Easy Japanese Beef Bowl ( Gyudon ) recipe with tender beef slices, onions, and sweet & savoury sauce. Served over a bowl of steamed rice and poached egg.
Super fast and easy to prepare in under 20 minutes! Incredibly delicious and budget-friendly!
What is Gyudon?
Gyudon is one of the popular Japanese beef and rice bowl dish, topped with an onsen egg, ginger pickles, and spring onions. ‘Gyu’ means ‘Beef’ and ‘Don’ means ‘Bowl’.
It’s also called ‘Gyumeshi’, originated in Japan and now available in the menu of most Japanese restaurants across the world.
There are few different types of Gyudon recipes such as Yoshinoya, Sukiya, etc. Every family has its own version, some add dashi stock in the dish and some recipes do not include dashi stock. Some add eggs while cooking the beef and some recipes add onsen egg or poached egg as a topping.
How To Make It At Home
It’s a humble one-pan dish that you can simply make with cupboard-friendly ingredients. Perfect for a busy weeknight dinner!
In this recipe, we are sharing our homestyle easy Japanese beef bowl with simple steps. You will need thinly sliced beef, one medium-size onion, and basic Japanese sauces like mirin, soy sauce, sugar, sake, or rice wine. Eggs, chopped spring onion, and ginger pickle are classic topping that you can add. Here are few ingredients used explained:
Thinly sliced beef is ideal for this recipe. Which beef cut to use? You can use rib eye, chuck, sirloin, or any of your favorite steak cut. The key is the slice the meat very thinly.
How to slice beef thinly? Half frozen beef can be cut into very thin slices. Place the beef in an airtight freezer bag and freeze it for one and half hours to two hours. When the beef is firm enough, cut into super-thin slices with a sharp knife.
If you are not a beef fan, you can try this recipe with tender chicken slices and make it an Oyakodon ( Japanese Chicken and Rice Bowl ).
Onions: Use yellow, sweet, or white onion for this recipe. Cut the onion into medium slices. Stir fry until soft and tender before you add the meat.
Spring Onions: Add thin slices of spring onions at the final step and add it on the top.
Soy sauce: You can use Japanese soy sauce ( Shoyu) like Kikkoman, Yamasa, or Marukin. If you cannot get Japanese brand soy sauces, use all-purpose soy sauce or light soy sauce for this recipe.
Mirin: Mirin is a Japanese cooking rice wine, that has a subtle sweet flavour. Very low in alcohol percentage, can tenderize the meat, and ideal to add in marinade and sauces. If you cannot find mirin, you can add rice wine vinegar, dry white wine, or dry sherry.
If you wish to make it a non-alcohol or halal mirin version, you can mix sugar syrup/honey + rice vinegar/water. ( ratio is ½ + ½ ).
Sake: Sake is a Japanese rice beverage that can be also used in marinade and sauces in Japanese cooking. It is sweet, acidic, and higher alcohol content than mirin.
The closest sake substitutes are rice wine, dry sherry, or Shao Xing Chinese cooking rice wine. You can mostly buy sake bottles or cooking sake at Oriental/Asian supermarkets.
Sugar: Brown sugar or white sugar both work well. Stir all the sauces and sugar in a small bowl until sugar dissolved.
Japanese Onsen egg known as Onsen Tamago is usually added to the gyudon topping. But for this quick and easy beef bowl recipe, we are adding poached egg instead of Onsen egg.
How to make a quick poached egg? Break an egg in a small bowl. Fill the saucepan with water over half of the saucepan, bring it to boil. Then turn down the heat into low. Stir the water and make it into a whirlpool. Drop the egg gently in the center of the whirlpool and leave it for 2-3 minutes until the egg white is set.
Remove from water and place it over to paper towel to dry out the excess water. Then add it over the beef bowl.
Japanese red pickled ginger ( Shoga ) which is made from julienned ginger and vinegar. Vibrant red in colour and it has a refreshing, tangy, pungent ginger taste. If you cannot find Japanese pickle you can serve with Korean kimchi for this recipe.
Which rice is best for this recipe?
Japanese short-grain rice or Thai jasmine rice is perfect for a beef bowl or Asian rice bowl recipes. But you can serve with any of your favourite cooked rice, brown rice, or even taste great with simple egg fried rice or noodles.
Here is more of our family’s favourite Japanese recipes that you might like:
- Yakisoba ( Stir Fried Japanese Noodles )
- Japanese Chicken Curry
- Karaage Chicken (Japanese fried chicken)
- Teriyaki Chicken
- Stir-Fried Udon Noodle ( Yaki Udon )
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Japanese Beef Bowl Gyudon
- 400 g Beef ( Half frozen steak cut )
- 1 Onion ( medium-size )
- 1 tbsp Oil ( Vegetable or neutral flavour oil )
- 1 tsp Ginger ( finely grated or paste )
- 3 tbsp Soy sauce ( all purpose soy sauce or light soy sauce )
- 2 tbsp Mirin ( rice wine or dry sherry )
- 1 tbsp Sake ( Sake or rice wine )
- 2 tbsp Brown sugar ( or white sugar )
- Spring Onions
- 2 Egg
- Japanese red ginger pickle ( or kimchi )
- Freeze the beef in the fridge for 1.5 to 2 hour to half frozen. Slice the beef into paper thin slices. Cut the onion and spring onion into thin slices.
- Mix all the sauce ingredients in a small mixing bowl.
- Heat a tablespoon of oil in a pan over medium heat. Stir fry the onion until soft and tender.
- Then follow with the beef slices, and ginger paste cook until beef is no longer pink.
- Pour the sauce mix in and stir well to combine all ingredients evenly.
- Cook for 2-3 minutes until the sauce is thick. Then turn off the heat and sprinkle the chopped spring onions in.
- Served over the bed of steamed rice. Topped with poached egg, spring onions and Japanese ginger pickle.