika (文明開化)” back in the late 1860s.
How I Developed This Recipe
I had already created a recipe for Oyakodon, so when I developed this Tanindon recipe, I did not want to make the exact same thing again.
First of all, I chose pork over beef and focused on maximizing the flavor and sweetness that pork can uniquely offer by utilizing different condiments. I kept the fluffy egg method from my Oyakodon recipe, but added some extra vegetables for additional texture and flavor, making this dish even more comforting and making it a little more nutritious.
The final result exceeded my expectations. In fact, I might even like it more than Oyakodon!
Ingredients & Substitution Ideas
- Thinly Sliced Pork: I used end cuts for this recipe, but any moderately fatty pork cut is ideal. It brings more flavor and juiciness to the dish.
- Cake Flour: This is used to dredge the meat which improves both texture and flavor. All-purpose flour is also fine.
- Shiitake Mushrooms: Not only are they a good partner for pork, but they can deepen the overall flavor. If unavailable, other mushrooms can be substituted.
- Yellow Onion: In Japan, yellow onions are commonly used, but white onions are also suitable.
- Japanese Leeks (Naganegi): These are long and thick with a natural sweetness when cooked. Regular leeks can be used as a substitute.
- Mirin: Hon Mirin is recommended for authentic Japanese flavor. For more information on hon mirin and other types, consult my detailed mirin guide.
- Sugar: Any sugar works, though I’ve been using light brown cane sugar in most of my recent dishes.
- Light Soy Sauce: Refer to my Complete Guide to Soy Sauce for an understanding of light versus dark soy sauce and brand recommendations. Dark soy sauce can be used, but light soy sauce (usukuchi) is preferable for highlighting the pork’s flavor.
- Dashi Granules: These add depth and flavor to dashi effortlessly. See my guide on dashi granules for recommended brands and additional information.
- Eggs: The recipe is made with medium-sized eggs, but small or large eggs can be used as well.
- Cooked Japanese Short-Grain Rice: Short-grain rice is the best for donburi dishes. For recommendations on brands available in the U.S. and cooking instructions, see my How to Cook Japanese Rice Recipe.
- Toppings: Garnish with broccoli sprouts, chopped green onions, and benishoga (red pickled ginger) for extra flavor and texture.
Curious about the exact brands and products that bring my recipes to life? Discover the brands and ingredients behind my recipes at the Sudachi Amazon Storefront. Explore my handpicked pantry essentials and find your next kitchen favorites!Jump to Full Recipe Measurements
Visual Walkthrough & Tips
Here are my step-by-step instructions for how to make Tanindon at home. For ingredient quantities and simplified instructions, scroll down for the Printable Recipe Card below.
Take thinly sliced pork and place it in a bowl. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and cake flour. Mix well until the chicken is evenly coated.
This coating is crucial as it directly impacts the final texture, resulting in the best texture and juiciness.
Heat a frying pan over medium heat and add a drizzle of cooking oil.
Once hot, arrange the pork in a single layer and fry until both sides are golden.
Once done, turn off the heat and transfer the pork to a plate for later.
Warishita is a sweet dashi-based sauce used for simmering meat and vegetables. In the same pan, add water, mirin, light brown sugar, and dashi granules. Mix well.
Add the sliced onions, leeks, and shiitake mushrooms to the sauce. Simmer over medium heat until the onions have softened.
Return the cooked pork to the pan and pour in light soy sauce.
Separate medium eggs into two bowls, keeping the whites and yolks separate.
Lightly whisk the whites, then pour them into the pan. This step is crucial for achieving the layers of texture within the egg, and ensuring the whites are fully cooked.
Cover the pan with a lid and let it cook for 1 minute. The steam will help cook the egg whites evenly.
After 1 minute, gently drizzle the whisked egg yolks over. Cover again and turn off the heat. Let the eggs cook in the residual heat or low heat if you want your eggs well done.
Dish up two portions of cooked Japanese short-grain rice into bowls.
Divide the contents of the pan between each bowl, carefully arranging over the rice. Leftover sauce in the pan can be drizzled over the top.
Finish by garnishing each bowl with broccoli sprouts, chopped green onions, and benishoga.
Enjoy!Jump to Full Recipe Measurements
I hope you enjoy this Tanindon recipe! If you try it out, I’d really appreciate it if you could spare a moment to let me know what you thought by giving a review and star rating in the comments below. It’s also helpful to share any adjustments you made to the recipe with our other readers. Thank you!
More Donburi Recipes
- Easy Yakiniku Don (Japanese BBQ Style Beef Bowl)
- Chicken Soboro Rice Bowl (Sanshoku Donburi)
- Sukiya Gyudon (Japanese Beef Bowl)
- Garlic Teriyaki Chicken Donburi (Rice Bowl)
Want more inspiration? Explore my Donburi Roundup Post for a carefully selected collection of tasty recipe ideas to spark your next meal!
Tanindon (Japanese Pork and Egg Rice Bowl)
- 250 g thinly sliced pork preferably belly, loin or butt
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 tbsp cake flour
- 1 tsp cooking oil
- 3 tbsp mirin
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp dashi granules
- 120 ml water
- 2 fresh shiitake mushroom(s) thinly sliced
- ½ yellow onion thinly sliced
- 1 Japanese Leeks (Naganegi) or regular leek (white part) thin diagonal slices
- 2 tbsp light soy sauce
- 3 pasteurized egg
- 2 portions cooked Japanese short-grain rice
- broccoli sprouts optional topping
- finely chopped green onion(s) optional topping
- red pickled ginger (benishoga) optional topping
- Place 250 g thinly sliced pork in a bowl and sprinkle with 1 pinch salt and 1 tbsp cake flour. Mix until the pork has a thin, even coat.
- Heat a frying pan on medium and add 1 tsp cooking oil. Once hot, add the pork and arrange it in a single layer. Fry until both sides are lightly golden. Once done, transfer the pork to a plate and set aside for later.
- Using the same pan, add 3 tbsp mirin, 2 tsp sugar, 1 tsp dashi granules and 120 ml water. Mix well until the sugar and dashi granules have dissolved, then add 2 fresh shiitake mushroom(s), ½ yellow onion and 1 Japanese Leeks (Naganegi). Simmer until the onions have softened.
- Add the pork back to the pan and drizzle 2 tbsp light soy sauce. Mix to evenly disperse.
- Separate 3 pasteurized egg so that the whites and yolks are in separate bowls. Lightly whisk the whites and pour them around the pan. Cover with a lid and steam the egg for 1 minute.
- After 1 minute, whisk the yolks and pour them around the pan. Continue to cook until the yolks are cooked to your liking (cover with a lid if you don't like runny yolks).
- Dish up 2 portions cooked Japanese short-grain rice and divide the contents of the pan over the top. Drizzle any leftover sauce from the pan and garnish with broccoli sprouts, finely chopped green onion(s) and red pickled ginger (optional).