Japanese Beef Bowl

Japanese Beef Bowl
Gyudon (Japanese Beef Bowl) is kind of like the hamburger of Japan — ubiquitous, tasty, filling, made of beef and soulful. Though it’s available in many restaurants, I tend to like having gyudon at home since it requires few ingredients, hits those wonderful sweet and savory notes, and most of all, is nice and filling.


Recipe: Gyudon (Japanese Beef Bowl)


  • 3 cups cooked rice
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp sweet rice wine used for cooking (mirin 味醂)
  • splash of sake
  • 1/2 lb very thinly sliced beef
  • 1 tsp grated ginger


  1. Cook the rice.
  2. Now, on to the rest of the “prep” — Slice the yellow onions thinly and start sauteing on medium heat with some cooking oil in a largeish pan.
  3. Mix together the water, soy sauce, mirin and sake.
  4. After the onions are translucent, add the beef slices and cook for a minute or two. They’ll cook quickly since they are sliced thinly so have your sauce at hand. Add the sauce and reduce heat. Make sure everything gets nicely coated and cook for a few minutes until sauce reduces slightly.
  5. Scoop a generous amount of rice into large, deep bowls and top with the steaming mixture. Gyudon, like any donburi, is best served steaming hot! You can optionally top or serve with thin pickled ginger strips (beni shōga 紅生姜) or other pickled items (I like kimchi!)

Photo credit: barron / flickr.com / CC BY-NC-SA

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