Kaisen don (海鮮丼) is a popular type of donburi (i.e. rice bowl) found across all Japan.
“Kaisen” (海鮮) simply means seafood in Japanese. “Don” is short for donburi, which means rice bowl.
Technically, any dish that has seafood (raw or cooked) served over rice can be considered as a “kaisen-don”.
In general though, kaisen-don usually refers to a donburi with multiple (i.e. more than one) types of seafood.
Read on for more interesting info about Kaisen don:
The main ingredients of Kaisen don are:
- Various seafood
The seafood ingredients use depend on the season and location.
Some common types include salmon, tuna, scallops, uni (i.e. sea urchin), ikura (salmon roe), crab, and shrimp.
The rice used is usually normal white rice, although sometimes sushi/vinegared rice is used.
Lettuce, shisho leaves, sprouts, or other small vegetables may be added as garnish.
Kaisen-don can be found in restaurants and shops all across Japan.
It is particularly popular / famous in regions known for their seafood such as Hokkaido and Tohoku, which is also where the dish mostly likely originated from:
History / Origin
Kaisen-don is thought to have originated in the northern regions of Japan (Hokkaido and Tohoku), where fresh seafood is plentiful.
Many believe that kaisen-don originated from chirashi sushi (ちらし寿司), which is a very similar looking dish. Chirashi sushi is a traditional rice dish made with various seafoods, egg, and other ingredients scattered over a bowl or box of rice.
The main difference between chirashi sushi and kaisen don is that chirashi sushi always uses vinegared rice (i.e. sushi rice), while kaisen don typically uses plain white rice.
Some restaurants will serve kaisen don with sushi rice, so there is definitely a lot of overlap.
Kaisen-don is a very simple dish to make, as long as you can get your hands on some fresh sashimi.
All you need to do is cook some rice, and layer the sliced sashimi on top. Serve with a side of soy sauce / wasabi, and you’re done!
Here’s a video from kurashiru to show you how. They make it with vinegared/sushi rice, though you can just make normal rice instead.
Have you ever tried kaisen don before? What did you think of it?
What is your favorite type of seafood to eat?
Leave your thoughts and comments below!