Donburi Love

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So, this being my first post for the Brotherhood of Bacon, I feel the need to immediately veer off the well established and beaten path… Unless, I don’t really have a clear vision, or understanding, of what the B.O.B. is all about. Which is entirely possible, but I’m gonna just do what I want, so let’s begin now…

I could start my maiden voyage into the seas of bloggery by discussing the beauty of pork belly, the why of steak tartar or what ordering chicken in a BBQ house says about you, but I’d like to discuss something near, dear, and often overlooked in many home kitchens. I’m talking about dishes. More specifically bowls. Even more specifically, I’m talking about donburi bowls. What are donburi bowls, and why am I wasting your time talking about them? I hope to answer all that and more, but most likely less, about these fantastic bowls.

Now, donburi’s literal (as far as my research has told me) translation is bowl. It is often shortened to don, for example if you were to snag one of these tasty bowls at your favourite Japanese lunch spots, the menu would greet and tempt you with such items like chicken teriyaki don, oyakodon, katsudon or tendon (not tendon, that delicious meat butter you find in pho, but ten-don, which is assorted tempura over rice often drizzled with a sweet soy sauce)

Going back a few years back to my illustrious time as a young dishwasher. I was employed at a Japanese restaurant, in my hometown of Campbell River B.C., called Koto’s. This is the place where I cut my culinary teeth and extended my palate to places I never imagined, this is also the place where I had my first experience with donburi bowls. In short, I washed a shit ton of them. Now I’d love to take the time to paint you a picture of wonderment and excitement, of a 22 year old me, eyes glistening with starry anticipation, chopsticks clutched in trembling hand, as beams of light shined down from an unknown source and while angelic music urged me forward to take that first bite that would be forever engraved into my memory as the dawn of my mild obsession with these bowls. Alas, my experience was something probably more savage and less memorable. Eating while working, not really tasting anything, food hastily shoveled into my mouth in-between loads of dishes and shelling crab. Food experienced the way every back of house worker knows all too well. That first turned into the first of many, many different foods, flavors and and experiences, all housed in a simple bowl that fits snugly into your hand.

Why do I love these bowls so much? It’s something that I’ve been trying to figure out myself, but I honestly still am unsure about. They remind me of being a kid, not that I ever experienced anything like that as a kid. They fill me with a lost wonderment, a warmth and comfort that I can only compare to that feeling that you feel when you’re at your parents house or when you’re with your best friends. There’s a simplicity and versatility with these bowls that never ceases to amaze me, whether it’s a bunch of noodles (ramen, soba, or whatever you’d like), stuff on rice, or a quick and dirty stir fry, every combination found within this bowl fills me (literally) with happiness.

Well crap, I don’t know how to end this. I could continue to ramble, but I think I’ll give someone else an opportunity to rant. Not sure if I answered all the questions I set out to answer, but I’ve run out of steam for right now.

Rant at you again soon.

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