So, I had a hankering for some Yoshinoya today but there’s none around here, where I live. It’s been at least 10 years since I had the good ol’ beef bowl and I really needed to get my fix already. So I headed to the local Asian store, got a few key ingredients and started whipping it up. It wasn’t too hard. I don’t think I got it spot on but it sure was close enough.
There are many ways to prepare gyūdon. However, the key to a Yoshinoya-style experience is to keep an eye on the little details. Beef needs to be marbled and sliced paper thin, first and foremost. Then you need the proper condiments – the red pickled ginger, called beni shōga and the chili powder blend, called shichimi togarashi.
See, it’s not too shabby, I’m telling you.
Ingredients (4 servings):
3 cups uncooked Japanese rice (or Jasmine)
1 lb thinly sliced brisket or rib eye (or something with a lot of marbling)
2 onions, cut in thin wedges
2 strips Konbu
1 1/2 cups Water
1 tbs Dashi soup powder
1 cup low-sodium Kikkoman Soy Sauce (1/2 for marinade, 1/2 for broth)
1/2 cup Mirin (1/4 for marinade, 1/4 for broth)
1 tbs minced Garlic
1 tbs minced Ginger
2 tbs Sugar
2 tbs Sake (or Cooking Sake)
1 cup Beni shōga (pickled red ginger)
4 tbs finely chopped Scallions (optional)
Unless you have a fancy meat slicer, partially freeze the meat before slicing so that it’s firm but not rock solid. This will allow you to make paper thin slices, which is crucial! When ready, slice using a very sharp chef’s knife. Allow to marinade in soy sauce, mirin, garlic and ginger for at least 30 minutes.
Cook the rice. While that’s going, immerse konbu strips in a 3qt pot with 1 1/2 cups water and bring to a boil in medium-high heat. Once boiling, discard konbu and add dashi, soy sauce, mirin, sugar and sake into the pot with the broth. Stir until it boils again. Add the onion slices and cook for about 5 minutes, covered. While still in a rapid boil, mix in the beef strips and once it boils again, a few seconds, turn off heat. Cover and let simmer for a few more minutes. Be careful not to overcook the beef.
Serve hot steamed rice into individual deep rice bowls. Put simmered beef/onions on top of the rice. Top with some beni shoga and chopped scallions. Then, sprinkle with shichimi togarashi. Enjoy!