Savory and juicy sliced beef cooked in slightly sweet mirin and soy sauce, served over steamed rice, this delicious Gyudon is a weeknight meal keeper!
Gyudon 牛丼 or beef bowl is a popular and quick meal in Japan. It consist of a bowl of steamed rice topped with thinly sliced fatty beef and tender onion, cooked in slightly sweet dashi broth with mirin and soy sauce. Sake is sometimes added for extra flavour. Thanks to Yoshinoya (吉野家), the largest beef bowl restaurant chain, Japanese gyudon became known as “beef bowl” and enjoyed by many people all around the world.
Gyudon is a frequently cooked dish in my home because it’s easy and requires very little handling of meat. Since the beef is precut, it’s easy to just defrost from freezer, then put to cook. If the beef is only half thawed, it’s fine to use because of it’s thin slice, it cooks relatively quick. I sometimes add poached egg or a soft boiled egg.
INGREDIENTS TO MAKE GYUDON
- Beef slices. I usually get my thinly sliced beef from Korean Grocery Mart. They are often labeled as Shabu-shabu beef or hot pot beef. If you can’t get any, use a slab of ribeye or striploin and cut it thinly while it’s semi-frozen.
- Yellow onion. It imparts sweetness to the dish and a slight texture contrast.
- Dashi, Mirin, Soy Sauce. This recipe requires dashi, a stock made from dried bonito flakes and kombu. Beef is cooked in this combination of dashi, mirin and soy sauce to extract umami flavour from it.
- Egg. An additional egg usually seals the deal. In Japan, a raw egg yolk is sometimes added to the final dish. However, I am using fried egg with a runny yolk. The runny yolk coats beef and mixes well with rice.
Gyudon (Japanese Beef & Rice Bowl)
- 1 tbsp cooking oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 350 g thinly sliced beef
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tbsp mirin
- 1 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1/2 cup dashi stock (125ml) 125 ml + 1/2 tsp dashi stock powder
- Cooked rice
- 1/2 stalk chopped spring onion
- 2 Egg
- 1 tsp toasted sesame seeds
- Slice onion thinly. Mix dashi by mixing dashi stock powder with hot water to dissolve it.
- Heat pan with oil. Add onions and cook for about 7 minutes till softened.
- Add in thinly sliced beef and sugar. Cook till beef is slightly browned but not fully cooked.
- Add mirin, soy sauce and dashi stock. Bring to simmer and cook for about 10 minutes to reduce the stock into a thin sauce. Taste for seasoning, add a little more soy sauce if needed.
- Meanwhile, heat another saucepan with oil. Cook eggs sunny-side up. The yolks should still be runny.
- When beef is done simmering, divide the rice among 2 bowls. Top up with beef and egg. Garnish with chopped scallions and toasted sesame seed.