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Gyudon (Stir fried beef bowl)

Gyu don

Things are finally getting back to normal here so that means more cooking and updates (I hope)! I’ve had to resort (not that it’s a bad thing) to cooking even quicker weeknight meals than normal (read: 20 minutes instead of an hour) for the better part of two weeks (with a vacation mixed in) but I’m hoping that’s going to change soon.

In line with the 20 minute meals, I’ve been cooking up a popular Japanese homestyle dish, Gyu-don (stir-fried beef bowl). Thin slices of beef with scallions, onions, and a tasty sauce make this one of my favorite dishes to make. And I’m not alone. Yoshinoya, a chain in Japan, makes this one of their signature dishes. It’s also delicious locally at Cafe Mami, an old haunt back in my college days (I still wind up there now and then, just not as often…well, less than twice a week).

I’m still working on getting this just the way I like it (spicier with a slightly thicker sauce) but it’s working out pretty well so far. I compiled a recipe after consulting Marc Matsumoto’s version at No Recipes and Shizuo Tsuji’s A Simple Art, one of the best cookbooks on the whole range of Japanese cooking available. Both are resources I’ve been depending on for a bunch of different dishes. It never ceases to amaze me how people can whip up dishes on the fly, it’s something I’ve never been able to do.


Time: 20 minutes
Serves : 2-3

Adapted from Marc Matsumoto at No Recipes and Shizuo Tsuji’s A Simple Art

– 2 tsp canola oil
– 1 medium onion, sliced
– 1 lb marbled beef (I use short rib or steak tips), thinly sliced
– 4 tbsp mirin
– 4 tbsp sake
– 2 tbsp soy sauce
– 1 tbsp Gochujang or Sriracha
– 1/4 tsp grated ginger
– 2 stalks scallions, chopped
– Cooked rice
– Optional: 1/2c dashi stock w/ 2 tbsp soy sauce

1. Mix together the mirin, sake, and 2 tbsp soy sauce.
2. Heat a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the canola oil and onions. Stir fry until somewhat soft.
3. Add the thinly sliced beef and brown. Then add the ginger and mirin/sake/soy sauce mix (plus the dashi stock if you made it). Simmer until most of the sauce is gone.
4. Serve over hot rice, garnish with scallions and sesame seeds.


  1. tigerfish says:

    I think I need to get some Japanese seasonings such as mirin and sake before I do all these dishes.

  2. Gyudon is another Japanese one-meal dish I love. Btw, just stumbled upon your site, it looks great around here:)!

  3. The beef sounds so good with the Jap seasonings and gochujang…yum

  4. dave says:

    @tigerfish – I keep mirin and sake in my fridge/cupboard all the time now

    @Cooking Gallery – Thanks! I wish I had more time to update some of the other bits though

    @pigpigscorner – The gochujang really adds to this…I used sriracha before and I think I like it better with the gochujang instead!

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