We’ve Hacked Yoshinoya’s Famous Gyudon Bowl for a Quick-Cooking Dose of Comfort

As far as everyday Japanese fare goes, for price, accessibility, and deliciousness, few come close to Yoshinoya’s Gyudon. Created by founder Eikichi Matsuda in 1899, the iconic dish has been satisfying stomachs ever since, including that of Filipinos, as the chain made it to the Philippine shores in 2001. With tender strips of beef that curl against your chopsticks, replete with the sweet soy profile (the excessive juices of which drip down and flavor the sticky rice below), it exemplifies warmth and hominess—sentiments not often associated with fast food chains, save for special cases like this one. When you can’t be bothered to make the trip to one of Yoshinoya’s ten branches though, we say make it yourself. It’ll only take half an hour of your time.

Whether you go for chopsticks or spoons and forks, be sure to top your bowl with an egg yolk for extra richness.

For all its comforting flavors, gyudon is a zip to make. We used beef specifically cut for gyudon for convenience, but you can easily sub in thinly-sliced sirloin or rib eye (pro tip: freezing the chunk of meat for an hour or two and cutting against the grain makes it easier to get the thin slices you’re going for). Either way, you’ll want to be careful not to overcook it lest you end up with tough, chewy meat. Have the broth mixture simmering and drop in the beef and onions; in the time it takes to separate the eggs and spoon rice into your bowl, your beef mixture will be ready. Pile it atop the rice, finish with an egg yolk, find a comfy spot, devour.

Yoshinoya Gyudon Food Hack Recipe



Serving Size

4 servings

Active Time

30 minutes

Total Time

30 minutes

Instructions for Yoshinoya Gyudon Food Hack

  1. In a pot set over medium-low heat, add the mirin, beef broth, and sugar.
  2. Heat to a simmer then add the onions.
  3. Let mixture reduce for 5 minutes, until the mirin has cooked off slightly and the onion has become translucent.
  4. Add the beef and cook for 5 minutes, allowing it to soak up some of the sauce.
  5. Remove from heat and add in soy sauce to finish.
  6. Divide beef evenly amongst the bowls of rice.
  7. Top off with egg yolk before serving.

Note: Beef sliced specifically for gyudon can be found in the freezer section of most supermarkets, or at specialty Korean/Japanese groceries.

2 Responses

  1. I agree with Gemma as regards the dashi component. Although other versions don’t have it Yoshinoya’s definitely has dashi.

  2. IDK, without any dashi, this is going to be missing something. I find it much easier to just start with 1:1 bottled hon-tsuyu and sake, cook down my onions in that until the liquid is about gone, then stir in my beef and as it cooks, it will release enough water to reconstitute the broth. In your recipe, I’d substitute dashi for the beef broth. You have to have that seaweed and smoked fish flavor, or it’s just not right.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Read More ↓