Here is the second of my introduction to the various styles of fast but healthy Japanese style of fast foods
A Donburi is anything that is heaped up on a big bowl of rice. This is what makes it so fast to serve – they literally just dish out the rice and then the topping. Beware of overeating!
A form of donburi which gets its name (“Parent-Child Donburi”) from its main ingredients, chicken and eggs. It’s a good source of protein, but perhaps go easy on the rice.
Another form of donburi which heaps up vegetables and seafood (primarily) done in tempura batter. I find tempura very “hit and miss”, in that well-made tempura will not leave you with a greasy feeling, but the bad stuff does go down very heavily. My recommendation would be to have expensive ten-don the first time you partake.
Oden is basically just a whole lot of ingredients (vegetables, eggs, chicken) boiled up in a broth waiting for the customer to come and pick out the bits he or she wants. You can get it at convenience stores during winter or at roadside stalls called yatai.
Everybody knows this Japanese chicken-on-a-stick contribution to the world cuisine. You don’t have to stick to chicken, either. There are shops that specialize in “things on sticks”, called kushiyaki and the stuff is ready very quickly as they don’t take long to cook through.
Sometimes referred to as “Japanese pizza”, it’s actually more like a Japanese pancake which is made of a floury mix, cabbage and eggs among other ingredients. Okonomiyaki is the meibutsu of both Osaka and Hiroshima, although each region cooks it differently.
Related to okonomiyaki by the floury dough, these little balls have bits of octopus inside them making them instantly unpopular with people who don’t like chewy bits in their dough. However, even though they are an acquired taste for some, they are a reasonably healthy, reasonably priced and delicious fast food that go well with anything.
In a world where mothers more often go outside the home to work, packed dinner shops or bentoya have sprouted up all over Japan. You can get a well balanced meal in minutes! Hokka Hokka Tei is one of the most prolific bento chains, and you can probably find one in your neighbourhood for those nights you just can’t face cooking.
Check out these links too for more information on fast food, Japanese style: