Better Than Takeout Beef Donburi Recipe

If you love Japanese food, then you'll likely be a fan of beef donburi. It's basically a rice bowl topped with a type of meat and vegetables. The dish has a blend of flavors and textures that will surely please anyone's palate and it's a meal on its own. The dish is a popular menu item at many Japanese restaurants, but you can also assemble it without much trouble at home.  

Are you thinking of cooking the delicious rice bowl? Thankfully, recipe developer, pastry chef, and author of FrenchietheToast, Eric Ngo, created an easy-to-follow recipe that anyone can recreate. Although he notes that it's an intermediate-level recipe, don't be afraid to give it a try. According to Ngo, the word "donburi" means "bowl," and it is often shortened to "don" when paired with whatever type of meat, like Katsudon, where pork or chicken tops the rice. For Ngo's recipe, he used sirloin steak, and according to the chef, the dish is technically called "Gyudon" — which means "beef bowl."

Gather your ingredients for beef donburi

One way to make the preparation easier is to gather your ingredients beforehand. You can also do the measurements and place each ingredient in plates or small bowls. The key ingredients of our beef donburi recipe are going to be Japanese rice and sirloin steak, but you'll also want to gather up egg, green onion, and black pepper. For the flavors of the dish, you can scout mirin, soy sauce, sake, dashi, enoki mushrooms, and sesame seeds at an Asian grocery or the Asian foods section of your local supermarket. 

If you can't find sake, Ngo recommends using white cooking wine, but this ingredient is completely optional. As for dashi, he also suggests using water as a substitute. Can't find Japanese rice? No problem. You can use alternatives like brown rice, Jasmine rice, and so on. "Japanese rice is the most authentic version, but you can substitute it with your personal rice preference," says Ngo.

Cook the Japanese rice

To get started, place one part of Japanese rice in a medium saucepan and add two parts of water. Cover the pan and leave it over low to medium-low heat for a span of 15 to 20 minutes. While waiting for the rice, you can work on the other ingredients, just be sure to check your rice from time to time. When the rice has absorbed all the water, try it to make sure it's tender and then remove it from heat before moving on to the next step.

Cut the sirloin steak and enoki mushrooms

When you buy the meat from a butcher, you can specifically ask them to cut the steak for you. Then again, you can also slice the sirloin steak on your own into thin slices. A little tip is to place the meat in the freezer for 10 minutes to make slicing easier. When done, place the meat on a plate and set it aside. Don't put your cutting boards away just yet. You'll need to grab the enoki mushrooms and slice them horizontally into three equal parts, before setting them aside.

Combine the liquid ingredients and cut the green onion

In a small bowl, combine mirin, soy sauce, sake (or white cooking wine), and dashi (or water). Mix well and set aside. Next, head back to your cutting board and cut the green onion into thin slices. Now separate the white part from the green part and place them on two separate small bowls. When you're done, it's time to move on to the best part — which is cooking. To get started, heat the pan on low to medium heat.

Time to cook the beef donburi

The preparation has come to an end, and you're now ready to cook the beef donburi. In the pan, add the white part of the green onion, followed by the mixture (mirin, soy sauce, sake, and dashi), and cook for 1 minute. Then, add the sliced sirloin steak to the pan and cook until medium. Next, add the enoki mushrooms and the white part of the green onions to the beef. Mix together and cook for another minute.

Cook the egg and finish off the beef donburi

Place your cooked rice in a bowl, and set it aside. To make the rice bowl topping, separate the egg yolk and the egg white. In the same saucepan with your beef, cook the egg white first for 30 seconds, then add the egg yolk for an additional 1 minute on medium heat. When finished, place the meat on the edges of the rice bowl to make space for the egg. Add the cooked egg into the rice bowl and sprinkle with the remaining green onion, sesame seeds, and pepper. Serve while hot and enjoy!

Better Than Takeout Beef Donburi Recipe
5 from 43 ratings
Beef donburi is a popular item at many Japanese restaurants, however, this rice and beef dish can quickly be made right from the comfort of your own home.
Prep Time
Cook Time
Beef Donburi recipe
Total time: 30 minutes
  • 3 ounces (80g) Japanese rice
  • 7 ounces (200g) cut of sirloin steak
  • 1.7 ounces enoki mushroom
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 2 tablespoons soy Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sake or white cooking wine (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons dashi or water
  • 1 green onion
  • 1 egg
  • sesame seeds
  • black pepper
  1. Add two parts water to one part rice and cook over low to medium-low heat in a saucepan until all the water has been absorbed and rice is tender -- about 15 to 20 minutes.
  2. Cut steak into thin slices and set aside. You may want to freeze the steak for 10 minutes to make slicing it a little easier.
  3. Cut the stems off the enoki mushrooms, and slice them horizontally into three equal parts.
  4. In a small bowl, add 2 tablespoons of mirin, 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, 2 tablespoons of sake, 3 tablespoons of dashi (or water), and set aside.
  5. Cut green onion into thin slices. Separate the green part in one bowl, and the white part of the onion in another bowl.
  6. Heat pan on medium/low and add the white part of the onion with mirin, soy sauce, sake, and dashi, and cook for 1 minute.
  7. Add slices of beef and cook until medium.
  8. Add enoki mushrooms and half of the green onions and cook for 1 minute.
  9. Crack an egg, separating the yolk from the white, and carefully add the white part of the egg in the middle of the pan first. After 30 seconds, add the yolk, and cook for an additional 1 minute on medium.
  10. Place beef on the edges of the rice bowl and top with egg in the middle.
  11. Sprinkle on the remaining green onion, sesame seeds, black pepper, and serve.
Calories per Serving 448
Total Fat 16.8 g
Saturated Fat 6.5 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 157.6 mg
Total Carbohydrates 39.3 g
Dietary Fiber 1.2 g
Total Sugars 0.6 g
Sodium 1,087.7 mg
Protein 28.1 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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