Gyudon is Japanese fast food. It is incredibly delicious and protein-packed Japanese beef bowl. Sweet soy sauce flavoured thinly sliced beef served on top of plain steamed rice. I am going to share my quick and easy gyudon recipe.
What is Gyudon!?
Gyu means cow or refers to beef. Don is a short word for Donburi which is a large rice bowl. So Gyudon literally is Beef Bowl. Thinly sliced beef and onion cooked in sweet soy sauce then topped on delicious Japanese short grain rice. When the Japanese want a quick lunch or dinner they often go for Gyudon whereas western people go to McDonald’s and KFC. Because Gyudon is cheap, filling and fast.
Yoshinoya, Sukiya and Matsuya
So you will find those Gyudon fast food chain restaurants on every corner of Japan. okay, not “every corner”. Yoshinoya, Sukiya and Masuya are well-known food chain shops in Japan. There are many different version of Gyudon, some add egg into the sauce to cook or top with half boiled egg. At the shops, eggs are an add on in the menu. You can also choose the size of the bowls and you can get this delicious rice bowl as cheap as ￥290(about 2.60USD and 3.79AUD).
Where do you get thinly sliced beef?
Thinly sliced meat is very popular in Japan. It is difficult to find thinly sliced meat from a supermarket outside of Japan. When I need thinly sliced beef, I go to the local Japanese grocery stores or Korean grocery stores. If you don’t have any in your town, what you could do is to slice the beef when it is half frozen with a sharp knife. People ask me what type of cut I should buy. It really doesn’t matter at all. Just make sure it is thinly sliced because it tastes more flavoursome.
What is the red topping on the Gyudon?
Pickled ginger is the red topping on the Gyudon. Most people use pickled ginger to garnish the beef rice bowl. Now a quick Japanese lesson. Beni = red, and Shoga =ginger. Beni shoga is also an important ingredient of Takoyaki and Okonomiyaki. So why is Beni shoga used as a topping? There are two main reasons:
- It cleans your palate with acidity and increases appetite. Gyudon usually has a strong and rich sweet savoury flavour. Eating pickled ginger refreshes your palate.
- For the presentation of the dish. Beef becomes brown when it is cooked. Furthermore, soy sauce is used to flavour the dish. This makes it even browner. All brown coloured food on a bed of rice does not look appetizing. The red pickled ginger looks great on top of the dish.
So I hope you liked my super fast recipe for Japanese fast food “Gyudon”. You can make this delicious authentic Japanese rice bowl dish at your home! Why? Because it is easy peasy Japaneasy. And if you liked the Yoshinoya or Sukiya style Gyudon beef bowl, Please rate the recipe and comment below.
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Gyudon Japanese Beef Bowls
- 150 g thinly sliced beef
- 1/2 onion
- 1 tbsp red pickled ginger for topping
- 1 tbsp diagonally and thinly sliced scallion for topping
- 3 cups cooked Japanese rice *1
- 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 200 ml water
- 1 tsp dashi powder
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 tbsp sake
- 1 tbsp mirin
- 1 tsp ginger juice
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- Slice the onion into wedges.
- Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat and cook the onion.
- Once the onion becomes translucent, add all the sauce ingredients.
- Bring it to simmer and add thinly sliced beef and cook about 5 minutes over medium heat.
- Once the beef has cooked and the sauce has reduced a bit, remove from the heat.
- Serve over a bowl of rice and garnish with scallions and red ginger pickles.