Let’s Talk Food: Tamahide, creator of oyakodon

Photo courtesy Audrey Wilson Side dishes with Oyakodon.

Photo courtesy Audrey Wilson Oyakodon from Tamahide.

Oyakodon, the most famous comfort food of Japan, was invented by a restaurant in Nihonbashi, Tokyo, called Tamahide. This would be the 10th year of Japan’s Horeki, or 1760, when Japan was still ruled by the Tokugawa shogunate dynasty. They were known as a restaurant for hot pot, with shamo or gamecock hot pot as their premier dish. “However, in the late 1800s, the wife of Tamahide’s fifth-generation owner noticed how some diners would take the last remaining remnants of their hot pot, pour it over a bowl of white rice, and mix it with an egg. Figuring that if customers liked it enough to make it themselves, the restaurant may as well save them the trouble, and in 1891, the 20th year of the Meiji era, Tamahide’s chefs prepared their first oyakodon.”