Monday, 18 June 2007

Gyūdon - 牛丼


Gyūdon, literally 'beef bowl', is fast food Japanese-style. Salty and cheap, a fresh bowl of rice topped with saucy beef and onions will set you back 299yen (399yen for the large size) on a counter stool at one of the many chain eateries to be found near any train station. It's not quite as bad for you as a Mega Mac, but just like its friends at McDonalds you can make a much healthier version at home by using better quality meat, swapping white for wholegrain, cutting back on the oil and adding some vegetables.

I've tried a few different recipes over the years, some with added ginger, sugar, sake or white wine, but this bare bones recipe is what I usually use. If you want to add vegetables stir fry them at the beginning, remove, cook the beef and then add the veggies again right at the end to warm through. They get a bit dark and salty otherwise. Mushrooms or capsicums are really nice with this, as is a side salad with sesame dressing.

Recipe: Gyūdon - 牛丼
Serves 2

100grams super thin sliced beef strips
1 medium onion, cut into half moon slices
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup mirin
1/2 cup water
dash of sesame oil
rice to serve
pickled ginger (optional)
  • Saute the onions in the sesame oil over medium heat.

  • Add the beef, stir it around and add the soy sauce, mirin and water.

  • Cover with a drop lid or piece of silver foil, then go and do something else for 10 minutes.

  • Spoon the beef and onions over a bowl of warm rice with a little of the juice, adding some pickled ginger on the side if you like it.


ilingc said...

Hi Cass,
I had gyudon in a japanese cafe in caulfied where they add some vermicelli (harusame i think) in it. It was actually quite nice and different. I quite liked it and have been adding it to my gyudon every since then.

ps. Didn't had the chance to make the okonomiyaki. The cabbage got cooked before I got to it.

Cass said...

Interesting. I've seen it made with shirataki (konnyaku noodles) a few times too. I will have to give that a try.

Meanwhile, I'm moving back to Melbourne in August, and would love some good Japanese restaurant recommendations. Any ideas?

ilingc said...

Hmm.. let's see, I can think of a few:

Uzu in Caulfield (near Caulfield Station) is the only place I know of that makes fresh takoyaki. So I always go there for my takoyaki fix (incidentally it's the place that makes the gyudon with harusame)

Ocha2Go in Hawthorn East, is quite good and great service but it's a tad on the expensive side.

Izakaya Chuji is the place to go for izakaya style dining.

There are a few other good ones on the higher end of the dining experience (namely Tempura Hajime, Shoya and Shiranui), but the three above are the ones I usually go to. (My favourite is Ocha2go.)

Oh I also go to Suzuran in Camberwell/Hawthorn East (it's at the corner of Burke and Canterbury Road) for sushi sometimes.

There is also ramen bar at Melbourne Central now. Downstairs at one of the alley's leading to the train station. I've never been, so I can't really remember the name of the place.

If you search for japanese cuisine at it'll give you a whole list of japanese restaurants in Melbourne. That's where I usually go to if I can't remember the name of a place. :)