Saturday, March 21, 2015

067 - Beef Bowl / Gyudon / 牛丼

Still on that Japanese holiday hangover, there was this one dish that I like so much during my visit there. Care to guess? Nope, it’s not sushi.

It’s Gyudon. ‘Gyu’ means Beef, ‘Don’ means a bowl, so Gyudon literally means ‘Beef Bowl’. Pretty sure that’s the most interesting bowl out there is!

Anyway, during my time in Japan, the weather was unstable. At one moment it can be so hot (well, only 15 degrees max, since it’s still spring time), some other time it can be blisteringly cold (0 f*cking degrees, my ass!), and Gyudon is my go to to keep me up and running. 

Imagine this; you’re running from the cold wind, you had your last meal 8 hours ago, your arms are shaking, so what else can hit the spot other than hot rice topped with thin slices of beef cooked in broth and paired with a small cup of miso soup? 

Just so happens where i stay at Akihabara, they had several restaurants that serves this piquant dish. Considering Yoshinoya had shops here, i tried my best to avoid them (though i'm sure Yoshinoya's quality in Japan is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay over Indonesia) and opting for local shops. I forgot the name of the store, but it's conveniently located at Akihabara's Chuo-dori, several shops away from the Sega main arcade store. Prices vary, but the small bowl starts at about 440 Yen or so. This one though, costs 880 Yen of i-will-never-regret-this-ever. (UPDATE: just found out that this place i'm eating in is actually Matsuya, one of Japan's biggest beef bowl restaurant chain)

Now, let's try and make my version of this shall we? We will be fully utilizing good quality beef and dashi stock to replicate the flavor, so don't go cheap!

For 1 servings, you will need;

·         200 Grams of thinly sliced beef. I use Topside for this
·         1 packet of Dashinomoto (instant dashi stock). You can substitute this with chicken stock, but flavors will be different
·         1 Onion
·         6 tbsp of Soy Sauce
·         2 tbsp of Mirin. This can be substituted with combination of Vinegar and Sugar. For every 1 tbsp of Mirin, combine 1 tbsp of vinegar and 1/2 tsp of granulated sugar.
·         3 tbsp of Sugar. Brown sugar preferred
·         300 ml of Hot Water
Ready? Here We Go!

Step 1 – Dissolve your Dashinomoto in hot water, stir, set aside. Peel and cut your Onions into big chunks, set aside.
Dashinomoto is a wonder ain't it?

Stir that shit up!

Here's a tip: put your onions in the freezer for 10 minutes prior to chopping. Bye bye teary eyes!

Step 2 – Make sure your beef is in room temperature. Get a non-stick pan, set the heat to high, add some cooking oil. Once it’s piping hot, add the beef, and quickly stir to brown for about 2 minutes. Once half cook, add the onions, and continue stirring for another 3 minutes.

Canola oil is still my preferred oil

Step 3 – Add the dashi stock, soy sauce, mirin, and sugar. Stir to combine. Once that’s done, give it a taste and adjust to your liking. Set the heat to medium, and cook for a further 15 minutes, covered.

In goes the stock sauce



lovely ain't it?

Step 4 – Serve!





Kidding lol. Okay, the beef is amazing. If you're using tender cuts, they will be so soft to your teeth, almost like it's melting. If not, then they'll taste as good anyway! And also, the beef keep well inside the fridge! Leftovers? Hell yeah!



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