Bacon and Egg Breakfast Rice Bowl is a savory breakfast dish featuring yolky soft boiled eggs, crispy oven-baked bacon, Japanese sticky rice, and furikake. It's a hearty, tasty breakfast that can be made for just a couple of people or scaled to feed a whole family.
What is a Rice Bowl or Donburi?
A rice bowl, or donburi in Japanese, is a rice-based dish served in a bowl and topped with simmered meat or vegetables. Rice bowls are a default breakfast, lunch, and dinner dish in our house because they are versatile and easy to make. To make a large batch of Japanese short-grain rice at home, use a rice cooker. Then, top the rice with your favorite protein and vegetables.
For dinner, we often make oyakodon, or simmered chicken with egg and onions, and furikake salmon don with broiled salmon and vegetables. For brunch, rice bowls often call for savory breakfast meat, like bacon or sausage, and a yolky egg. While the breakfast bowls are not traditional Japanese donburi, they are a tasty twist with Japanese flavors.
See our recipe for Shoyu Breakfast Fried Rice and Eggs to try another version of a breakfast rice bowl.
Breakfast Rice Bowl Ingredients
- Bacon - High-quality bacon is a flavorful protein that pairs well with the soft-boiled eggs and rice.
- Brown sugar - Brown sugar caramelizes the bacon and adds a sweet molasses flavor.
- Eggs - Eggs are a rich and yolky component that ties all of the ingredients together.
- Japanese short-grain rice - Rice is the foundation for the rice bowls.
- Furikake - Furikake is an umami-rich seasoning made of seaweed, or nori.
- Ketchup - Ketchup is sweet and tangy.
- Soy sauce - Soy sauce, or shoyu, adds a deeply umami-rich component.
Breakfast rice bowls consist of fluffy Japanese short-grain rice, savory breakfast meat or vegetable, and a yolky egg. On top of the main ingredients are seasonings and sauces that compliment the flavors. Some seasonings include furikake, togarashi, flaky salt, freshly cracked pepper, or your favorite spice. Add flavor-packed sauces like soy sauce (shoyu), ketchup, sriracha, and chili oil. All of the ingredients, seasonings, and sauces meld together, making each bite flavorful and delectable. The best part about breakfast rice bowls is that there are no rules and you can customize them however you want!
Japanese Short-Grain Rice
Japanese short-grain rice is the best rice for breakfast rice bowls because it is naturally sticky and easy to eat with chopsticks. Additionally, it stays stuck together even when you add a yolky egg, shoyu, or ketchup on top.
Japanese short-grain rice is short in length and more moist than other types of rice. It can be cooked in a pot with a thick bottom or a rice cooker. We recommend using a rice cooker, or suihanki, if you cook rice often because it is low-maintenance and yields perfect rice every time.
5 Minute Soft Boiled Egg
Soft boiled eggs are the best type of eggs for rice and toast. They are easily spreadable and the yolk is jammy, yolky, and rich in flavor. A yolky egg is proof that the simplest meals are often the most delicious and high-quality ingredients yield tasty results.
When it comes to selecting eggs, we recommend pasture-raised eggs. Pasture-raised eggs are laid by hens who have access to pastures outdoors. Since the hens get to eat the critters in the pastures and live a happier life in the clean air, their eggs are full of flavor and vitamins. You can literally see the difference in the yolk, which appears deep orange or almost red depending on where you get your eggs.
Our favorite pasture-raised eggs are distributed by Vital Farms, who works with carefully-selected farmers throughout the United States.
Shoyu and Furikake
Shoyu, or soy sauce, and furikake are key elements of Japanese flavor. Both ingredients have countless varieties and flavor profiles.
Shoyu is Japanese soy sauce that is either light (usukuchi) or dark (koikuchi), the latter being the most common type. This ancient sauce is a derivative of soybeans and has been a part of Japanese cuisine for over 2000 years! Shoyu is a necessary ingredient in a breakfast rice bowl, as it lends an incredible amount of umami flavor. One of my favorite shoyu brands is Haku, who makes a black garlic shoyu that tastes amazing!
Furikake is a common Japanese seasoning made of nori (dried seaweed), dried fish, sesame seeds, and sugar. There are many different varieties of furikake, including some that have bonito flakes, rice puffs, shrimp, and other bits of umami-packed ingredients.
Ketchup probably seems like a random addition to this rice bowl, but it is an intentional addition of umami flavor. In fact, ketchup, which is made of tomatoes, naturally contain MSG, or monosodium glutamate. MSG is a flavor enhancer that creates umami, or the "fifth taste."
For this Bacon and Egg Breakfast Rice Bowl, we use Trader Joe's Summer Truffle Ketchup, but you can use any ketchup you love or omit it if you're not a ketchup fan.
How to Make a Breakfast Rice Bowl
Breakfast rice bowls are simple to make and yield a ton of umami flavor. Additionally, you can make as few as two rice bowls or enough for more with very few adjustments.
- Make the Rice - Start by making the rice in a pot or a rice cooker. Make sure to use Japanese short-grain rice, as it stays sticky even when topped with egg yolk and shoyu.
- Bake the Bacon - My favorite way to make bacon is in the oven. It comes out perfectly crisp and flavorful without any splattered oil. Plus, the sprinkle of brown sugar makes it an extra caramelized treat.
- Boil the Eggs - First, boil a pot of water over medium heat and carefully lower the eggs into the water. Cook for 5 minutes then remove the eggs from the boiling water and transfer them to a cold bowl of ice water. Allow the eggs to chill for 2-3 minutes. Once the eggs cool, use a spoon to gently crack the eggs. Finally, carefully peel off the shell.
- Assemble and Season - Using a rice paddle or spoon, fluff the rice and divide into serving bowls. Then, place bacon in each bowl. Slice eggs in half lengthwise or leave whole and place them on top of rice. Season each bowl with furikake. salt, and black pepper. Finally, add a desired amount of ketchup and drizzle with soy sauce. Enjoy immediately.
Hint: Boil the eggs for exactly 5 minutes and place them in ice water to ensure that the yolks will be runny and spread over the rice. Immersing the eggs in ice water stops the eggs from cooking further.
- Vegetarian - Replace the bacon with an extra soft boiled egg or avocado.
- Gluten free - Both furikake and traditional soy sauce contain gluten. To enjoy this bowl gluten free, season it with gluten-free furikake and replace traditional soy sauce with tamari.
- Brown rice or Wild rice - Use brown rice to make the bowl healthier or if you just prefer the taste and texture to Japanese white rice. We recommend Koda Farm's Whole Grain Brown Kokuho Rose, which is a Japanese brown rice with a nutty flavor. Wild rice is also a great option if you are looking for a nutritious and flavorful alternative to white rice.
- Spicy - Add sriracha or hot sauce to add heat to the bowls.
- Kimchi - A traditional Korean side dish consisting of salted and fermented vegetables. Add kimchi to add a pungent and pickled spice to the bowl.
- Eggs - If you don’t like eggs with a runny yolk, enjoy this breakfast bowl with scrambled, fried eggs or my Soft Boiled Jammy Eggs. While these eggs are not runny, the yolk is still soft and spreadable.
- Green Onion - Add thin sliced green onion for a bright garnish.
- Traditional sides - While this breakfast rice bowl is not technically a traditional Japanese breakfast, you can enjoy it with traditional Japanese breakfast sides like green tea (use code KAT for 10% off) or miso soup. Green tea is a refreshing drink to enjoy with with a breakfast rice bowl.
You need minimal equipment to make a Bacon and Egg Breakfast Rice Bowl. All you need is a baking sheet, tongs or slotted spoon, pot to boil the eggs, pot or rice cooker to make the rice, a rice paddle, and some pretty bowls to serve the final dish in.
To explore more kitchen items to make your kitchen complete, head to our Kitchen Essentials Shop.
These ingredients should not be refrigerated and are best enjoyed hot. However, if you have leftover rice, you can refrigerate it (for up to 3 days) and use it to make Shoyu Breakfast Fried Rice with Eggs.
Enjoy your breakfast right away for fresh yolky eggs and crispy bacon.
Bacon and Egg Breakfast Rice Bowl
- 6 oz bacon 6 slices
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 4 eggs at room temperature
- 1½ cup uncooked Japanese short-grain rice
- 1¾ cup water
- Black pepper
- Soy sauce
- Rice Cooker
- Place the uncooked rice in the rice cooker cooking bowl and rinse with water until the water is clear.
- Drain the washing water completely.
- Add the fresh water and place the cooking bowl inside the rice cooker.
- Follow the rice cooker instructions.
- Fluff the rice inside the cooker and leave on the "warm" setting until ready to serve.
- Place the uncooked rice in a cast iron pot or a pot with a thick bottom and rinse with water until the water is clear.
- Drain the washing water completely.
- Add the fresh water and place the lid on the pot.
- Cook the rice on high heat at first. Once it begins to boil, lower the heat to low-medium.
- Cook for 15-20 minutes without removing the lid.
- Turn off the heat and allow the rice to steam for an additional 10 minutes.
- Set the cooked rice aside.
- Heat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper and place the bacon slices in a row on the sheet. Sprinkle the brown sugar on each slice of bacon. Then cook in the oven for 20 minutes or until brown and crispy.
5-Minute Soft Boiled Eggs
- Boil water over medium heat in a large saucepan.
- Using a slotted spoon, carefully lower the eggs into the water. Cook for 5 minutes.
- Remove the eggs from the boiling water and transfer them to a cold bowl of water. Allow the eggs to chill for 2-3 minutes.
- Use a spoon to gently crack the eggs. Carefully peel off the shell.
- Using a rice paddle or spoon, fluff the rice and divide evenly into bowls. Place bacon in each bowl. Then, slice eggs in half lengthwise or leave whole and place them on top of rice.
- Then, season each bowl with furikake. salt, and black pepper. Finally, add a desired amount of ketchup and drizzle with soy sauce. Enjoy immediately.