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Harako Meshi (はらこ飯): Salmon & Roe Rice Bowl

Harako Meshi (はらこ飯) is a local salmon and rice dish from Miyagi Prefecture (Tohoku Region).

It consists of cooked salmon, and salmon roe served over rice.

Harako” (はらこ) means fish eggs (i.e. roe); “meshi” (飯) simply means “rice” or “meal” in Japanese.

Read on for more interesting info about harako meshi:


harako meshi salmon and roe
All you need is salmon, salmon roe, and rice

The main ingredients of harako meshi are:

  • Rice
  • Salmon
  • Salmon roe

Soy sauce, mirin, sugar, and sake are typical seasoning ingredients.

The rice is sometimes cooked in a salmon broth (instead of just plain water).

One important note is that the salmon fillets must be cooked. If raw salmon is used (i.e. salmon sashimi), then the dish would be referred to as “sake ikura don” (鮭いくら丼).


watari town miyagi
Watari Town in Miyagi — best known for harako meshi

Harako meshi is a local dish of Miyagi Prefecture, which is famous for its wild salmon.

The dish is popular all across the region, and is commonly sold as an ekiben (i.e. lunchbox bought at the train station) at major train stations.

The original harako meshi is said to be from Watari Town, where it has been eaten since ancient times. See below for more about its interesting history:

History / Origin of Harako Meshi

date masamune
Date Masamune, the lord who loved harako meshi

Harako Meshi is originally from Watari Town, which was a major salmon fishing spot located at the mouth of the Abukuma River. The dish has been eaten since ancient times in Watari, and was originally created by local fishermen who ate it after celebrating a large catch.

One day, during the Edo period, the famous lord of the time called Date Masamune visited the town. He was presented with a dish of harako meshi by the locals, and absolutely loved it. After returning home, he continued to praise the dish to his friends/followers/colleagues, and its popularity grew from there.

Fun fact: Date Masamune was reportedly a “foodie”. He is also the founder of modern day city of Sendai.

Harako Meshi Recipe

Harako Meshi is not TOO difficult to make. If you’re outside of Japan, the hardest part would probably just be finding some salmon roe to use

If you can, I would also suggest buying salmon roe that is already prepared/seasoned/marinated (i.e. いくらの醤油漬け). This will save you a lot of time.

If you are in Japan, you can buy prepared salmon roe at the supermarket or online.

Here’s a simple recipe to follow below from Kurashiru:

Harako Meshi (はらこ飯): Salmon & Roe Rice Bowl

Course: MainCuisine: JapaneseDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time


Total time





Simple harako meshi (はらこ飯) recipe from

Equipment & Ingredients

  • Equipment
  • Rice cooker

  • Pot

  • Chopsticks

  • Bowl

  • Main Ingredients
  • Rice … 2 cups

  • Salmon fillet … 2 slices

  • Salmon roe … 100g
    Salt … a couple pinches

  • Japanese parsley (seri せり) … for garnish

  • Seasoning
  • Water … 100ml

  • Cooking sake … 100ml

  • Soy sauce … 80ml

  • Sugar … 50g


  • Prepare the salmon: remove bones, cut into 5cm pieces, and sprinkle with some salt
  • Pour all the *seasoning* ingredients into a pot, and bring to boil over medium heat
  • Reduce the heat to low, add the salmon and simmer for about 5 minutes, then turn off the heat
  • Once it has cooled down, remove the salmon and keep about 150ml of remaining broth.
  • Wash and drain the rice, and put it in the rice cooker. Pour in the 150ml of broth you saved, and add water until the liquid reaches the “2-cup” mark on the rice cooker. Layer the cooked salmon pieces on top and start the rice cooker.
  • When the rice is cooked, place it in a bowl and top it with salmon roe and Japanese parsley or other garnish.

Recipe Video


  • Adjust seasoning to your tastes

Fun Facts about Harako Meshi

harako meshi watari miyagi
  • October 8th is officially “Harako-meshi Day”1 October 8th was chosen because it is the start of salmon fishing season.
  • Harako-meshi is sometimes thought of as the salmon version of oyako-don (chicken & egg rice bowl)


Have you ever tried harako-meshi before? What did you think of it?

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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