Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Gyudon (beef bowl)

A beef bowl is called “gyudon” in Japanese. “Gyu” means beef and don is short for “donburi” which is food served on top of rice in a bowl. Many gyudon recipes are using hon-dash powder for the dash soup stock. But the Hon-Dash powder contains MSG. My recipe is much healthier.

Yield: 4 servings Time: 20 minutes


  • 1lb of thin sliced beef (chadolbaegi-Korean Beef Brisket)
  • 1 medium onion (sliced)
  • 4 bowls of steamed rice
  • 1 cup dashi soup stock*
  • 4 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Mirin
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp sake
  • 0.3 oz minced ginger 

  1. Add mixed spices (soy sauce, sake, sugar) and beef in the saucepan and cook on high heat.
  2. When the beef is almost done, remove beef from the pan; set a side. 
  3. Add dashi stock and sliced onion, ginger in the saucepan, cover and cook for 2 minutes on medium heat.
  4. Reduce heat to low after it boils, cover and simmer for 5 to 6 minutes
  5. Return the beef to the pan and mix well with onions.
  6. Serve it a bowl of steamed rice with juice in the saucepan

Makes 4 cups

4 cups water
16 — 20 square inches of kombu* or 2 or 3 pieces of 3" dashima*
1/2 cup (2oz.) loosely packed katsuobushi (shaved bonito)
1. Place the water and the kombu in a pot and let the kombu soak for about 15 minutes.  Place the pot over medium heat.  Right before the water starts to boil (watch for bubbles starting to break around the edge of the pot), remove the pot from the heat and scatter the katsuobushi over the surface of the water.
2. After 3 or 4 minutes (the katsuobushi will have sunk to the bottom of the pot by this point), strain the stock through a strainer lined with a tightly woven cotton cloth or a coffee-filter.
3. Refrigerate the stock in a tightly covered container for up to 4 days in the refrigerator.**
* If you would like to weigh out your kombu (I usually eyeball it)–somewhere between 0.45-ounces or 0.6 ounces (13-18 grams) is good!  Of course, you can always go with more or less depending on your tastes.
** Sources disagree on whether ichiban dashi can be frozen.  Some say that it can be frozen, while others argue that the stock loses its aroma/flavor when frozen, so it’s best to use it when it’s fresh.  It’s up to you!

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