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Japanese Beef Bowl Gyudon

Discover the essence of Japanese comfort food with my Japanese Beef Bowl Gyudon recipe! Gyudon, meaning ‘beef bowl’ in Japanese, features thinly sliced beef cooked with tender onions in a savory, sweet, umami-packed sauce, served over a bed of rice. This simple yet satisfying dish is a true gem, requiring just seven natural ingredients and minimal prep time!

Japanese style beef bowl gyudon served over rice topped with red ginger beni shoga.

Why I Love This Recipe

What makes my Japanese Beef Bowl Gyudon exceptional? It’s a classic Japanese ‘donburi’ dish that showcases thinly sliced beef simmered in a flavorful dashi broth that’s so easy to make with my signature Donburi Sauce! With a blend of soy sauce, sake, and sweetener, it offers a sweet and savory profile that’s both comforting, delicious and an absolute personal favorite!

My gyudon recipe is for anyone seeking an authentic taste of Japanese cuisine, and it pairs perfectly with my other bowl recipes like Chicken Donburi, Katsu Don, and Soboro Donburi Ground Chicken Bowl. This dish is a must-try for anyone looking for simplicity and incredible flavor, making it an ideal choice for those seeking a light yet satisfying lunch or dinner option! You won’t be disappointed!



  • Sliced Beef – thinly sliced beef.
  • Dashi fish broth made from steeping kombu and bonito flakes with boiling water. Can also use Hondashi mixed in water for instant dashi.
  • Onion – yellow or brown onions.
  • Soy Sauce – low-sodium Soy Sauce preferred. Can also use tamari for gluten-free.
  • Japanese Sake – typically will come in a large bottle labeled junmai sake. Can also substitute with dry sherry wine or Chinese cooking wine, found at local grocery stores or Asian markets. 
  • Sweetener – use your preferred sweetener.
  • Rice – rice of choice.

Additional Toppings

Elevate your beef bowl with enticing toppings like Togarashi Red Pepper, Beni Shoga Pickled Ginger, Toasted Sesame Seeds, and Green Onions. These additions offer a customizable touch to suit your palate.

🥢 Dashi Pro Tip

For easier preparation of the dashi, use 1/8 tsp of Hondashi mixed with 3/4 cup of water. This quick tip simplifies the process and ensures a flavorful base for your dish.

🥩 Beef Note

It’s best to use Thin Slices of Ribeye or Chuck Beef, which are commonly available in Asian grocery stores and are typically labeled for use in shabu shabu or sukiyaki. These cuts of beef ensure the desired tenderness for your beef bowl.

🍶 Mirin Note

We acknowledge that mirin might not be readily available in all locations. To maintain the authentic flavors of gyudon, my recipe modifies the ratio of Japanese sake and sweetener to substitute for mirin, ensuring you can savor this delicious dish regardless of your location.

Thinly sliced chuck beef to be used in a Japanese style gyudon beef bowl.


Step 1 In a large frying pan, combine Dashi, soy sauce, Japanese sake, sweetener, and sliced onions. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the broth is reduced.

Japanese beef bowl gyudon sauce in a frying pan.

Step 2 Add in the thinly sliced beef and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes until the beef is fully cooked.

Beef bowl gyudon being cooked in a frying pan. Beef bowl gyudon served in a bowl.

🥚 Egg Add In Pro Tip

Once your beef is cooked in the gyudon sauce, you have the option to enhance your beef bowl by Adding an Egg. Some prefer to gently cook the egg before serving it on top of the rice, adding a delightful richness to the dish.

Step 3 Transfer the cooked beef and sauce over preferred bowl of rice and top with your choice of toppings.

Beef bowl gyudon served in a bowl.

Recipe Variation

To create a Steak Donburi Bowl, simply swap out the sliced beef with thinly sliced steak drizzled in my Japanese Sweet Steak Sauce. Alternatively, if you’re craving chicken, savor my Chicken Katsu Don made with simmered Chicken Katsu.

Paring Recommendations

For a protein-packed addition, a bowl of Egg Drop Miso Soup is an excellent choice. It not only complements the flavors of the gyudon but also enhances the overall protein content of your meal. To balance the richness of the beef bowl, opt for a side of Asian Steamed Vegetables. These lightly steamed veggies bring a refreshing and healthy contrast to the savory gyudon.

Japanese style beef bowl gyudon being served over a bowl of rice.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Gyudon spicy?

Gyudon is not spicy. However, if you enjoy a spicy kick, you can easily customize it to your preference by adding the optional togarashi seasoning.

Can I make Gyudon without onions?

You can prepare Gyudon without onions if you're not a fan of them. However, it's worth mentioning that onions play a significant role in adding a natural sweetness and depth of flavor to the sauce. An alternative approach would be to include onions in the sauce preparation but omit them when serving over rice.


Japanese style beef bowl gyudon served over rice topped with red ginger beni shoga.

Storage Tips

To store leftover, place them in an airtight container in the fridge, where they will remain fresh and safe to consume for 3-5 days. When you’re ready to enjoy them again, simply reheat the dish in the microwave.

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Watch How To Make It

Japanese style beef bowl gyudon served over rice topped with red ginger beni shoga.

Japanese Beef Bowl Gyudon

Experience the delicious simplicity of a Japanese Beef Bowl gyudon, featuring thinly sliced beef simmered in a savory dashi broth served over a bed of rice.
4.64 from 11 votes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: beef gyudon recipe, Japanese beef bowl
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 1 Bowl
Print Recipe
Calories: 703kcal


  • 1/2 lbs Beef thinly sliced
  • 3/4 Cup Dashi
  • 1/4 Cup Sliced Onion
  • 2 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Japanese Sake
  • 1 tsp Sweetener your preferred sweetener
  • 1 1/2 Cup Rice rice of choice


  • Gather all the ingredients.
  • Prepare 1 cup of dashi.
    Dashi in a pot.
  • Thinly slice onions and set aside.
    Sliced onions.
  • In the meantime, add dashi in a large frying pan and bring to boil on high heat. Once boiling, reduce to medium heat, add Japanese cooking sake, sweetener, soy sauce and onions. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
    Japanese beef bowl gyudon sauce in a frying pan.
  • After 2-3 minutes, add sliced beef and cook for another 2-3 minutes or until meat is cooked.
    Beef bowl gyudon being cooked in a frying pan.
  • Transfer beef on top of bowl of rice along with extra juice.
    Beef bowl gyudon being cooked in a frying pan.


Calories: 703kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 41g | Fat: 57g | Saturated Fat: 25g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 23g | Trans Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 191mg | Sodium: 373mg | Potassium: 620mg | Fiber: 3g | Vitamin A: 350IU | Calcium: 45mg | Iron: 4mg
*Values Based Per Serving
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  1. I was just making oyako donburi with full on mirin and figured I would see what you do for subbing mirin out. From this gyudon recipe, I can’t really tell. What do you do for oyako don?

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