What is Gyudon? It’s often translated into English as a “Japanese beef bowl” since Gyu means beef and don is short for donburi. Perhaps this still doesn’t make it clear? We’ll try again. Essentially, Gyudon is a bowl of steamed rice topped with simmered beef and onions. In Japan, it’s a popular choice when you want a satisfying but quick meal and Gyudon restaurants are all around Japan. You’ll probably hear many Japanese expats fondly talk about Yoshinoya and how much they miss it. This Gyudon chain restaurant is well-known for its hearty bowls that you can eat for under £3.
In the UK, and perhaps not surprisingly in London, it’s next to impossible to get a Gyudon at such a reasonable price. At Tokyo Diner in Soho, a Gyudon bowl and miso soup comes to almost £15, which is 3 times the cost of any Yoshinoya store in Japan. In case you are curious to know the other major Gyudon chains in Japan, check out Matsuya and Sukiya.
So what to do when you are craving a Japanese beef bowl in the UK? The good news is that you can make it yourself at home! In this article, we’ll show you an easy to follow Gyudon recipe from Kurumi Hayter. She’s the author of 5 cookbooks and also has a Japanese recipe and food website kurumicooks. In case you haven’t already come across her recipes before, here’s a brief introduction.
Shortly after setting up the Instagram account last year, we came across Kurumi’s IG account. It’s a treasure trove of authentic Japanese recipes and she makes frequent posts. Also Kurumi doesn’t just cover the most popular recipes. You can see traditional and not so well known recipes along with some more modern ones.
Kurumi also has her YouTube channel with hundreds of short videos where you can see how she makes her dishes. Apart from getting to see Japanese cooking techniques up close, what’s great about her recipes is that Kurumi lives in the UK. This means that she’s using ingredients that you can get a hold of at Japanese stores or local Asian supermarkets. When ingredients do come in different sizes or shapes than Japan, Kurumi explains the best way to work around this. Her Gyudon recipe here is a case in point, as thinly sliced meat like in this recipe is not something typically found in British supermarkets.
Now we’ve introduced both Gyudon and Kurumi-Sensei, let’s roll up our sleeves and get to the recipe!
Preparation time: 15 mins
Cooking time: 10 mins
Makes: 2 servings
- 1 onion
- 1 beef rump steak (250g)
- 90ml water
- 1 tsp Japanese dashi stock granules
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp Japanese cooking sake
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 450g cooked rice
- toppings (optional)
- some cress
- some red pickled ginger
Preparation & Method
- Slice the onion
- Slice the beef steak as thinly as you can
- Put the water and dashi stock granules in a jar or small measuring jug, then add to the frying pan
- Add the sugar, sake, soy sauce & onion to the pan and cook for 4-5 mins over medium heat
- Add the sliced beef and simmer for approx. 4 mins
Fill each bowl with a generous portion of cooked rice. Pile 1/2 of the beef and onion onto the rice in each bowl and pour over some of the sauce.
Top with some cress and red ginger.
And that’s it! A delicious meal that anyone can make even if you are a beginner level chef. It also takes less than half an hour to prepare and cook so it’s a good option when you’re in a hurry.
Our Gyudon tip:
Japanese gyudon chain restaurants often add a range of extra toppings, like soft cooked eggs, kimchi or even cheese! If you’re feeling adventurous, try some of your own!
Looking for more recipes? We’re certaintly aiming to get more recipes on the site and if you’re interested in making Okonomiyaki, check out our recipe here. Also, we’d definitely recommend following Kurumi on Instagram or her YouTube channel as you’ll usually get to see one new recipe a week! Hope this was helpful and looking forward to your comments.