Gyudon is the ubiquitous Japanese beef rice bowl, found all over Japan (and the rest of world). At places like Yoshinoya you can buy a bowl of gyudon in Japan for as little as two dollars, but made at home this recipe is cheap to make and nearly foolproof.  If you have your own homemade teriyaki sauce (check out my other recipe for that), then it’s ready in just minutes.


Serves 4


500g beef scotch fillet, topside or rump, very thinly sliced

¾ cup chicken stock or dashi (you can used powdered dashi if you like)

¾ cup Homemade Teriyaki Sauce (or use 1/4 cup soy sauce, 2 tbsp sake, 2 tbsp mirin and 2 tsp sugar)

1 tsp sugar (optional)

1 brown onion, peeled and thickly sliced

cooked short-grain rice, to serve

benishouga (Japanese red picked ginger), to serve

2 sliced spring onions, to serve

shichimi tougarashi (Japanese seven spice), to serve (optional)




Combine the stock or dashi and terkiyaki sauce with the sugar (if using) in a medium saucepan and bring to the boil. Add in the onion and simmer for 2-3 minutes until the onion has softened. Add in the beef and stir until the beef is just cooked. Season with salt if necessary.

Fill 4 bowls with rice, flattening the top of the rice, and then add the beef mixture on top, allowing a little of the stock to soak into the rice. Sprinkle over a little Japanese seven spice and spring onion if you like, and serve with pickled ginger. 

Tips for Gyudon

  • Thinly sliced beef is available from Asian butchers, or frozen from Asian grocers. If you have trouble finding very thinly sliced beef, place a larger cut of beef in the freezer for 1-2 hours until quite firm and slice very thinly with a sharp knife.
  • If you’re using Japanese beef which is heavily marbled with fat, it will be very tender when it just cooked. If using beef with very little fat, you can simmer the beef for perhaps 10-15 minutes to soften it.
  • You can try this with very thinly sliced pork as well. Follow the exact same method as for the gyudon. A pork rice bowl is called “butadon”.
  • Japanese gyudon places offer a range of extra toppings, like soft cooked eggs, grated radish and even kimchi. Try some of your own.