Hanton rice (ハントンライス)

Hanton rice (ハントンライス)

Journey to the coastal city of Kanazawa in Japan, and you are in for an irresistible treat that tells a tale of tradition and innovation: Hanton Rice. This simple dish carries within its flavors the city’s spirit, its people’s heritage, and the warmth of Japanese hospitality. Yet, what exactly makes Hanton Rice so special? As you delve deeper into this article, you will uncover the story behind this beloved dish, revealing a gastronomic experience you’ll want to savor for yourself.


What is Hanton rice?

Hanton rice (ハントンライス)

Hanton Rice, as it is colloquially known, is a unique fusion dish influenced by Western cooking in the Kanazawa, Ishikawa prefecture. The dish usually consists of ketchup-flavored buttered rice, topped with a tartar sauce, a soft-boiled thin egg, and fried fish. It can also feature ingredients like sautéed vegetables or seafood depending on variations and local specialties.

While Hanton Rice is not as renowned as some other Japanese dishes, it holds a special place in the hearts of those from or familiar with Kanazawa’s culinary scene. Like many regional dishes in Japan, it represents the blend of local flavors and ingredients with outside influences, resulting in a unique and delightful dish. Nowadays, there are more variations, and there are not only fried shrimp and tonkatsu for the fried top and ketchup rice for the rice inside.

What is Hanton?

Hanton rice (ハントンライス)

“Hanton” is a coined word that combines the Hungarian “Han” and the French word for tuna, “Ton,” and Kanazawa citizens loved this truly. As a gourmet for the common people with a combination of seasoning for everyone and an iron plate called omelet rice and fried food.

Hanton rice History

Hanton rice (ハントンライス)

People have long cherished “Hanton Rice” as a flavorful and hearty dish often found on the menus of Western restaurants and cafeterias. Recently, travel guidebooks have highlighted it, boosting its recognition, and now various restaurants offer this delicacy.

The dish’s unique name reportedly blends the Hungarian word “han” with the French word for tuna, “ton.” Around 1968, when a company established a restaurant in Katamachi, Kanazawa’s heart, the head chef introduced an original menu item: scrambled eggs with fried fish on top. Some say this dish drew inspiration from a Hungarian meal topped with tartar sauce. However, no such Hungarian dish exists, so its origin remains elusive.

The dish quickly became a hit at the original restaurant. When they ventured out on their own or introduced it to their networks, colleagues from that restaurant further popularized it. While primarily found in Kanazawa, its popularity has spread, reaching the broader Kaga and Noto areas and even parts of Toyama prefecture.

Hanton rice Health information

Hanton rice (ハントンライス)

Like many rice dishes, Hanton Rice can be calorie-dense, especially if the portion is large. The tartar sauce and any added fats or oils will also increase the calorie content. The calorie of Hanton Rice is 167kcal per 100g, and one plate weighs 522.5g, so the calorie per serving is 837kcal. As a rice dish, it is a primary source of carbohydrates. Those monitoring their carb intake or following specific diets may need to take note.

Hanton rice FAQ

How does Hanton Rice differ from other Japanese rice dishes?

Hanton Rice is a unique dish specific to the Kanazawa region in Japan, featuring butter-flavored rice topped with a tartar sauce and sometimes accompanied by sautテゥed vegetables or seafood. In contrast, other popular Japanese rice dishes like “omurice” use ketchup-flavored rice but are enveloped in a soft omelet. At the same time, “takikomi Gohan” is seasoned and cooked with various ingredients, deriving its flavor from the mix-ins rather than sauces. The preparation techniques of Hanton Rice hint at Western culinary influences, akin to yナ行hoku, while other rice dishes range from simple steamed “Gohan” to intricate layering in “chirashizushi.”

Hanton rice Recipe

Hanton rice (ハントンライス)

Hanton rice Ingredients

Ingredients of Hanton rice for 2 personsMeasurements
[Fried fish]
Black pepper1g
Cake flour28g
[Tartar sauce]
Onion (finely chopped)30g
Lemon juice7g
Black pepper0.5g
[Ketchup rice]
Hot rice400g
Small onion50g
Bell pepper5g

How to make Hanton rice? 

Tartar sauce making

Soak the finely chopped onion in water for 10 minutes and drain. Finely chop the pickles. Put two boiled eggs in a bowl and mash them with a fork. Add onion, pickles, mayonnaise, milk, lemon juice, salt, and black pepper, and mix.

Making the fish

Wipe the water from the swordfish and cut it into 2 cm wide strips. Sprinkle salt and black pepper on both sides. Mix the egg and cake flour in a tray, coat with swordfish, and sprinkle with bread crumbs.

Frying the fish

Fry in oil heated to 170°C until golden brown (medium heat).

Making the ketchup rice

Cut the sausages into 5 mm thick round slices and finely chop the onion. Then, cut the green pepper and mix the ketchup and sugar. Heat a frying pan, melt the butter, and sauté the sausages, onions, and green peppers.

Sprinkle salt and black pepper, and fry well while loosening.

Make one for each person

Put eggs, milk, salt, and black pepper in a bowl, mix well with the ketchup rice, put the fried fish on top, and put ketchup and tartar sauce on top.

Where to buy Hanton rice?

Grill Otsuka (グリルオーツカ)

Grill Otsuka is the place to go when it comes to Hanton rice. Founded in 1957, this shop is famous for its many tourists who line up on Saturdays and Sundays. This “Hunton Rice / 980 yen” is a standard type with ketchup rice, soft-boiled egg, fried white fish and shrimp, ketchup, and homemade tartar sauce. Their homemade tartar sauce is mildly sour and very creamy. Gently envelops fries and sweet and sour rice to bring the whole together.

Address: 2-9-15 Katamachi, Kanazawa City, Ishikawa Prefecture
Phone number: 076-2212-646
Hours open: [Lunch] 11:00 to 15:30 [Dinner] 17:00 to 19:50
Website: https://www.instagram.com/grill_otsuka/

Western restaurant RYO (洋食屋 RYO)

“Yoshokuya RYO” continues to be loved by the locals as a good old Western-style restaurant. This shop’s “Hanton Rice (with miso soup and seasonal salad) / Y1620” is a gorgeous dish with large fried shrimp and fried white fish on top. The combination of fried shrimp that is so plump that it bends over and the traditional thin egg is very filling. Topped with grilled seasonal vegetables and plenty of special tartar sauce.

Address: Nagamachi Building 1F, 1-4-57 Nagamachi, Kanazawa City, Ishikawa Prefecture
Phone number: 11:30 to 21:30
Hours open: 076-2612-177
Website: http://www.campagne.jp/ryo/

Kitchen Suginomi (キッチン すぎの実)

Since its founding in 1978, the popular menu “Hanton (with salad and soup) / 750 yen” features a special thousand sauce that contains paprika powder in a mayonnaise base. The combination of simple chicken rice with butter and ketchup, fluffy egg, crispy fried white fish, and special sauce has a somewhat rustic and gentle taste.

Address: 2-8-7 Ishibiki, Kanazawa-shi, Ishikawa Prefecture
Phone number: 07-6222-4866
Hours open: [Lunch] 11:30-14:00 [Dinner] 17:00-21:00
Website: https://tabelog.com/ishikawa/


Hanton rice (ハントンライス)

In the heart of Kanazawa lies a culinary gem, Hanton Rice, a delightful blend of flavors that captures tradition and innovation. As you journey through the pages of this article, we hope you’ve not only savored the rich history and uniqueness of this dish but also gained a deeper appreciation for the diverse culinary tapestry of Japan. May your newfound knowledge inspire a taste adventure or even a visit to Kanazawa to experience Hanton Rice firsthand.

You can check some Japanese dishes below that we know you would like to try too.

Hanton rice (ハントンライス)

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