Quick and delicious Gyutandon made from chewy soy sauce flavored thinly sliced beef tongue served over a bowl of steaming rice.
Have you ever heard about Gyutandon? Or have you tried it? Gyutandon is basically a beef tongue rice bowl dish whose popularity has increased lately in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Today’s recipe is recreated from the word of mouth’s famous gyutandon from Menya Ramen restaurant in Australia. Apparently, the menu is so popular that a Japanese restaurant in Indonesia officially collaborated with Menya Ramen for the gyutandon. Since then, there are so many restaurants specialized in rice bowl dishes and Japanese cuisine in Indonesia that serve gyutandon on their menu. And since so many people raved about it, I got excited to try it myself.
The menu is basically thinly sliced beef tongue stir-fried in garlic, soy sauce, and other seasonings. Then, it is finished with chopped chilies and scallions. It was very easy and only takes minutes to make this dish because all you need is to stir-fry the ingredients straight to the frying pan.
The taste is surprisingly so good. The beef tongue is soft and chewy at the same time and tastes bold with soy sauce flavor with a nice kick from the chilies. And since I love beef tongue, I prefer this dish over the traditional gyudon because of its unique chewy texture. If you make the recipe, let me know how it goes for you.
What is Gyutandon?
Gyutan (牛タン) is a combination of the Japanese word for “cow” (gyu) and the English word “tongue” (tan). Meanwhile, don (丼) literally means “bowl”. Therefore, gyutandon is basically cow tongue served over a bowl of rice.
The custom of cooking gyutan originated in Sendai in 1948. It was initially considered a rather unusual dish but gradually gained popularity throughout Japan around the 1950s, partially because white-collar workers who were transferred from Sendai spread its reputation to other cities. Word started to spread about Sendai’s delicious gyutan throughout Japan. That’s how Sendai is now known for its gyutan.
The Best Cut For Gyutandon
For this recipe, you will want the back half part of the beef tongue. You will usually find that the back half tends to be more tender and easier to chew, while the front half of the tongue meat tends to be chewier and has more of a bite to it. The beef tongue needs to be cut into paper-thin slices or they will be too chewy.
How Does Gyutan Taste Like?
At first, the thought of eating an animal’s tongue might make you squeamish. It is probably because of how it looks, but I think you are missing the good stuff if you have never tried it. If you are interested in trying out a new cut of meat, cow tongue could be for you. It may look pretty unsavory, but it apparently tastes super good and could be an interesting enhancement to your normal meat dishes.
It tastes similar to other cuts of red meat but it tastes fatter and milder. Once you take a bite, you will notice it has a chewy texture that differs from steak or any kind of meat because the cow tongue is full of muscle. It is not that tender, yet it is not that though. It is just right in the middle.
More Quick and Easy Japanese Meals
While you are here, don’t forget to check out also these quick and easy Japanese meals.
- Yoshinoya Beef Bowl (Gyudon)
- Mille-Feuille Nabe (Japanese Hot Pot)
- Beef Udon
- Chicken Curry Udon