Skip to content

Kamameshi (釜めし): One Person Rice Pot

kamameshi feature

Kamameshi (釜めし) is a popular rice dish eaten throughout Japan.

It is made of rice and various other ingredients that are cooked and served directly in a small pot. Typically, each pot is meant to be eaten by just one person (i.e. single serving).

The word “kama” (釜) translates to iron pot, or kettle. “Meshi” simply means rice or meal in Japanese.

Read on for more interesting info about Kamameshi:


The main ingredients of Kamameshi are:

  • Rice
  • Various toppings

Any variety of vegetables, meat or seafood can be used to make kamameshi. Chicken and shiitake mushrooms are a very common choice. 

Typical flavoring / seasoning is made with soy sauce, mirin, and dashi

The pot itself could actually be considered an important ingredient, as everything is cooked and served in the same pot. Traditionally, a cast iron or clay pot is used.

When rice is cooked in this way, the rice on the side/bottom will be slighlty burnt, giving it a nice crispy texture that is much different from rice cooked in a rice cooker.


moutain pass kamameshi
The famous “Touge no Kamameshi” (峠の釜めし), or “Mountain Pass Kamemeshi”

Kamameshi can be found throughout Japan. It is very popular as an “ekiben” (駅弁), which is boxed lunch (i.e. bento 弁当) bought at a train station (i.e. eki 駅).

The most famous kamameshi ekiben is from a shop at Yokokawa station in Gunma prefecture (Shinsetsu Line). It is called “Touge no Kamameshi” (峠の釜めし), or “mountain pass” kamameshi, due to the station’s location. The company, Oginoya, has since expanded to many locations throughout Japan.

Kamameshi is also a popular dish to make at home. There are instant kamameshi packets sold at supermarkets throughout Japan. Simply mix in with the rice and cook in a rice cooker.

History / Origin

kamameshi haru tokyo
The originator of kamameshi — Kamameshi Haru

The first kamameshi was invented in 1924 by a small shop in Asakusa, Tokyo called “Kamameshi Haru” (釜めし春).

It is said that the owner of the shop started cooking meals in a single pot out of necessity after the Great Kanto earthquake.

The owner also taught others how to cook kamameshi, and worked together with craftsmen to create single serving pots.

The shop is still open today, so make sure you try it if you happen to be in Tokyo (Google Maps link).

How to Make Kamameshi

The easiest way to make kamameshi is to buy a pre-made kamameshi mix.

When cooking rice with a rice cooker, simply add the mix on top of the rice before you start cooking. You can buy kamameshi mix at supermarkets throughout Japan. If you’re not in Japan, here are a couple examples on Amazon:

If you want to make it from scratch, here is a simple recipe I found via Delish Kitchen

Chicken Kamameshi Recipe (釜めし)

Course: MainCuisine: JapaneseDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time




Total time






  • Main Ingredients
  • Rice … 2 cups

  • Chicken thigh … 150g

  • Burdock … 1/2 (90g)

  • Carrot … 1/4 (40g)

  • Ginger … 2 pieces

  • Water … 420ml

  • Seasoning
  • Sake … 1 tablespoon

  • Mirin … 1 tablespoon

  • Salt … 1/2 teaspoon

  • Soy sauce … 1 tablespoon


  • Cut the burdock root into thin pieces (sasagaki method), then soak in water.
  • Slice the carrots and ginger diagonally into thin strips (julienne / sengiri)
  • Cut the chicken into approx. 1cm cubes.
  • Add rice, water, and seasoning ingredients to a clay pot, mix, and make sure the rice is level.
  • Add cut up chicken and vegetables, spread over rice, cover the pot, and heat over medium heat.
  • Once it comes to a boil, reduce heat to low and heat for 12 minutes.
  • Turn off the heat and let it simmer for about 10 minutes with the lid on, then mix gently.
  • Enjoy!

Recipe Video


  • If you don’t have a clay pot, you can simply use a rice cooker. Just throw everything in and press cook! You may need to adjust water levels.


Have you ever tried kamameshi 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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *