Gyudon Japanese Beef Bowl

Gyudon Japanese Beef Bowl

I’m heading back to Tokyo soon and I’m really in a Donburi mood.  My last post was Katsudon and now I’m going to tell you about another favorite Donburi (Rice Bowl) Gyudon, or Japanese Beef Bowl.  Gyudon chains are scattered throughout Japan but I have never been a fan of chain restaurants and have only eaten at the very popular Gyudon chain Yoshinoya once.  That was enough for me.  Gyudon chains are considered cheap eats in Japan and the meat they use is very low quality.

When I first met hubby he was a struggling Engineering student.  He worked and went to school full time and barely had time to eat.  We could only see each other about thirty minutes every day and that was only during the week.  On the weekends it was all homework and lab time for him so we rarely saw each other.  He was so determined to work towards his dream and that’s one of the things I always admired about him.  He never gives up.  I used to try to get him to skip school and he never would.  He’d tell me it was for our future.  I’m so happy now he never listened to me.  Yes I was a troublemaker.

On one of the days we were lucky to have enough time to actually sit down for a quick bite together he took me to Yoshinoya Beef Bowl.  He was shocked I had never been.  It was a popular place with College students at the time for a cheap and quick meal.  My mother never took us to fast food places growing up.  She made everything from scratch and I was brought up thinking places like that were bad news (I’m so thankful for my Mom).  I didn’t want to hurt his feelings and I knew he really couldn’t afford much so I reluctantly went inside with him.  After trying the first bite of the beef bowl I couldn’t eat any more.  I felt really bad but told him I could make a better Beef Bowl and would make it for him on his next holiday.

A couple of weeks later on a Japanese holiday, I made my version of Gyudon and of course he loved it.  He said it was fancy because of the  sliced rib eye and shiitake mushrooms.  He used to call it the Shirley-Don because he said only I would make a fancy Gyudon like that.  Many years have passed since that first Gyudon experience but every time I make it I still think of that first time eating it with hubby and it makes me smile.

Gyudon Japanese Beef Bowl

Ingredients:  2 servings

2 tablespoons Butter
1/2 pound thinly sliced Beef Ribeye (available at Asian grocery stores or freeze beef for one hour before if slicing yourself)
1/2 large Yellow Onion, thinly sliced
4-5 Shiitake Mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/4 cup Sake
1/4 cup Mirin
1/4 cup Water
1/4 cup Soy Sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon grated ginger and the juice
enough hot cooked Japanese rice to fill 2 large bowls (Donburi)
Beni Shoga, pickled red ginger (optional)
2 large fresh organic eggs (optional)
Shichimi (also called Nanami) Japanese Seven Spice

In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.  Add onion and shiitake and sauté until onion is translucent and shiitake mushrooms are soft, 4 to 5 minutes.  Add sake and mirin and continue to cook for 2 minutes to cook off most of the alcohol.  Add water, soy sauce, sugar, ginger and garlic and gently mix.  Add the beef, lower heat and cook slowly, separating the meat carefully to prevent the pieces from sticking together.  Simmer the beef in the sauce for about 2 to 3 minutes.  Do not overcook, beef will get dry.

Divide the rice between two Donburi bowls and dived the beef mixture and the sauce over the top.  Top with a little picked ginger, Shichimi and serve with a raw egg to mix into the beef and rice if you’d like.

Gyudon Japanese Beef Bowl
Serves: 2
 
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons Butter
  • ½ pound thinly sliced Beef Ribeye (available at Asian grocery stores or freeze beef for one hour before if slicing yourself)
  • ½ large Yellow Onion, thinly sliced
  • 4-5 Shiitake Mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup Sake
  • ¼ cup Mirin
  • ¼ cup Water
  • ¼ cup Soy Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger and the juice
  • enough hot cooked Japanese rice to fill 2 large bowls (Donburi)
  • Beni Shoga, pickled red ginger (optional)
  • 2 large fresh organic eggs (optional)
  • Shichimi (also called Nanami) Japanese Seven Spice
Instructions
  1. In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.
  2. Add onion and shiitake and sauté until onion is translucent and shiitake mushrooms are soft, 4 to 5 minutes.
  3. Add sake and mirin and continue to cook for 2 minutes to cook off most of the alcohol.
  4. Add water, soy sauce, sugar, ginger and garlic and gently mix.
  5. Add the beef, lower heat and cook slowly, separating the meat carefully to prevent the pieces from sticking together. Simmer the beef in the sauce for about 2 to 3 minutes. Do not overcook, beef will get dry.
  6. Divide the rice between two Donburi bowls and dived the beef mixture and the sauce over the top.
  7. Top with a little picked ginger, Shichimi and serve with a raw egg to mix into the beef and rice if you’d like.

Comments

  1. I loved that story. Thank you so much for sharing it.

  2. Shirley,
    That’s a wonderful story. No wonder gyudon has so much meaning for you! I don’t usually choose gyudon at restaurants but yours makes me want to try making it at home. Thanks for sharing :D

  3. Shirley,
    That story is so sweet! I love it. Now I really want to try this (not like I didn’t before, but you know!).

    -Katie

  4. What a sweet story about your husband, and I love that you admit you were the troublemaker, ha! The beef rice bowl looks delicious, and I’m sure it is much more delicious home made. So lucky you’re leaving for Tokyo soon, can’t wait to see all the food pics. Have a great trip! xoxo

    • Thank you for the sweet comment! I just returned from Tokyo last week and will be posting about my latest trip. Hope you enjoy it :)

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