Yoshinoya Japanese Beef Bowl (Gyudon)

Quick, easy Yoshinoya beef bowl you can make at home. Tender beef in sweet and savory sauce, plus white rice, this bowl of goodies make perfect dinner.

I’ve been to Yoshinoya many times, and Beef Bowl (Gyudon) is always my favorite. I mean, who can say no to a bowl of goodies – tender beef, slightly sweet onion, white rice, and all sorts of garnish.

I also love the sweet and savory sauce, kind of like the teriyaki. So to me, it highlights the beef bowl. I’ve seen a lot of copycat Yoshinoya recipes using mirin, dashi, or teriyaki sauce. But they are not always available. So I used some basic ingredients instead. And guess what? It comes out just as tasty as the original Yoshinoya beef bowl with a few trial-and-error.

So today, I am bringing you a quick, easy, and delicious Japanese beef bowl recipe. It takes no time to put together, perfect as a dinner for one. So now roll your sleeves up, and let’s make the Japanese beef bowl.

Japanese Gyudon beef bowl 4

What is Gyudon?

Gyudon is the Japanese of beef bowls. It’s a classic Japanese dish for one with thinly sliced fatty beef on top of white rice.

Sometimes you will also see different garnishes like onions, carrots, and Japanese daikon on it. In some places, there will also be a poached egg on the beef.

Why you will like this recipe

  • It’s super easy and literally takes minutes. Even if you are a beginner in Japanese cooking, you can nail this beef bowl recipe at the first time.
  • Adjustable portions. In Japan, normally, one beef bowl is one serving. So you can follow the recipe and make a dinner for one, or double or triple the ingredients for more servings.
  • It’s versatile. The heroes of the beef bowl are beef and rice. Other than that, you can customize the garnish to your liking.
  • No Japanese-specific condiments are required. Mirin and fish sauce are not always available. So I replace them with regular condiments so you can make it happen.

Ingredients for this Japanese beef bowl

The main ingredients of Gyudon are beef and rice. The garnish is versatile. Here in this recipe, I add onions because the sweetness melts into the sauce and makes the meat even tastier.

Main ingredients

  • 1 cup of white rice
  • 300 grams of fatty beef or thinly sliced beef
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 scallion
  • 1 small red chilly (optional)
  • A pinch of sesame

Sauce

  • 1 tbsp of dark soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp cooking wine
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • A pinch of salt

How to make Gyudon

  1. Cook a bowl of rice in the rice cooker in advance. I use Japanese rice. But any kind of rice will do.
  2. Boil a pot of water. Add beef and branch the beef for 30 seconds until it just turn brown. Transfer the beef to a plate.
How to make Japanese Gyudon beef bowl 1

Some beef bowl recipes leave this step out because of the potential loss of favor. But blanching beef for a short time (less than one minute) will do almost no harm to the taste. And it will help remove the impurities in the meat. Just keep in mind to take it out with a skimmer when the beef starts to turn pale.

  1. Cut onion into thin slices. Chop a chilly and a scallion finely and set aside for later.

In this recipe, chilly is optional. You can leave it if you don’t like the spice. Or add one more chilly if you want a kick in the taste.

Yellow onion is preferable as it takes sweeter and softens more quickly.

  1. In a bowl, add one tbsp of dark soy sauce, two tbsp of light soy sauce, one tbsp of cooking wine, one tbsp of oyster sauce, half a tsp of sugar and a pinch of salt. Stir to mix evenly.

The sauce is really the key of this beef bowl recipe. Make sure all the ingredients blend together and there is no grainy sugar. You can also replace sugar with two tsps of honey.

  1. In a separate bowl, add one tablespoon of corn starch and mix with two tablespoons of water.

The water starch is used to thicken the sauce later. You may need to stir a bit more later before adding it to the pan.

  1. On a pan, add two tsp of olive oil and heat over medium high heat. Then add onion slices and sauté until softened.
How to make Japanese Gyudon beef bowl 2
  1. Add beef to the pan and sauté for 2 minutes. Then add the chopped chilly and water starch to the pan. Lower the heat to medium and gently stir the ingredients until the sauce thickens.
  2. Place the beef on top of a bowl of rice. Sprinkle white sesame and scallion on the surface. You can also serve it with some greens like cauliflower or a cucumber salad.
Japanese Gyudon beef bowl 3

Tips and variations

  • What if I don’t have oyster sauce

You can replace oyster sauce with half a tsp of sugar plus half a tbsp of soy sauce. Stir to mix even before adding to the pan.

  • Can I use other cuts of beef?

If you don’t have fat beef that is usually for hotpot, you can replace it by other cuts like beef tenderloin. Pound it before cutting it into thin slices.

Storage and reheat

Japanese Gyudon beef bowl 1

How to store in the fridge

  • I love this Japanese beef bowl recipe because it’s perfect for meal prep. Here are some notes to make ahead and store:
  • Put the cooked beef with the sauce in sealed container(s). Let it cool to room temperature before putting it in the fridge.
  • Do the same to the rice but in a separate container. Store properly, and it can last up to a week in the freezer and two days in a fridge.

Reheat

  • Defrost ahead by placing the containers at room temperature. When it’s defrosted completely, pop them in a microwave and heat for 3 minutes per serving.
Japanese Gyudon beef bowl recipe

Japanese Beef Bowl (Gyudon)

Yield: 2 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Additional Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 42 minutes

Quick, easy Yoshinoya beef bowl you can make a home. Tender beef in sweet and savory sauce, plus white rice, this bowl of goodies make perfect dinner.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of white rice
  • 300 grams of fatty beef or thinly sliced beef
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 scallion
  • 1 small red chilly (optional)
  • A pinch of sesame
  • 1 tbsp of dark soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp cooking wine
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • A pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Cook a bowl of rice in the rice cooker in advance. I use Japanese rice. But any kind of rice will do.
  2. Boil a pot of water. Add beef and branch the beef for 30 seconds until it just turn brown. Transfer the beef to a plate.
  3. Cut onion into thin slices. Chop a chilly and a scallion finely and set aside for later.
  4. In a bowl, add one tbsp of dark soy sauce, two tbsp of light soy sauce, one tbsp of cooking wine, one tbsp of oyster sauce, half a tsp of sugar and a pinch of salt. Stir to mix evenly.
  5. In a separate bowl, add one tablespoon of corn starch and mix with two tablespoons of water.
  6. On a pan, add two tsp of olive oil and heat over medium high heat. Then add onion slices and sauté until softened.
  7. Add beef to the pan and sauté for 2 minutes. Then add the chopped chilly and water starch to the pan. Lower the heat to medium and gently stir the ingredients until the sauce thickens.
  8. Place the beef on top of a bowl of rice. Sprinkle white sesame and scallion on the surface. You can also serve it with some greens like cauliflower or a cucumber salad.

Notes

Chilly is optional.

Yellow onion is preferable in this recipe.

Use sealed containers to store in the freezer for up to 7 days, in the fridge for 2 days. Store the beef and rice separately.

More chicken recipes

If you love beef, don’t miss these Asian beef recipes:
Easy Chinese Scrambled Egg with Beef
Cantonese One-pot Braised Beef Brisket with Daikon Radish
Homemade Luo Song Tang – Hong Kong Borscht Soup
More beef recipes: 25 Best Asian Beef Recipes That Will Make You Drool

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