Gyudon is another Donburi (rice bowl) dish like Oyakodon. However, instead of eggs and chicken, Gyudon is all about beef. It is a much heartier Donburi and therefore, very popular among men, teenagers to middle-aged. Thinly sliced beef is cooked in sweet and salty sauce, which is piled on top of rice, and the rice absorbs all the flavorful sauce… it is just so good. I guess you don’t have to be a man to like this.
Gyudon shops in Japan are very popular at lunch time. If there are company offices, there are Gyudon shops. “Salary-man” loves Gyudon because it tastes good and it’s filling, and also is quite reasonably priced. You can get Gyudon for $3-4 in Japan, and that’s great for budget eaters. I don’t know how Gyudon restaurants can do such low pricing because beef is not cheap in Japan. Well, some people say they use pretty low grade meat that has a lot of fat. However, the meat is so thin and seasoned well that it still tastes pretty good. (The Japanese chain Yoshinoya has stores in the US and their “beef bowl” is good, but nothing beats homemade with fresh ingredients.)
When you make this at home, you also want to use thinly sliced beef with some fat, but not necessarily cheap meat. Red meat without any fat makes the beef tough and dry when cooked, so use a cut of beef with enough fat such as chuck shoulder roast. You can ask your local butcher shop to cut “paper thin,” and they are most likely happy to do it for you.
- 1 medium onion
- 10-12oz (300-350g) beef, thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 cup Dashi
- 4 Tbsp soy sauce
- 3 Tbsp sugar
- 2 Tbsp Sake
- 1 tsp ginger, grated
- pickled red ginger (Benishouga)
- steamed rice
- Slice onion thinly, and cut sliced beef in 2" width.
- Boil Dashi in a pot and add sliced onion. Cook for 3-4 minutes. Add soy sauce, sugar, and Sake and cook another 3-4 minutes. Add grated ginger.
- Add sliced beef in pot and stir. Cook about 5 minutes.
- Pour meat and sauce over rice and top with pickled red ginger.