Tender onions and ground beef cooked in a sweet and savory sauce, these Japanese-inspired beef and rice bowls are a spin on the flavors of Gyudon. Adapted to use easy to find ingredients and ground beef, these hearty bowls are a simple comfort food.
Japan is high on my list of places to visit. Natural scenery, friendly people, beautiful temples and shrines and of course, amazing food all draw my attention!
But one of the beautiful things about the internet now is how you can give yourself a taste of travelling somewhere while you dream about and work towards a possible trip one day.
I love checking out and trying recipes from blogs of different cuisines. And Just One Cookbook has a lot of great Japanese recipes!
A few years ago, we decided to try making Gyudon and it was so good!
But I don't always have sake and mirin on hand, nor is thinly sliced beef the most convenient for me to find.
So I got thinking about whether I could mimic the flavors of these Japanese beef and rice bowls but using ground beef and ingredients that I always have on hand like rice vinegar and honey.
And while it is not exactly authentic, it is absolutely delicious!
Easily made on a busy night, it is great for a tasty change to your dinner rotation.
- Yellow Onions
- Ground Beef- I recommend using lean or extra-lean ground beef so that the final dish isn't too greasy. If using regular ground beef, you may want to drain a bit of the grease off before adding the sauce ingredients.
- Rice- Short-grain white rice would be what is typically found in a Gyudon bowl but you can use whatever kind of rice you have on hand.
- Avocado Oil- Another neutral cooking oil can be used.
- Coconut Aminos- Soy sauce or tamari can also be used. As the salt content can vary, add less salt to the recipe to start and then adjust to taste.
- Rice Vinegar- Preferably unseasoned rice vinegar for this recipe. If using seasoned, you may want to adjust the honey and salt a bit to taste.
- Honey- Sugar can be used instead.
- Fine Sea Salt- Table salt or kosher salt will also work. Depending on how salty your coconut aminos/soy sauce is, you may want to add more or less to taste.
1. Caramelize onions. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the avocado oil and onions. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring often, until softened and starting to caramelize.
2. Brown beef. Add the ground beef, honey and salt and cook, stirring to crumble until browned, about 5-7 minutes.
3. Add sauces. Add the coconut aminos, rice vinegar and water and bring to a simmer for 10 minutes.
4. Simmer. While the beef and onion mixture cooks, prepare the rice as per the package directions.
5. (Optional) Cook egg. If you would like to serve it with an egg (recommended!), fry an egg sunny-side up while the beef mixture finishes simmering. Alternatively, you could serve it with a poached egg.
6. Assemble. Divide the rice between 4 bowls and top each bowl with a quarter of the beef/onion mixture. Top each with an egg, if using. Garnish with green onions and sesame seeds.
Leftovers and Storage
To Store: Store leftover ground beef gyudon bowls (excluding the eggs) in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Only prepare enough eggs for the amount you plan to eat.
To Reheat: Rewarm in the microwave until heated through. Cook fresh eggs for topping.
Make it Your Own
- Add More Vegetables: Along with the onions, you could chop and sauté additional vegetables. Some tasty options would be:
- Bok Choy
- Garnish with:
- a Sunny-Side Up Egg
- Chopped Green Onions
- Sesame Seeds
- Pickled Red Ginger
- Roasted Nuts such as almonds or cashews
- And enjoy it alongside:
Gyudon is a Japanese beef and rice bowl made with thinly sliced beef, onion and a savory-sweet sauce. It is a popular "fast-food" option in Japan which many might associate with the chain "Yoshinoya". For more about the history of it and an authentic recipe version, check out this post by Just One Cookbook.
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Ground Beef Gyudon
- 2 medium yellow onions thinly sliced (about 3 cups)
- 2 tablespoon avocado oil
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 2 teaspoon honey
- ¼-1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoon coconut aminos
- 1 cup water
- 4 eggs
- 1 and ½ cups uncooked rice of choice or 4 cups cooked
- chopped green onions, sesame seeds (optional), for serving
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the avocado oil and onions. Cook, stirring often until softened and starting to caramelize, about 10 minutes.
- Add the ground beef, honey and salt and cook, stirring to crumble until browned, about 5-7 minutes.
- Add the coconut aminos, rice vinegar and water and bring to a simmer for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare the rice as per package directions and prepare a skillet for cooking the eggs. When the beef is almost done simmering, cook the eggs sunny-side up or as desired.
- Assemble the bowls. Divide the rice between 4 bowls and top each bowl with a quarter of the beef/onion mixture. Top each with an egg.
- Serve. Garnish with green onions and sesame seeds.