Yoshinoya Beef Gyudon Recipe

Spread the love

This is super easy and quick Yoshinoya beef gyudon recipe! It takes less than 5 minutes to prepare and 10 minutes to cook. Serve with hot, steamy rice and an Ajitama (ajitsuke tamago)!

gyudon rice bowl
Gyudon rice bowl

I have always loved Yoshinoya Beef Rice Bowl or Gyudon! It’s my comfort food. It is thinly sliced beef cooked with caramelized onion slices. It is a staple food in Japan and it gets more and more popular all over the world.

Gyudon (牛丼) is Japanese quick, nutritious meal, a classic comfort food you can get almost everywhere in Japan. It is one of Japanese cuisine for over 150 years. It is easy to put together for a lunch box. Almost everyone likes it because it is simple and very delicious!

It is just a perfect quick meal for any busy people anywhere!

Every household in Japan makes gyudon and each has its unique touch. The basic ingredients are the same: thinly sliced beef, onion, and some seasonings. It is usually served with hot, steamy rice.

This beef gyudon recipe has been my family’s favorite meal. We have cooked this simple gyudon recipe for many many times and we loved it so much.

What is Yoshinoya Beef Gyudon?

Beef Gyudon (牛丼) is thinly sliced beef cooked with caramelized onion and sweet savoury sauce served over hot, steamy rice.

Gyu (牛) is beef. Don (丼)refers to the serving bowl.

This dish was popularized by Yoshinoya chain restaurant in Japan. a


Gyudon originated from a beef hot pot dish gyunabe (牛鍋) from Japan’s Meiji era (1868-1912). During that time, Japanese people were prohibited from eating beef for religious and practical reasons. Cows were farm animals that were considered useful for work, therefore eating beef were discouraged. (1)

Gyunabe started to become popular when Western culture was introduced to Japan in the late 19th century. Gyunabe was first served by a chef called Isekuma in Yokohama in 1862. People loved this dish, they poured gyunabe broth over rice. Restaurants started to serve a cheaper version called ‘gyumeshi’ (牛飯).

Eikichi Matsuda started the name ‘gyudon’ in the late 1800s when he built Japan’s most famous chain restaurant, Yoshinoya.

Everyone loves Yoshinoya until now. If you like Yoshinoya beef rice bowl and want to make one on your own at home, try this recipe for gyudon.

Gyudon Variations

There are many variations of Gyudon that you can find nowadays.

Gyudon with Egg Topping

In Japan they serve it with raw egg yolk called Tsukimi Gyudon (お月見牛丼) or with poached egg called Onsen Tamago (温玉のせ牛丼).

Tanindon (他人丼) or Gyutojidon (牛とじ丼): the eggs are drizzled over the simmering beef slices in a hot pan. The eggs are slightly runny but  set in the pan.

Gyudon with Spicy Chili Sauce

In Jakarta, Indonesia I found different variations in Yoshinoya Beef Rice Bowl chain restaurant. They even serve beef rice bowl with spicy chilli sauce, which is very popular among Indonesians.

beef rice bowl with chilli sauce
Beef rice bowl with chili sauce

Ingredients Overview for Beef Gyudon Recipe

Thinly sliced beef slices

The slices have to be very thin. It is easy to get the beef slices in any meat store or grocery store nowadays. If you want to slice it yourself, make sure it is very thin. Otherwise, the beef will get a bit hard to chew.

I recommend rib eye for the beef.

recipe for gyudon
Thinly sliced beef


The onion will give the sweet taste to the dish. It is just perfect with the tender thinly sliced beef.

Dashi pack

Dashi is Japanese soup stock made of kombu, shitake mushrooms and small dried fish. Dashi creates umami flavor in Japanese dish.

I use the dry dashi pack. It is easy to get in Asian grocery store or any Japanese supermarket.


Mirin is sweet rice wine. It is used in many Japanese dish. My family loves Japanese food, so I keep one bottle in my chiller to use in many Japanese dish.


Cooking sake is easy to get in any Asian grocery store. It is one of many important ingredients besides mirin that you need to have in your chiller.

Fish Sauce

In this recipe, I use fish sauce. If you prefer to use your own soy sauce, please do. I find that fish sauce pairs very well with dashi.

Rice wine or white wine

I use white wine to add more flavor to the dish. It is optional. If you don’t have white wine, you can skip this.

Oyster sauce

I use oyster sauce to add a little bit of sweetness to the dish.

Yoshinoya Beef Gyudon Recipe

  • 250 gr beef slices
  • 1 tbsp rice wine
  • 1 tbsp sake
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 pcs onion
  • 1 sachet 5 gr dashi
  • 1 tsp mirin
  • 200 cc water


  1. Heat the pan. Pour the sauce and dashi mixture into the pan. Let it simmer.
  2. Put the sliced onion and stir fry with a spatula.
gyudon recipe
  1. Add the thinly sliced beef afterwards. Stir fry and let the beef slices turn to brown color.
gyudon recipe

  1. Finally, have a taste. If you like it a little bit sweeter, you can add 1 teaspoon of sugar to it. For me, it is just perfect! The sweetness and savoury taste are balanced.
  2. If you like to drizzle beaten eggs on the beef, you can do so. Cover the pan with a lid after pouring the beaten eggs. Let the egg set to your liking.

Serve over hot, steamy rice. Enjoy with ground chili powder and soft-boiled eggs or ajitsuke tamago. Enjoy!

recipe for gyudon

Tips and Trick

  • Use very thinly sliced beef. I highly recommend rib eye beef slices. They become tender easily because of the texture of the meat and the thinness of the slices.
  • Prepare hot, steamy rice. This recipe can be divided into 3 – 4 bowls of rice.
  • It is easier to use dry dashi packet from Asian grocery store. You can make your own dashi (Japanese soup stock) This is also useful if you want to make miso soup.
  • When the beef is no longer pink in color, you can turn off the stove. It should be tender enough. Do not overcook it.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q: I don’t have sake or mirin. What can I use as a substitute?

A: If you don’t have sake, you can use dry sherry or white wine instead. For mirin, a mixture of white wine or sherry with a bit of sugar can be a good substitute. Note that while these substitutes can provide a similar depth of flavor, there will be slight differences in taste.

Q: Is this dish Halal?

A: The use of sake and mirin makes this dish not Halal. However, you can always take out sake and mirin, then you can have it Halal. The flavor will be slightly different than the original Gyudon.

Q: How can I make this dish less sweet or less salty?

A: To make the dish less sweet, you can reduce the amount of sugar or use a low-sodium soy sauce. If the dish is too salty for your preference, dilute the sauce with a bit of water or unsalted broth. So, always taste as you cook and adjust the seasonings to your liking.

Q: Can I make Gyudon in advance for meal prep?

A: Yes, Gyudon is perfect for meal prep. You can cook the beef mixture in advance and store it separately from the rice. When you’re ready to eat, reheat the beef mixture, and serve it over freshly cooked or reheated rice.


Gyudon, with its savory flavors and hearty ingredients, has earned its reputation as a beloved dish in Japanese cuisine. Not only is it deeply satisfying to eat, but its simplicity makes it a joy to prepare at home.

A bowl of homemade Gyudon will bring comfort and delight to your dining table. Give this recipe for gyudon a try, and enjoy each flavorful bite!

If you try this recipe for gyudon and like it, please leave a comment or tag me on my Instagram!

If you like Asian food, you can check out my other recipes like: Shumai or Kikurage Mushroom with Cauliflower.

Other simple Japanese dish you might like:

recipe for japanese gyudon


Yield: 4-5
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

This is an authentic recipe for Japanese gyudon just like the one in Yoshinoya chain restaurant! You can make it at home!


  • 250 gr beef slices (yakiniku)
  • 1 big onion (sliced)

Sauce mixture

  • 1 tbsp rice wine
  • 1 tbsp sake
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 5 gr dashi
  • 1 tsp mirin
  • 200 cc water


  1. Slice the onion in thin stripes. Set aside.
  2. Put all the sauce mixture in a bowl. Stir well.
  3. Heat a wok. Put all the sauce mixture in it. Put in the onions. Stir a while.
  4. Put in the beef slices. Stir well.
  5. Let it boil and let the beef slices crinkle until well cooked.
  6. Turn off the stove.
  7. Serve with hot rice in a bowl, egg for ramen, and some chili powder.

Leave a Comment

Skip to Recipe