Japan is known for many good foods, and seafood is definitely on the top of the list. Whether it's raw or cooked, there are all kinds of dishes. And while sushi is probably one of the most well-known Japanese dishes, there's another dish that you shouldn't miss out on — Kaisendon.
Kaisendon is a donburi dish that consists of a bowl of rice topped with sashimi. They can be found in many Japanese markets and restaurants, but they are known to be found in Japan's seafood markets like Tsukiji Market.
Here in the States, we often see chirashi sushi on the menu but not kaisendon. The two are very similar as they both are served in a bowl of rice topped with different types of fish. However, several factors distinguish them apart.
Chirashi sushi has a long history; it has been documented in Japan going back at least as far as the Kamakura period (1158-1333). It's THE traditional Japanese home-style dish. It's usually eaten on celebration days such as Hinamatsuri and Kodomonohi. Kaisendon was derived from chirashi sushi; it made its debut after WWII.
The main factor that differentiates them is the rice used: chirashi uses vinegared sushi rice while kaisendon uses plain steamed rice.
You could also tell them apart by how they are served. Chirashi is usually presented in a traditional lacquered bento box or a hangiri (a round, flat-bottomed wooden barrel), whereas kaisendon is served in a regular bowl.
Have you had kaisendon before? If you haven't, be sure to check out our Instagram to find out our favorite kaisendon spot in the New England area!