Beef Donburi

Donburi meals are Japanese comfort food, served in fast food restaurants, available in ready to heat-and-serve packets, or cooked at home for family. Donburi (kanji: 丼; hiragana: どんぶり) are also the over-sized rice bowls themselves. Rice, usually white rice, is topped with meat, seafood, tofu, and/or vegetables.

When describing the type of meal, donburi is often shortened to “don.” Tempura shrimp and vegetables over rice is tendon; chicken, egg, and onion is oyakodon; tamagodon a scrambled egg mixed with sweet donburi sauce; unadon is unagi kabayaki (grilled eel) on rice, katsudon has breaded deep-fried pork cutlets; negitorodon, diced toro (fatty tuna) and negi; hokkadon: thin-sliced raw salmon; and many more variations.

Donburi make a satisfying lunch or light supper, but I wanted something a bit more hearty. I used a delicious nutty 6-Grain Rice mixture from Kagayaki which includes black rice, purple barley, hulless barley, rye berries, red rice, and short grain brown rice. I made it according to the package directions:

  • Rinse 1 cup 6-grain rice.
  • In a medium saucepan, combine with 1½ cups water so soak for 30 minutes.
  • Cover tightly, and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to low, and simmer 30 to 40 minutes until the water is absorbed.
  • Remove from heat and let it stand covered for 15 minutes.

Sweet Simmered Beef and Onion over Rice
Gyūdon (牛丼)

adapted from: The Japanese Kitchen
•250 Recipes in a Traditional Spirit•
by Hiroko Shimbo
page 304
serves 3 to 4 as a main dish

Have ready:

  • 3 cups freshly cooked plain white rice
  • 1¼ cups dashi (basic Japanese stock)
  • 2 Tablespoons sake
  • 3 Tablespoons mirin
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar (original recipe: 1½ TBS.)

Combine the dashi, sake, and mirin in a medium skillet, and bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Add the sugar, and stir until it dissolves. Reduce heat to low, and cook 5 minutes.

  • 1 medium onion, cut into thin wedges
  • 12 ounces beef sirloin, cut into thin slices across the grain
  • 3 Tablespoons shoyu
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten

Add onions and cook until soft, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the beef, and cook 2 minutes. Add the shoyu, and cook for 2 more minutes. Pour the eggs over the beef and onions. Cover and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.

Divide the cooked rice among individual large serving bowls, and top with portions of the beef, onion, egg mixture. Pour a generous amount of the cooking broth over each serving. Serve with chopsticks and a spoon.

2 thoughts on “Beef Donburi

  1. Hi Tess, Currently, I have only one Japanese recipe on my blog and that is oyako donburi. It is my son’s favorite and of course mine too. I have lots of exploring to do on you site. I appreciate your photography and details of introducing the ingredients. Thank you for a beautiful blog! Fae. :)

  2. Hi Fae,
    Thank you for the comment. I’m happy to hear from folks, especially with nice words. My early posts were almost all related to what I was learning about Japanese cooking from Hiroko Shimbo’s book The Japanese Kitchen. One day I would love to visit Japan, but for now I am using the cuisine as a way to experience the culture. More recent posts/recipes are about how I’ve adapted Japanese flavors and techniques to cooking everyday in the MidWest of the U.S. I hope you enjoy…

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