How to Make Yoshinoya Beef


Start to Finish: 20 minutes

Servings: 2

Difficulty: Beginner

Gyudon is a simple, filling dish of seasoned beef served over steamed rice. It was made famous by the Yoshinoya restaurant chain in downtown Tokyo, but you can enjoy it wherever you live. A rice cooker makes this recipe easier to prepare, but you can make steamed rice on the stove as well. This recipe is adapted from the one published in Just One Cookbook by Namiko Chen.


  • 1 medium white or yellow onion
  • 10 ounces thinly sliced beef
  • 1 cup dashi
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sake
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 cups steamed white rice
  • 2 scallions


    • If you don't have dashi, substitute chicken or vegetable broth.
    • Freeze the beef until hard, but not solid. This will make it easier to slice thinly.


Slice the onion in half, then cut it into thin wedges.

Bring the dashi to a simmer in a medium saute pan. Add the onion and cook, uncovered, until soft, about 3 minutes.

Add the sugar, sake, mirin and soy sauce. Continue to cook for another 3 minutes while the onions absorb the flavors.

Put the beef slices into the pot. Stir to distribute and break up any clumps. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the meat is just cooked through.

Sprinkle the scallions into the pot and remove from the heat.

Divide the steamed rice between two bowls. Spoon beef, onions and scallions over the rice, then pour over the broth to taste. Some prefer their beef bowls rather soupy, while others like them dry.


This recipe, like many comfort foods, is easy to customize.

  • Make dry gyudon: Leave out the dashi. Cook the sake, mirin and soy sauce with the meat and onions until the pan is nearly dry and the meat is glazed. 
  • Add your favorite vegetables: Grated ginger, snow peas, grated carrot and other vegetables add flavor, color and textural interest to this dish.
  • Go hearty: Add one to two beaten eggs along with the meat. This technique works best with a dry gyudon.

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