What cooking fundamentals do you wish you knew how to make:  Tomato sauce? Poached eggs? Salad dressings?

And what basic techniques or preparations do you want to see demonstrated: Braising? Blanching?

The Food Literacy Project will be exploring cooking fundamentals this semester. We’ll help break techniques down into steps, field questions about cooking essentials, and show you how to grocery shop.

Email the Food Literacy Project at with dishes you’d like to know how to make and we’ll try to feature your requests through cooking classes, video how-tos, or the blog.

To kick it all off, we begin with a recipe for donburi. Donburi (or, domburi) means “bowl” in Japanese; donburi is a Japanese rice bowl dish that includes a variety of simmered meats and vegetables served over rice.

It’s a Japanese staple, easy to prepare, with many possible variations.

Ellie, one of the freshmen FLP reps, taught a class on donburi this Sunday. She did the whole thing in Thayer kitchen, so it doesn’t require any special implements. Here’s her recipe:


(for 4 people)


4 eggs

2 cups frozen peas (for convenience, one can buy the microwavable peas)

1 lb pork (I used ground turkey to show that leaner meats can be used and the dish will still be flavorful).

sugar (2 teaspoons and 1.5 tablespoons, divided)

2 tablespoons cooking wine

2 tablespoons mirin

2 tablespoons soy sauce

rice to serve


0. Cook rice.

1. Place peas in boiling water for 3-4 minutes and drain.

2. Scramble eggs with a little oil.  When they’re almost finished, sprinkle 2 teaspoons of sugar over them.

3. For the meat, heat oil and stir fry meat.  When meat is just about done, add 1.5 tablespoons sugar, and 2 tablespoons each of mirin, soy sauce, and cooking wine.  Adjust seasonings to taste (This recipe is very flexible.  as long as you have the ingredients, the amounts can be easily modified to your liking…that’s what makes this dish so easy!).

4. Arrange the peas, meat, and eggs over rice in a striped fashion.

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