Beef Donburi, Gyudon, is think sliced beef and onions over rice. It’s served in a large bowl and topped with a soft boiled egg, chopped scallions, and a few cilantro sprigs. There is some coarsely chopped wasabi in a separate dish.

Beef Donburi

Gyudon, a beloved Japanese beef rice bowl, combines thinly sliced beef and onions simmered in a savory-sweet sauce, served over steamed rice.


Beef Donburi, also known as Gyudon in Japan, is a mouthwatering and comforting dish that combines thinly sliced beef, caramelized onions, and a savory sauce served over a bed of fluffy white rice. This delectable Japanese dish has gained popularity worldwide for its rich flavors and satisfying combination of textures.

Donburi refers to a type of Japanese dish where a bowl of rice is topped with various ingredients, creating a wholesome and complete meal in a single bowl. Gyudon, specifically, translates to “beef bowl” and has become one of the most beloved and iconic donburi variations.

The origins of Gyudon can be traced back to the late 19th century in Tokyo, where it was initially served as a fast and affordable meal option. It quickly gained popularity due to its delicious taste and convenient preparation, making it a favorite among busy workers and students. Today, Gyudon can be found in various restaurants, from casual eateries to high-end establishments, showcasing its versatility and widespread appeal.

One of the unique characteristics of Gyudon is its flavorful sauce, which is a delicate balance of soy sauce, mirin (a sweet rice wine), sake (a Japanese rice wine), and dashi (a broth made from dried bonito fish flakes and kombu seaweed). This combination infuses the beef and onions with a savory and slightly sweet taste, creating a delightful umami experience.

The dish can be customized with optional toppings such as onsen tamago (Japanese soft-boiled egg), chopped scallions, fresh cilantro, and freshly grated wasabi, adding extra layers of flavor and visual appeal. These toppings complement the already delicious combination of beef and onions, elevating the overall dining experience.

Beef Donburi can be enjoyed at Japanese restaurants specializing in donburi or even at some sushi establishments that offer a diverse menu. Additionally, many people have embraced the joy of preparing this dish at home, thanks to its simple yet satisfying recipe.

If you’re looking to try Beef Donburi, you’re in for a delightful treat. The tender beef, sweet onions, and flavorful sauce meld together perfectly, creating a symphony of flavors that will leave you craving more. The best part is that you can easily recreate this dish in your own kitchen using the recipe provided.

Give it a try and let your taste buds embark on a culinary journey to Japan. Don’t forget to leave your comments below about your experience with this delicious dish. Enjoy the comforting and flavorsome Beef Donburi, and share the joy of this authentic Japanese delight with your loved ones.

Beef Donburi

Beef Donburi, also known as Gyudon, is a mouthwatering Japanese dish that features thinly sliced beef and caramelized onions served over a bed of fluffy white rice. The beef is cooked in a savory sauce made from a delicate balance of soy sauce, mirin, sake, and dashi, which infuses the dish with a rich and slightly sweet flavor. Optional toppings such as soft-boiled eggs, scallions, and fresh cilantro can be added to enhance the taste and presentation. This comforting and flavorful dish can be enjoyed at Japanese restaurants or recreated at home using a simple yet satisfying recipe.

10 mins 20 mins Makes 1 large bowl
PREP 10 mins
COOKING 20 mins
YIELD Makes 1 large bowl
Beef Donburi, Gyudon, is think sliced beef and onions over rice. It’s served in a large bowl and topped with a soft boiled egg, chopped scallions, and a few cilantro sprigs. There is some coarsely chopped wasabi in a separate dish.


  • 1/4 pound thin sliced beef
  • 1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 clove fresh garlic, chopped
  • 1 TBSP sesame oil
  • 1 TBSP mirin
  • 2 TBSP soy sauce
  • 1 TBSP sake
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup dashi
  • 1 cup cooked white rice

Optional Toppings

Ingredients for Beef Donburi on a wooden board


  • Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring often, until they start to soften.
  • Add the beef and sugar to the skillet, cooking until the beef is slightly browned. Then, add the mirin, sake and soy sauce, stirring to combine.

Cooking the beef, sugar and onions in the skillet

  • Pour in the dashi stock and bring the mixture to a simmer. Let it cook until the onions are tender and the beef is fully cooked. The sauce should reduce slightly, coating the beef and onions.

Beef Donburi topping is simmering in a skillet

  • Put the rice in a deep bowl. Top with the beef and onion mixture.
  • (Optional) Top with the egg, scallion, and cilantro.
  • (Optional) Serve with coarsely grated wasabi.

Beef Donburi with a broken soft boiled egg on top


  • Experiment with different cuts of beef, such as ribeye or sirloin, to find your preferred level of tenderness and flavor.
  • Enhance the umami taste by adding ingredients like mushrooms, seaweed, or bonito flakes to the sauce.
  • For a healthier twist, substitute white rice with brown rice or quinoa.
  • Add a touch of heat by incorporating chili flakes or Sriracha sauce to give the dish a spicy kick.
  • Upgrade the dish with additional vegetables like steamed broccoli, sautéed bell peppers, or shredded carrots for added nutrition and color.

Picking up a piece of beef from the rice bowl with chopsticks

  • To find the best ingredients, visit local Asian markets or specialty stores that offer a wide range of Japanese ingredients. Look for fresh, quality beef and authentic Japanese sauces and seasonings.
  • Don’t be afraid to adjust the seasoning to suit your taste preferences. Add more soy sauce for saltiness, mirin for sweetness, or sake for depth of flavor.
  • Serve the Beef Donburi with a side of miso soup or a simple cucumber salad to complete the meal.
  • Consider garnishing the dish with toasted sesame seeds or nori strips for a touch of crunch and visual appeal.


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