The dish is also known in Japan as "tamago bukkake gohan" (bukkake means "splashed" or "dashed"), "tamago bukkake meshi" (meshi is slang for rice), "tamago gohan", or simply "tamago kake". Tamago (egg) may be written 玉子, as an alternative to the single character 卵.
A raw egg and Japanese rice is simply mixed in the rice bowl.
There is no "correct" way to make this everyday dish. The rice can be cold, recently cooked or re-heated; the egg may be broken directly into the rice bowl (before or after the rice), or beaten in a separate bowl beforehand. Some people dig a "well" in the mound of rice to pour the egg into.
Here is one example:
In Japan, cooking using raw food is generally considered "cuisine," but it is viewed that simply putting a raw egg on top of cooked rice does not constitute "cuisine" or "cooking." As another example, rice topped with natto, or fermented soybeans, cannot at all be thought of as qualitatively different; people who would consider natto-topped rice "cooking" are undoubtedly few. On the other hand, one example of raw food being considered "cuisine" is sashimi, which has been perfected in Japanese cooking and is known the world over. After all, noted researcher Harumi Kurihara introduces tamago kake gohan in her book intended for Western audiences, "Japanese Cooking," published in 2004. Due to cooking being conducted in this simple way and also in complicated ways, the boundary lines of defining what is "cooking" and what is not "cooking" are indefinite.
Within Japan, being known as the single most quickly and simply eaten meal (especially at breakfast) and the food that most Japanese have tasted at least once, the dish's peculiar smell separates those who enjoy its taste and those who do not. For the average Japanese, the very necessary breakfast meal between the time one wakes up in the morning and the time one leaves for work or school is light and simple; for lunch, a meal such as a handmade bento lunch box that has been assembled with nutrition in mind (otherwise, a bento purchased at a bento shop, fast food, or food from a convenience store)—lunch is a meal almost always consumed with friends, coworkers, or clients. The evening meal is frequently eaten as a family, with whom one discusses the daily events; compared with lunch and breakfast, dinner is a much larger meal.
The reason that tamago kake gohan is eaten primarily at breakfast is that it can be finished quickly. This is because adding the raw egg to the rice makes the rice less sticky. Each grain of rice is thereby detached from others, which allows the rice to be washed down fluidly. With this, if one had drunk too much the previous evening and lost one's appetite the following day, for example, the speed and ease with which one can eat a substantial amount of tamago kake gohan is advantageous.
Also, the dish's simplicity, affordability, and nutritious value make it a meal that can be enjoyed and eaten by people looking for a job, by students, and by those living alone, to name a few. The popularity of the dish has waned somewhat due to the rise of convenience stores and the food service industry, but it is still consumed widely throughout Japan.
Eggs contain many nutrients and protein which are denatured when cooked; therefore it is thought that eating them raw maximises the beneficial effects of these nutrients. The egg yolk contains more than enough levels of biotin to compensate for the high levels of avidin in raw egg white, which binds to the B-vitamin biotin, preventing their absorption and potentially causing a deficiency if the yolk is not consumed with the white.
On the 8th of August 2005 the song "kurukuru tamago gohan" was released. (Kurukuru means "thriving").