Japanese Beef Bowl Recipe – Your New Staple

Japanese beef bowl or gyudon is a very popular Japanese dish that’s available at most Japanese restaurants. Even speciality ramen or sushi shops have a side order of beef bowl for you to order. I first had my taste of beef bowl from Yoshinoya in Japan. Needless to say, there’s nothing like this in the States. For some reason, the franchise in USA completely changes their approach. Searching for beef bowl near me left me wondering how simple it actually was. Its literally beef, onions, and over a helping of rice. For as simple as it seems, using a Japanese beef bowl recipe wouldn’t be too difficult. 

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Video           Recipe           Detailed Instructions

Japanese Beef Bowl Recipe Made Simple

There are others out there that use sliced beef recipes, but I find the Japanese beef dishes to be the most popular. Haruma makes a Japanese gyudon thats quite authentic and like what you could find in Japan. He uses beef belly as his cut, but you can also go for something a bit more lean or fattier depending on your taste. The beef belly brings more flavor to the sauce cooked and provides for a soft and tender experience. The key to the fatty cut is the melt in your mouth experience. Sometimes the cheaper cuts does the trick. To me, the secret ingredient is the sauce that’s made with it. The sauce is a blend of slightly sweet mirin (sweet rice wine) combined with a savory soy sauce (You can also add dash for a more pronounced taste).  This gives it a particular savory flavor that goes pairs well with beef. 

As I mentioned the Japanese beef bowl recipe requires only 3 main ingredients (and other seasonings).  What I love about gyudon is how simple it is to make and how delicious it becomes. If you haven’t made much Japanese food before, you likely won’t have all the necessary seasoning on hand. However, once you get them, you’re all set and comes in handy for other Japanese dishes (they’re key ingredients). 

Hover over on the servings numbers below or click on type of measurement systems to change it. 🙂

japanese beef bowl recipe
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Haruma's Japanese Beef Bowl Recipe

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: japanese beef bowl recipe
Servings: 2


  • 1 cup water
  • 1.1 pound beef belly
  • 1 whole onion
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp grated ginger
  • 3 tbsp mirin
  • 1/2 tsp dashinomoto (fish stock)
  • 1 tbsp sake
  • 1/2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 sprinkle sesame seeds
  • 1 handful green onions
  • 1 scoopful pickled ginger


  • Combine water, soy sauce, mirin, sugar, and ginger into a pot
  • Bring to a boil and mix
  • Add onions and continue to cook until it begins to soften
  • Add in the beef beef to cook (thin slices of beef cooks quickly)
  • Add sesame oil
  • Stir once more and scoop on a bed of rice to enjoy
  • Add green onions, sesame seeds, or pickled ginger for garnish

Getting the Most Out of Your Japanese Beef Bowl

The sweet and savory-ness of the sauce combined with the tender beef and soft onions makes it perfect over a bed of white rice. White rice as it is, is just plain white rice. There isn’t much flavor to it, but absorbs the flavors quite well, like this Japanese beef bowl recipe. You can use any rice you want, but for a better match, using Japanese rice would be the best choice. They are short grain rice and tend to have a bit more chew than normal rice. I love how the onions are so soft and melts in your mouth. The tender beef gives just enough varying texture to not make it feel like muddled. Instead, it truly feels like a comforting meal even though its rice, beef, and onions. 

Create the sauce by combining water, soy sauce, mirin, sugar, and ginger into a pot.

Start by heating up a pan of the sauce. 

Once its hot, add in the chopped onions. Cook until the onions become soft.

japanese beef bowl recipe

Add in the beef once the onions are soft. 

japanese beef bowl recipe

Cook until its no longer raw which takes only a few minutes. 

japanese beef bowl recipe

Serve over a bed of rice and enjoy! (Optional scallion or pickled ginger)

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