Gyudon Recipe (Beef Bowl) 牛丼

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Gyudon (Beef Rice Bowl) | Easy Japanese Recipes at

Gyudon (or Beef Donburi | Beef Bowl) is like a comfort food for Japanese.  It can be prepared quickly and it has nutritious ingredients like beef, onion, eggs, and rice.  I cook this meal when I have full schedule with kids’ activities until dinner time.  Tired of ordering in a pizza?  How about Gyudon tonight?

Gyudon (Beef Rice Bowl) | Easy Japanese Recipes at

In Japan, gyudon is served with a raw egg yolk on top, and you will quickly mix it with hot gyudon so that egg will be cooked.

As raw eggs are not recommended to be consumed in the U.S., I suggest that you would put eggs in the pan right before serving so that they will be cooked.  This is how my mom served her gyudon as well and I like the combination of egg and beef.  However, the egg in the recipe is optional.  I hope you enjoy this quick and easy meal!

Gyudon (Beef Rice Bowl) | Easy Japanese Recipes at

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Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 2-3
  1. Cut the onion and green onion into thin slices and cut the meat into small pieces.
  2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium high heat and cook the onions until tender.
  3. Add the meat and sugar and cook until browned.
  4. Add sake, mirin, and soy sauce.
  5. Reduce the heat and simmer until most of the liquid is gone.
  6. If you like to add the egg, slowly and evenly drizzle the beaten egg over the beef. Cook covered until the egg is done. Add the green onion right before removing from the heat.
  7. Place the beef and egg on top of steamed rice and pour desired amount of sauce. Top with pickled red ginger.
Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.

Editor’s Note: Pictures updated in August 2012

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  1. Nami, I’ve cooked this recipe last weekend.. so easy and yummy. just like served in the restaurant, but much cheaper! I used minced beef instead of sliced beef, will it still called Gyudon? want to post this recipe on my blog

    • Hi Shannon! Usually we use slice beef for gyudon and when we use minced meat we call it “Soboro Don” (if it’s beef, Gyu Soboro Don). Soboro means cooked minced meat. But if you followed gyudon’s recipe, I think you can just say you use minced instead of sliced and call it gyudon? Soboro Don usually have scrambled egg instead of more runny egg like Gyudon. I can’t wait to see it on your blog!

  2. San-San

    Hi Nami!
    I just made this dish and it turns out so good! I am so proud of myself and of course thanks to your step by step directions! I am wondering if I can feed this to my kids because I used sake.

    Thanks so much :)

    • Hi San-San!

      I’m really happy to hear you liked this dish. :-) Alcohol is evaporated while cooking, so you don’t have to worry about alcohol content. Depends on child’s age, raw eggs/half cooked egg should be careful. You want to make sure eggs are fully cooked for the kids. You can chop meat/onion into small pieces or you can grind them if your child is too small to eat bigger chunks. I used to use a Japanese grinder and wooden pestle (for grinding sesame seeds) to smush the food.

      • Thank you Lynna! I cook this often, but I don’t get to photograph again because I usually cook when I’m busy. I’m going to photo shoot this again this weekend! =) Really happy to hear you liked it! :-)

  3. Yum! I love one dish meals too, so easy to cook and uses less utensils! Cooking at home is always so much cheaper, I had ramen in a Japanese Restaurant last weekend and the bill equals to a week’s groceries! But to their credit, the ramen was good!

  4. Hai Nami.. i made this recipe yesterday for dinner, with some modification because i don’t consume sake and mirin. It is quick, easy but very delicious.. love it!! thanks for sharing this recipe with us :)
    i also post my gyudon based on your recipe on my blog, but it is in Indonesian language.. :)

  5. Dana

    I just made this recipe tonight for dinner, it was yummy! I had never tried putting eggs in it before, that was a good addition and what I had been missing in the past. My husband and I lived in Japan for 2 years and this really took us back.

    I didn’t have any sake, so I used red wine instead. I also used deli roast beef to make my life easier, as we have no Japanese market nearby and I didn’t have time to freeze then slice a roast. It worked out really well. My 18 month old son loved it as much as we did!

    • Hi Dana! You must have tried many Japanese dishes while you stayed in Japan for 2 years. :) I’m glad you and your husband enjoyed Gyudon. My children enjoyed this dish too when they were that age – I chopped up meat into small pieces. Thanks for leaving your feedback here! :)

  6. Steven

    Made this tonight. Tasted great! Though, how dry is it supposed to be? Maybe I cooked out too much liquid…

    Anyway, the kizami Shoga was a nice touch! Also, Korean kimchi goes really well with this too :-)

    • Hi Steven! Hmm it’s up to you. If you prefer to have more sauce, you can keep some at Step 5. I like to keep it a little bit but I don’t want to make rice too soupy. Hope that helps. Oh yes, Kizami Shoga is a great accent. I should try Kimchi next time! :) Thank you so much for trying this recipe!

  7. Just wanted to let you know that I made this tonight. It was excellent! I know we’ll be making it again many, many times. Thanks for sharing.

    • MJ, so happy to hear you tried this recipe! I’m very happy to hear you enjoyed it. :) It’s one of our go-to Donburi (rice bowl) Recipes. Thank you for your feedback!

  8. Haylie

    I was wondering what i should use as a sub for Sake? No where here has any to buy, would it be okay to just leave it out of the recipe?

  9. Vanessa

    Hi Nami,
    I’m wondering if its possible to cut back on the sugar, say to half or 1 tsp.? I’m not fond of sweet dishes.

  10. nancy

    Hi – this is the easy easy recipe and it is delicious. It is one of my sons favorites. We used to buy frozen gyudon at an asian specialty store until I got brave and made this. I have been told never to buy it again . Your recipe was absolutely delicious. Thank you again.

    • Hello Nancy! Thank you so much for taking your time to write feedback. I’m so happy your family enjoyed this recipe and can make it from scratch now (a lot healthier!). Thank you for your kind words! :)

  11. Cheryl

    Hi nami! I’m a big fan of j-food ! Thank you so much for posting different recipes here! I will do this tonight and I’m excited to taste this wonderful Gyudon! And I actually did your Zaru Soba! Sugoii!!!! But I don’t have a sake, I’ve been to all Asian markets in our area and no SAKE :( so I’m using Chinese rice wine but not the real rice wine it has added salt :( I can’t find a pure Chinese rice wine here( New Zealand) Ms.Nami what is the best alternative of sake? Thank you!

    • Hi Cheryl! I’m happy to hear you enjoy Japanese food! Hm, sake is alcoholic beverage, so some grocery stores which don’t have permit may not carry sake (that’s why they carry cooking rice wine which contains salt, not true alcohol). That works fine too, as long as you check the taste and makes sure it’s not too salty. If you cannot find sake, the closest thing is dry sherry. Here’s more about sake:

      • Cheryl

        Hi Nami, thank you for your advice. just done reading about the sake thats really helpful. I am going to do your recipes for a week, from bento to dinner, i hope i can do it right^^. ill let you know what will cook. have a good day!

  12. Les

    The Gyudon recipe looks great and want to try it soon. In the final step of your recipe you say “drizzle the sauce over”. So my question is did I miss something? I don’t see any sauce.

    • Hi Les! The sauce I mentioned is the cooking liquid that you have in the pan. :) I’ll update the recipe with the remaining sauce from the pan or something. Thank you!

  13. Made this today – the taste was awesome! I changed some of the proportions to suit my own tastes (I like it saltier) but zomg. T_T So happy. Haven’t had a decent gyu don since I moved to Melbourne.

    Thank you sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much!

  14. Mohseen Lala

    Just wanted to point out a small typo, “Place teh beef and egg on top of steamed rice and pour desired amount of sauce. Top with pickled red ginger”.

    “teh” is the typo, last sentence of article, step 7.

  15. Kassondra

    Hi Nami!
    I visited Japan for three months while visiting my fiance and I became ADDICTED to gyudon! I still crave it, but being back in the states now, I can’t find it anywhere. I know this post is old, but I hope you can answer my question. I would love to make this, but the gyudon that I had in Japan didn’t have egg in it – or at least, I never tasted it. As far as I knew, there was only the beef, onion, rice, and ‘sauce’ (with which I topped it with massive amounts of cheese and ginger haha). So my question is, is egg a vital part to the recipe, or is it just an added ingredient that you don’t necessarily need? Thank you! :)

    • Kassondra

      I should also say that as far as I saw on menus and such, egg was only a topping that went on top. Thank you!

    • Hi Kassondra! Happy to hear you like Gyudon! :) Yes egg is option, and in Japan, raw egg is served on top (center) of beef, but here in the U.S., raw egg is not recommended to eat and you don’t see raw egg being served…at all… so I have to “cook” it. You can totally omit the egg. :)

  16. Kate

    Awesome recipe. It’s a lot I the meat you choose, so I think it’s worth spending the extra money if there’s some really good beef available… Anyway, this is just a great recipe! I can make better beef bowl at home now than I can buy at some of the Japanese restaurants here!

    • Thank you Kate! Homemade ones are definitely better as you can control the amount of seasonings – sometimes restaurant seasonings can be too salty/sweet. Hope you enjoy this recipe! :)

  17. Julie

    Hai Nami, I have tried it and my kids love it. Btw do you know what is natto? Do you have recipe for making natto? Thank u if you can share the information.

    • Hi Julie! Thank you for trying this recipe! I’m happy to hear your children enjoyed this dish! :)

      Yes, I know natto and I like it. :) It’s fermented beans and a lot of people dislike the smell of it (it’s typical when it comes to fermented foods). We don’t make natto at home, and we buy a package of natto from a grocery store. There are many ways to eat it besides eating with steamed rice. Maybe one day I’ll feature natto on my blog. 😀

  18. Linda

    I have seen several recipes for this and it has always seemed intriguing and delicious. This recipe is so detailed and I like the pics and the dish looks delicious.

  19. Gyudon restaurants such as Sukiya and Yoshinoya are definitely my go-to place after a late night drinking sesh because it’s cheap (yay student life!!!) and open 24 hours.
    I didn’t know it was this simple to make it at home though! It was so good and I love how the raw egg yolk blends everything together.
    Thank you, Nami. I can’t express how much your blog has helped me to survive in Japan! :)

    • Hi Dee! I’m happy to hear you enjoyed making Gyudon at home! It’s one of the easiest donburi that I cook too. Now I’m in Japan for the summer and I get to go to eat gyudon more often. 😀

        • Thank you for your suggestion Dee! I never thought of it before, but a few fans living in Japan suggested. I wonder how many people follow my blog and actually want to see me… :) Thank you for your thought!

  20. Krista

    Nami, this recipe was so delicious! My husband and I have been living in Japan for 4 years and love japanese food! I love sukiya but it never sits well for me. So finding this recipe made me excited! The were easy to follow and was a big hit for my family. My husband even said he could eat this everyday. :p if I wanted to add cheese what kind would be best? My husband suggested cheese on his next time.

    • Hi Krista! I’m very happy to hear you and your husband liked my gyudon recipe! 😀

      I was actually surprised to hear gyudon + cheese combination, which made me look into it… and learned that it’s on the menu at Sukiya and Yoshinoya! I haven’t gone there since… maybe high school…. In Japan, most of cheese is processed cheese, and there are not too many kinds available. I assume what Japanese like is the “pizza cheese” which is available in Japanese supermarket. I think that’s similar to mozzarella but not 100% (I think?). I wish I can give you a better advice…. hope this helps. :)

  21. Serene

    Hi there…just to share: my version of the Gyudon is a sunny side up …with a nice runny yolk..and i add in the seaweed flakes and sesame seeds for added ‘omph’…