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Gyudon (Japanese Beef on Rice Bowl)

Delicious Gyudon (Beef on Rice)

I love Japanese food, especially one dish meals such as this Gyudon (牛丼), translated as “beef rice bowl”. Those in Singapore may be familiar with this dish if you eat at Yoshinoya. Gyū means “beef”, and don is short for donburi, the Japanese word for “bowl”. It has everything you need for a complete meal in a bowl – rice, meat, veggies. Very easy to prepare and so filling. I learned the beef and onions recipe from one of my fave Japanese cookbook, Harumi’s Japanese Cooking by Harumi Kurihara, which I adore for its authentic and fuss free recipes.

(Serves 2-3)

A) Side Dish – Steamed Vegetables
– 100g brocolli and cauliflower florets
– 1 carrot, peeled and sliced

B) Main Course – Beef and Onions
– cooked Japanese sushi rice
– 200g thinly sliced beef (I use the shabu shabu cut, I find that thicker cuts result in very tough meat after cooking)
– 200g (or roughly 1 1/2 large) white onion
– 100 ml white wine
– 50 ml water
– 70 ml light soy sauce
– 70ml mirin
– 2 tbsp caster sugar

Other Serving Suggestions
– pickled ginger (beni shoga)
– shichimi togarishi (Japanese 7-Spice Powder)
– instant miso soup


A) For the Side Dish

1) Arrange vegetables on a plate, steam over high heat for a few minutes till cooked.
2) Dip cooked vegetables immediately in ice water so that the vegetables retain their vibrant hue (optional). Set aside.

B) For the Beef and Onions

1. Cut the onions in half lengthways, then slice into half moons 1cm wide.
2. In a saucepan, bring the wine and water to a boil over moderate heat. Add the beef and simmer for a few minutes.
3. Add soy sauce, mirin, sugar and cover with a “drop lid” of alumium foil or a wooden lid and simmer for a few more minutes.
4. Remove the lid, add the onions and simmer until they are transparent and soft.

To serve and assemble the dish


1. Scoop cooked Japanese rice (see recipe below) into serving bowls. Ladle the beef and onions, together with some soup from the pan onto each rice bowl.
2. Serve with steamed vegetables (A), picked ginger, shichimi togarishi and miso soup.

In case you are keen to learn how to cook Japanese rice, here is how I cook mine (same way as how I cook sushi rice)

Recipe for cooked Japanese rice
(Serves 2-3)

– 1 1/4 cups of Japanese short grain sushi rice
– 1 1/2 cups water
– 1 tbsp sake (optional)
– a small piece (roughly 2 cm) of kelp ( optional)
– powered sushi mix

– Wash rice till it runs clear. Drain in colander for an hour if you have the time.
– Add drained rice, water, kelp and sake and cook in rice cooker.
– When rice is cooked, allow to cool for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wide, shallow non metallic container and spread it out.
– While fanning the rice to cool in one hand, add the powdered sushi mix (or your own concoction of sushi vinegar) using the other hand to mix in thoroughly.

Delicious Gyudon (Beef on Rice)
The delectable gyudon (beef on rice) for dinner

56 comments on “Gyudon (Japanese Beef on Rice Bowl)”

  1. That’s my kind of meal, the gyudon looks totally irresistible!
    Need to do it at home or go to a Japanese restaurant right now:)



  2. I love gyudon and yours looks really delish. and is that miso soup on the background? one of my favorites!

  3. Love this kind of dish for lunch or dinner :)

  4. I love Japanese-style one bowl meal just like this.

  5. What a lovely Japanese meal! The beef looks really good.

  6. I haven’t had this dish in months at Yoshinoya! Well it is probably because they made the serving sizes smaller than before. Your version looks so much better with the thicker cut of beef and the bold colored veggies. Such a colorful bowl of food! Bet it probably tastes better than Yoshinoya too :).

  7. What a healthy and hearty looking meal- I love jap food and didnt realise you can re-create this easily in home kitchen too!

  8. Hi Wiffy! I adore Japanese food too – and not just sushi! Even the beef rice bowls like this one is such a great comfort food. Thanks for sharing the recipe from the cook book!

  9. These photos are so colorful and fresh looking, it’s a true mark of class photography/meal preparation when you can make everything look just right and not smushy or old. :P I’m SUCH a klutz in the kitchen, mom asked me to make a simple pea soup mix the other day, and I totally spilled the packet of dry seasoning all over the stove. :|

    Cute chopsticks btw! I love the design on them. :XO:

    • you are simply too kind, making me blush :oops: You’re the pro

      I always make a mess in the kitchen. Can see what I was cooking on that day from the “spillage” on the floor – flour, bits and scraps :D

  10. Hi Wiffy, you’ve just been tagged. Please visit my blog to join this ‘tag game’ and tag 4 other bloggers you know – but you of course don’t need to answer the tag if you don’t want to, who am I to force you anyway ;-)??

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