Gyudon (Beef Bowl)

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This Yoshinoya-style Gyudon (牛丼, literally "beef bowl"), comes together in 15 minutes and tastes delicious over a bowl steaming hot rice #japanese #japan #donburi #beef #japanesefood

While donburi's made with beef have been around for well over a century in Japan, these days, gyudon (牛丼, literally "beef bowl") is synonymous with one of 3 large fast food chains: Yoshinoya, Matsuya, and Sukiya. Which chain comes to mind, depends on who you're a fan of, with subtle differences in flavor setting each one apart.

Of the three, Yoshinoya is by far the oldest, with its original restaurant having started in 1899 at the Nihonbashi fish market (the predecessor to Tsukiji fish market), where it churned out bowls of seasoned beef and onions over rice for hungry fishmongers and buyers alike. To this day, Yoshinoya's signature gyudon is a cheap ($3.25 USD as of 1/17/2016), satisfying meal targeting students and the working class, though recently they've started offering premium menu items in an effort to win back customers lost to competitors.

A quick easy beef and onion rice bowl (gyudon) makes for a delicious satisfying meal.

After Japan banned US beef imports in late 2003 due to the BSE scare, the gyudon industry entered a crisis. As stocks of cheap US beef disappeared, Matsuya and Sukiya responded by sourcing beef from other countries, but Yoshinoya stubbornly refused to compromise on quality, replacing their signature gyudon with butadon (pork donburi) instead. While some consumers simply switched brands, some loyal Yoshinoya fan's went to the lengths of visiting the chain's foreign locations to enjoy their beloved gyudon.

Here's my rendition of Yoshinoya's famous gyudon. It's truly as simple to make as it looks and yet it makes for a satisfying meal. There are a few tricks to get this to turn out right. The first is to use a cut of beef from the underside of the cow. My personal favorite is short rib meat, sliced paper thin against the grain. Not only is it fatty and flavorful, by slicing it very thinly, it shortens the amount of cooking time required to render the beef fall apart tender.

Make a Yoshinoya-style Gyudon (beef bowl) with this easy recipe.

If you're a die hard Yoshinoya fan and want to get the exact same taste, you're going to need to use Hondashi granules (which contains MSG) to make the dashi, but personally I find this a little heavy-handed, resulting in an artificial taste, which is why I prefer to use home made dashi. Additionally, purists, prefer to have their gyudon unadorned, but I like adding toppings such as benishoga (red pickled ginger), scallions and sesame seeds, which contribute layers of texture and taste.

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Gyudon (Beef Bowl)While donburi's made with beef have been around for well over a century in Japan, these days, gyudon (牛丼, literally "beef bowl") is synonymous with one of 3 large fast food chains: Yoshinoya, Matsuya, and Sukiya. Which chain comes to mind, depends on who you're a fan of, with subtle differences in f...

Summary

1 rating5150 Print & Other Apps  
  • Courseentrée
  • Cuisinejapanese
  • Yield2 bowls
  • Cooking Time14 minutesPT0H14M
  • Preparation Time1 minutePT0H1M
  • Total Time15 minutesPT0H15M

Ingredients

2 tablespoons
White wine (such as Riesling or Gewürztraminer)
2 tablespoons
Sake
1 1/2 tablespoons
Soy sauce
1 teaspoon
Sugar
200 grams
Beef short rib (thinly sliced)
100 grams
Onion (about 1/2 large onion, thickly sliced)

Steps

  1. Add the dashi, white wine, sake, soy sauce, and sugar to a pan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the onions and cook for 3 minutes.

    Simmering onions in dashi stock for gyudon (beef bowl)
  3. Add the beef, and turn down the heat to maintain a gentle simmer.

    Beef added to the tender onions and stock for beef bowl.
  4. Cook until the beef is tender (about 10 minutes). Adjust salt to to taste.

    Sliced beef and onions simmering in dashi stock for Gyudon.
  5. Serve the beef over bowls of hot rice, with some of the cooking liquid poured over the beef and rice.

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