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Gyudon [牛丼]

Gyudon, literally means Meat (牛) Bowl (丼) in Japanese. The dish is almost as simple as it’s name. If you would abstract the dish, it’s just meat on top of rice. But luckily it’s not that simple. If done right, it can be very delicious and not just simple. The soft Japanese rice and juicy beef go together like a match made in heaven. Of course, in order to get them to match you have to get the rest of the dish right too. Perfect for dinner when you are alone and don’t want to spend too much time cooking and don’t want to eat yet another pre-made pizza.


  • 400 gram Japanese short grain rice (Nishiki)
  • 225g beef (rib eye if you like fatty beef, fillet of beef/ossehaas for fatless beef)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 235 ml dashi (Japanese soup stock)
  • 95 ml soy sauce (Yamasa, Kikkoman)
  • 95 ml mirin (Kotobuki or use shin mirin for mirin without alcohol)
  • 2 tbsp fresh ginger juice
  • beni shoga (japanese pickled thinly sliced red ginger) (Shin Shin)
  • chopped spring onions


Rinse the rice several times till the water run clear. Drain it well. Put the rice into a pan with 500 ml cold water and let it soak for 30 minutes. Place the rice in a tightly covered pot over medium heat till water just boils.

Turn up the heat and let the water come to a vigorous boil. Let it boil for about 1 minute and turn the heat to low and cook till all the water is absorbed by the rice.

Turn off the heat and let the rice stand, covered, for 15 – 20 minutes before fluffing it with a wooden paddle.

Cut the beef into paper-thin slices with a sharp knife. You may find it easier to do this if you put the meat in the freezer for about 30 minutes before slicing. Cut the slices into 5 cm lengths.

In a large frying pan, heat about 3 tbsp of oil and fry the onions for a few minutes till soft.

Add the dashi, soy sauce and mirin and bring to a boil. Add the beef slices and let the broth come to a boil again. Lower the heat and simmer for 2 minutes or until beef is just cooked. Remove from heat and stir in ginger juice.

Put portions of the rice into individual donburi bowls, or large deep soup bowls. Cover the rice with stir-fried beef and onions and moisten with a few tablespoons sauce. Garnish with beni shoga and chopped green onions and serve immediately.

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