Gyudon quite literally translates to beef bowl in Japanese, and is a favorite comfort food in Japan and beyond. It's beauty is in it's simplicity - steaming bowl of rice topped with a heavy hand of stir fried beef and sautéed onions, marinated in a mildly sweet sauce flavored with dashi and soy sauce. I topped mine with a poached egg to add an even more creamy layer to this dish.
Like many who have never visited Japan, my first experience with gyudon is at the fast food chain, Yoshinoya - where they serve up their signature beef bowl. Recreating it with my own recipe brought back fond memories and I hope to one day visit Japan to taste the real deal.
I bought all ingredients from Japanese supermarket Don Don Donki that's newly opened in my neighborhood (rice bowl bought from Daiso) If you've never heard of this supermarket, please go visit - they sell quality cut meats and sushi grade seafood at really affordable prices! All produce is specially imported from Japan, so here's a great place to stock up on Japanese essentials. I'd avoid buying fruits and vegetables here though as it is alot pricier, and does not offer anything Fairprice or Cold Storage can't. Oh and a word of warning, the place plays a Don Don Donki carol that will stay in your head for days! My husband hummed the tune for an entire week after our visit haha!
Recipe serves 2 people. 5 mins prep time, total cook time approximately 20 mins.
*As you can see - I jazzed my basic bowl of beef with blanched broccoli and sautéed mushrooms. From it's namesake, this is completely an extra step which I find accompanies the dish well - adding veggies to your dish is always a good thing yeah?
1 cup white rice - I used regular rice as Japanese rice is so expensive!
200g beef, thinly sliced - readily available at Japanese Supermarkets
1 large white onion, sliced
Half cup Dashi - instant sachets readily available at Japanese Supermarkets
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
1 teaspoon ginger, grated
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1 chili padi, finely chopped
1 cup Enokii mushrooms
Salt & pepper to taste
2 poached eggs
1 cup broccolli, boiled
1 cup spring onion, chopped
1. Boil and cook rice, set aside.
2. In a pan on medium high heat, fry garlic until golden brown and onions until translucent.
3. Add Enokii mushroom into the pan, mixing in with Dashi, soy sauce, dark soy sauce and chili padi. Mix for 2 mins.
4. Increase heat and add beef, mix everything together. Add salt and pepper to taste.
5. Add a little water or more dashi to create a slight sauce.
6. Pour over a steaming bowl of rice. Add steamed veggies and poached egg. Garnish with spring onion and sprinkling of chili powder - serve immediately.
ALY'S COOKING TIPS
1. I did not use Japanese rice as it was too expensive. Instead, I undercooked my rice by 1-2 mins to create the same consistency. You can't tell the different I promise!
2. Do not try to slice your own beef. This is an impossible task that only a machine can make. Buy pre-cut meats from Japanese supermarkets, or even your local butcher.
3. This exact recipe can be used on seafood. In fact, I made half beef bowls and half salmon bowls at a recent party.
4. Some recipes use sake when cooking. I was trying to keep my costs low, and found that the Dashi provided enough Japanese umami-ness that was needed to call this a proper Japanese dish!
5. Don't stress over the Dashi. I was completely clueless as to what this was when I first decided to make this dish - which stressed me out for no good reason. I bought these easy peasy Dashi sachets that's already portioned for you per cup of what you need! Btw, Dashi is a crucial part of all Japanese cooking - it is the essential flavor in every dish, and is basically a stock of seaweed and bonito/anchovies. That's some serious UMAMI x