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Japanese Recipe Adventures: Gyudon

If you're a fan of Japanese fast-food chains like Sukiya, Matsuya and Yoshinoya, you'll love this recipe!

By 2 min read

Gyudon is a rice bowl dish typically covered in marinated sliced onions and beef pieces. The marinade is combined out of everyday seasoning found in Japanese households and can be made quickly. Add some cheese on top (the Sukiya signature), and you’re in calorie heaven.

Whenever someone asks me what my favorite Japanese dish is, I tell them it’s the cheese gyudon (rice covered with sliced beef) from Sukiya, and I’m always met with the same amount of disbelief. So out of all the Japanese foods out there, why is gyudon my favorite?

First of all, it’s cheap—Japanese fast food. Also, its filling and gyudon chains like Sukiya, Matsuya and Yoshinoya are practically everywhere in Japan. You can usually even buy a bowl and heat it up at a konbini (convenience store).

In this Japanese Recipe Adventure, I’ll show you my gyudon recipe, which I use for weekly meal prepping. You can make a huge batch and portion it off for the rest of the week. You can make this easily within 10 minutes and with minimal ingredients.


Feel free to add cheese to your recipe.
  • 1 pack of thinly sliced beef
  • 1/2 an onion
  • 1 tablespoon of cooking oil

For the marinate

  • 1 tablespoon of cooking sake (ryorizake, or 料理酒 in Japanese)
  • 2 tablespoons of sweet rice wine (Mirin, or 味醂  in Japanese)
  • 3 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar

You can opt to add up to ½ cup of dashi (soup stock), but I prefer not to add it. There are also store-bought all-in-one sauces you can use to make things quicker. However, I usually dilute those with a few tablespoons of water because the taste can be too strong.


Let’s get to cooking!
  1. Cut up the onion into thin slices.
  2. Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan.
  3. Add the onion slices and wait for them to soften.
  4. Add the beef and make sure it’s cooked.
  5. Add in the sauce/marinade.
  6. Let it simmer for a few minutes with the lid on.
  7. After about two to three minutes, turn off the heat and it’s ready.

Putting it together

  1. Place the cooked beef and sliced onions onto some fluffy cooked rice.
  2. You can add an egg along with some chopped green onions on top with pickled red ginger and a bowl of miso soup.

What do you think? What’s your favorite gyudon chain? Do you prefer to cook gyudon at home? Let us know in the comments!

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