OCHIKERON Recipe: Beef Bowl 牛丼

DECEMBER 2022 (vol. 181)

Gyudon is a bowl of rice topped with tender beef and onions simmered in a tasty salty sweet sauce. It is commonly served with beni shōga (pickled ginger) and shichimi (ground chili pepper), and sometimes topped with a raw egg.

“Gyu” means beef and “Don” is short for “donburi (rice bowl)”.

Gyudon can be found in many Japanese restaurants and some fast food chains specialize exclusively in the dish. Well known Gyudon chains in Japan are Yoshinoya (吉野家), Sukiya (すき家), and Matsuya (松屋). At some restaurants, you can specify how you want your Gyudon served, like tsuyudaku (extra tsuyu broth)!

Difficulty: Very Easy

Time: 30min

Number of servings: 4 servings

Ingredients (2 servings)

150g (5.3oz.) thinly sliced beef

100g (3.5oz.) onion


* 400ml water

* 100ml Sake (or white wine)

* 2 tbsp. grated ginger

* 2 tbsp. soy sauce

* 1&1/2 tbsp. sugar

* 1 tbsp. Mirin (sweet sake)

2 bowls cooked rice

Beni Shoga (red pickled ginger)

Shichimi Togarashi (seven flavor chili pepper) if you like boiled eggs if you like


1. Cut onion into wedges.

2. Put “A” in a pot and bring to a boil. Add the beef and onions, remove the foam (scum), then simmer on low until the liquid is reduced to 1/3.

3. Serve cooked rice in a rice bowl, place the simmered beef, pour some soup on it, then garnish with red picked ginger.  You can additionally sprinkle with Shichimi pepper and/or garnish with boiled eggs if you like.

How to make thinly sliced meat: Partially freeze a block of meat or partially thaw a block of frozen meat, then thinly slice it.