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Buta Don (豚丼): Pork Rice Bowl

Buta Don (豚丼)
Buta Don (豚丼) is a popular donburi (i.e. rice bowl) found across all Japan.

It is an alternative to the more popular beef based “gyudon“, and was actually created due to outbreak of “mad cow disease” in early 2000s.

This butadon should not be confused with Obhihiro Butadon, which is a specialty pork bowl from Hokkaido.

Buta” is short for butaniku (豚肉), which means pork in Japanese. “Don” is short for donburi (丼), which means rice bowl. Sometimes butadon is also referred to as “tondon” (とんどん).

Read on for more interesting info about Buta Don:


The main ingredients of Buta Don are:

  • Rice
  • Pork

Typically, onions are also used. The sauce/seasoning is typically some combination of soy sauce, sugar, mirin, and cooking sake. Various garnishes or other toppings can be used such as green onions, benishoga, nori, or kimchi.


Butadon can be found in restaurants and shops across all of Japan.

Many of the popular gyudon chain stores in Japan used to have some sort of butadon on their menu. Recently though, many stores have stopped selling butadon (e.g. Sukiya stopped in 2022). It seems that Yoshinoya is the only “big three” gyudon chain that still sells butadon.

History / Origin

This style of butadon was created in response to Mad Cow Disease (i.e. Bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or BSE) outbreak in the early 2000s. Japan was one of the countries with the largest number of confirmed cases outside of Europe.1</mfn]

Gyudon (i.e. beef rice bowl) is a huge industry in Japan, so when restaurants could no longer buy safe beef, they began to use pork as an alternative. At first, customers were not fans of the new ingredient, but after recipe tweaking, it eventually became popular.

Many top chains (i.e. Sukiya, Matsuya) eventually stopped selling butadon when beef imports became safe again.

Butadon Recipe

Here is a very simple butadon recipe adapted from

You can also use my easy gyudon recipe, and simply replace the thinly sliced beef with pork.

Buta Don (豚丼): Pork Rice Bowl

Recipe by Chef GokuCourse: donburi, mainCuisine: JapaneseDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time


Total time



Easy butadon recipe adapted from


  • Equipment
  • Frying pan (non-stick is recommended)

  • Chopsticks

  • Knife & cutting board

  • Main Ingredients
  • Thinly sliced pork … 250g

  • Onion … 150g (approx. half of a large onion)

  • Ginger … a small piece (approx. 10g)

  • Salad/Cooking oil … 1 teaspoon

  • Sauce Ingredients
  • Dark soy sauce … 3.5 tablespoons

  • Sake … 3 tablespoons

  • Mirin … 3 tablespoons

  • Sugar … 2/3 to 1 tablespoon

  • Water … 2 tablespoons


  • Prepare the ingredients! Slice the onions into approx. 1cm wedges. Thinly slice the ginger. If you did not buy pre-sliced pork, then you will need to slice it as thin as you can.
  • Add cooking oil and ginger slices to pan. Turn on stove to medium heat and stir-fry until fragrant..
  • Move the ginger to the edge of your pan and add the pork. Let the pork cook well on one side, then flip. Don’t constantly flip the pork back and forth. Remove the pork from the pan when it is about 90% cooked, and set aside for later (step 6).
  • Add the sliced onions to the pan, and stir fry briefly.
  • Mix all the sauce ingredients together and add it to the pan. Once it starts boiling, reduce heat to low, and simmer onions together for about 3 minutes.
  • Add pork back into the pan, and simmer until everything is cooked through.
  • Turn off heat. Place on top of freshly cooked rice, and enjoy!

Recipe Video


  • Add chili pepper or oil for a spicy kick!
  • You can also add other vegetables if you like. The video above uses green bell peppers. Just thinly slice the veggies, and add it during step 6 of the recipe.


Have you ever tried butadon before? What did you think of it? Do you prefer butadon or gyudon?

Leave your thoughts and comments below!

Chef Goku

Chef Goku

Chef Goku is the founder and sole operator of The Chef Dojo. He loves Japanese food, and has lived in and out of Japan for many years. He started this blog in 2018 to share everything he learns about Japanese food and cooking. He is also a self-certified Japanese knife nerd. Contact Chef Goku

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