Everyone seems to like their eggs cooked a certain way no matter where you live! Some like to eat them boiled, or sunny side up or in the form of an omelette.
Each person also likes to cook their eggs their eggs to different levels ranging from overcooked, well done, under-cooked or even raw and gooey.
Although eating raw eggs is not uncommon in other countries, eating raw eggs has become a daily habit of the Japanese, where they put raw eggs on hot rice, add some Japanese soy sauce (shoyu) and mix it together.
In other countries, this habit is considered strange and dangerous, because eating raw eggs can cause food poisoning, which is usually caused by salmonella bacteria, but Japanese people still eat raw eggs despite these risks.
In this feature, we talk about why it is safe to eat raw eggs in Japan!
Raw eggs have higher nutrient density
Eggs contain protein, potassium, vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin B, DHA, omega 3, lutein, and solid iron. According to research, cooking egg yolks helps your body to absorb the protein more easily, but at the same time, it also reduces the content of vitamin A, vitamin D, and vitamin B by approximately 20-30%.
Therefore, raw egg yolk has more nutrients than cooked eggs. This is one of the reasons why Japanese people like to eat raw eggs.
The process of producing, washing and selecting eggs in Japan is very strict
Even though eggs are healthier eaten raw, you can still get infected by salmonella bacteria.
Despite this risk, Japanese people still eat raw eggs because the process of producing, washing, and selecting eggs in Japan is very strict.
Livestock chickens are fed with highly nutritious ingredients from the time they are chicks. After the eggs are hatched, they are collected to be washed, selected, and packaged with sophisticated machines. The work of this sophisticated machine is to equalize the position of the egg so that the yolk does not touch the shell, to clean the eggshell from all types of dirt and bacteria, and to check that there are no cracks or blood points in the egg.
If there are eggs that do not satisfy these standards, they will not be sold, or sold with labeling that mentions they cannot be eaten raw.
In addition to strict production, washing and selection processes, eggs in Japan are packaged according to the standards of the Japan Poultry Association.
The standard requires each egg producer to include an expiration date for flavor, and not an expiration date for consuming the egg.
The taste expiration date (賞味期限) is the time limit for eating the egg raw. Everyone is advised to cook the egg when the egg taste expiration date passes.
Eating raw eggs has become a culture in Japan
Eating raw eggs has become a culture in Japan and many Japanese people say raw eggs are good for you. Many foreigners who settle in Japan or are travelling also adopt this habit and don’t mind eating eggs raw while in Japan.
Next we will discuss the types of Japanese cuisine that uses raw eggs.
Kamatama Udon (釜玉うどん)
Kamatama udon is a hot Sanuki udon noodle dish served with raw eggs.
Sukiyaki is a traditional Japanese stew dish with thinly sliced beef, leeks, vegetables, and shiitake mushrooms cooked in a flat-iron iron pan. The Japanese infuse sukiyaki meat and vegetables into a beaten egg before eating the sukiyaki to reduce the temperature of the meat and vegetables so that your mouth or tongue do not burn from the heat!
Nitamago, which is often found on top of ramen, is a hard-boiled egg dish flavored with Japanese soy sauce (shoyu), which is also one of the most popular house dishes in Japan.
Roast Beef Bowl (ローストビーフ丼)
Roast Beef Bowl is a rice bowl dish topped with roast beef (medium-rare roasted beef), raw egg yolk, and savory sauce with grated radish.
Yukke is fresh raw meat sashimi (usually beef or horse meat) seasoned with Japanese soy sauce (shoyu), raw egg yolk topping, and sliced fresh vegetables. A bit extreme, this dish combines two raw ingredients and is only available at yakiniku restaurants that have permission to serve raw meat in Japan.
Tamago Kake Gohan (TKG, 卵かけご飯)
Finally, we will discuss tamago kake gohan, the most popular raw egg dish in Japan that is usually eaten in the morning.
Also called TKG (read in English style), tamago kake gohan is basically a raw egg dish that is placed on hot rice and seasoned with Japanese soy sauce (shoyu).
Although simple, this dish is quite extreme for those who don’t like eating raw eggs! XD
After reading this article, are you interested in trying one of the raw egg dishes above?
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