Thursday, 7 July 2011

Gyudon (beef bowl) - Yoshinoya-inspired

I miss Yoshinoya's beef bowl soooo much at times - when I was at uni, there was a time when I would have a beef bowl there before going to my morning class. It tastes of home, and I've always wondered why Yoshinoya doesn't open branches in the UK - they are in the US, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Taiwan... it's time they think about coming to the UK! They can make so much here - the Japanese food in general sucks here, and I'm already talking about the capital!

Anyway, so when good ol' Yoshinoya's not around, I gotta find a way to satisfy my craving...so I tried making this beef bowl a few times. For some reason it's still not exactly what Yoshinoya's beef bowl tastes like, perhaps it's the beef (it's super duper hard to get nice-looking thinly-sliced beef that doesn't stink here)...so far I only know one place in Bayswater that sells edible hot pot beef (thinly sliced) - everything in Chinatown sucks, and the Brits don't do thin slices (as far as I know...) so forget about supermarkets or butchers.

The kind of beef you need for this dish:

The only edible hot pot beef I can find in London - frozen 
There are certain seasonings that you need for this dish:

(L-R) Japanese cooking wine, mirin, soy sauce
Mirin is essential in this dish - it is a sweet rice wine for cooking. All of the above can be found in Japanese supermarkets.

The cooking part is super easy (as always).

You need about 250g of thinly sliced beef (the fatter, the better) and 2 medium-sized onions

Prepare a broth with 200ml of hot water, 4 tablespoons of soy sauce, 2ts of mirin, 2ts of cooking wine, and 2-3ts of sugar. Cook the onion in the broth first, for about 10 minutes. 

Add the beef when the onion is soft. 

Stir gently until the beef is cooked - a few minutes will do, do not overcook or the beef will be dry and tough. 

Pour everything on top of freshly cooked Japanese rice / Thai jasmine rice. Do NOT use any other kind of rice (especially 'easy-cook rice') - it will ruin everything! 
Enjoy! 

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