Hayashi Rice is Japanese beef stew poured over Steamed Rice. Hayashi sauce has distinct flavors of demi-glace brown sauce and red wine. It has been a popular western style Japanese dish since the early 1900s. Hayashi Rice is often found on a menu at Yoshoku-ya (western style food restaurants) along with Hamburger Steak and Tonkatsu. It is also a popular home cooking dish, although the sauce is usually made from instant roux looking just like instant Curry roux. It was more popular in the 70s and 80s, but Hayashi Rice is still an old time favorite Yoshoku for Japanese people.
It is unknown why and where the name “Hayashi” is from. Some say that a chef named Hayashi (a common Japanese surname) at some restaurant made it as employee meal first, but others say it came from a European dish called “hashed beef” (the sound somehow changed into Hayashi???). A lot of Japanese people at least once in their life time have wondered about this, saying “why Hayashi?” But it would be quickly forgotten again since the internet didn’t exist for most people until relatively recently.
The base of the stew is made from a demi-glace sauce, a kind of French brown sauce which is widely used in western style dishes in Japan. Demi-glace sauce is made from beef broth with brown roux (flour browned with fat) , tomato sauce and seasonings. You can buy demi-glace sauce in cans at any supermarket in Japan, or even easier, just use an instant roux in a box. However, since we’ve never seen demi-glace sauce in the US, and most of the readers here are outside Japan also, we’d like to show how to make the sauce from scratch. To short cut a little, you can use store-bought beef broth, but we think home-made broth tastes much better.
Hayashi Rice is not a hard dish to make, but we admit there are more steps and longer list of ingredients than our usual food. However, with a little effort, you and your family will have tasty Hayashi Rice right at home!
- --BEEF BROTH--
- 1 tsp oil
- 150g ground beef
- 1/2 brown onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 carrot, finely chopped
- 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 6 cups water (about 1500ml)
- 1/3 cup all purpose flour(45g)
- 1/3 cup oil (80ml)
- 3 Tbsp Worcester sauce
- 2 Tbsp ketchup
- 4 Tbsp tomato paste
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1/4 cup port wine
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 300g beef, thinly sliced and cut bite size pieces
- 1 brown onion, thinly sliced
- 7-8 mushrooms, thinly sliced
- Steamed Rice
- 1/3 cup cooked green peas
- For beef broth, heat oil in a frying pan and cook ground beef in a large pot. Add all the chopped vegetables and stir fry a couple of minutes. Add bay leaf and water, and cook for 20-30 minutes. Strain beef and vegetables (this can be used for something else or discard), and put only the broth back in the pot. Set aside.
- For the roux, in a frying pan, add flour and oil, and cook at medium heat stirring constantly until color turns brown, about 10 minutes. Set aside.
- Add all the seasonings and the roux to the beef broth, and cook at medium heat for 20 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.
- In a large frying pan, add butter and cook sliced beef for 1 minute, then add onion and mushrooms and cook until vegetables get tender. Add this to the sauce, and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- To serve, pour the stew over steamed rice and top with green peas.