Gyudon (Beef Bowl)

Gyudon (Beef Bowl)

This Gyudon (Beef Bowl) tastes just like the popular Japanese fast food Yoshinoya beef bowl. Yoshinoya is famous for thinly shaven beef and sweet onion slices over a bowl of steaming rice. I know that you can buy it pretty much everywhere with affordable price, but I find out that making your own is actually very easy and economical. This is a foolproof recipe with 5 ingredients only.


What is Gyudon

Gyudon is literally beef bowl (“gyu” means beef, “don” is short of donburi or rice bowl). Gyudon is actually a fast food in Japan. It is one of Japan’s best-loved convenience foods because it is cheap, filling, easy to prepare and eat. People in Japan usually want gyudon for a quick lunch or dinner whereas western people go to McDonald’s or KFC. You can find those Gyudon fast food chain restaurants everywhere in Japan.

yoshinoya 3


Tips for Making Gyudon

1. Use the thinly sliced beef

Most of beef dishes in Japanese cooking, such as gyudon, shabu-shabu hotpots, sukiyaki, and yakiniku barbecue require thinly sliced beef. The thickness of the beef needs to be paper thin because it makes cooking faster yet the beef still comes out tender. Japanese supermarkets sell these thinly sliced beef in packages, but it is probably pretty hard to get it outside of Japan.

You probably can ask with your local butcher if they can cut it for you on a meat slicer or you can cut the beef yourself. Slicing the beef yourself is a very tough feat because cutting the beef evenly into very thin pieces is pretty challenging. First of all, choose a cut of premium-quality fatty beef because the fat will keep the sliced moist. Freeze the beef until firm and slice against the grain with a sharp knife into 1.5mm-inch thick.


2. Do not overcook

Gyudon takes a very short time to make due to the super thin sliced beef. You need to be careful not to overcook the beef or it will end up with tough and dry meat.

how to make beef bowl 1


yoshinoya 4


I topped my Gyudon with Egg Mayo topping, just like the one I usually order at Yoshinoya in Indonesia.

yoshinoya 2


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Gyudon (Beef Bowl)

This Gyudon (Beef Bowl) tastes just like the popular Japanese fast food Yoshinoya beef bowl with thinly shaven beef slices over a bowl of steaming rice.

Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine Japanese
Keyword Rice Bowl
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4


  • 500 gr thinly sliced beef
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion thinly sliced
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp sugar (optional)
  • 2 tbsp mirin
  • 4 servings cooked rice
  • 2 servings egg mayo (optional) for topping
  • green onion (optional) for topping


  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add sliced onion and cook until translucent.

  2. Add sliced beef and cook until the beef is fully cooked.

  3. Add soy sauce, sugar, and mirin. Stir until well combined. Turn off the heat.

  4. Serve the beef over steaming rice.

  5. Top gyudon with egg mayo topping and green onion.

Recipe Notes

Yoshinoya in Indonesia has 2 versions of beef bowl; original and yakiniku. The difference is the yakiniku one tastes sweeter than the original one. If you aim for the original beef bowl, just omit the sugar. 

Check out my previous Egg Mayo post for the recipe!

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