Sweet, salty, and intensely flavorful, this Simmered Beef with Ginger (Beef Shigureni) is a classic Japanese home-cooked dish. It’s also a meal-prep favorite! Serve as a main or side dish to enjoy with steamed rice.
Simmered Beef with Ginger, or what we call in Japanese – Shigureni (時雨煮, しぐれ煮), is a simple yet classic recipe we often make at home. I grew up eating this homey food in my bento box or as a side or main dish with rice. It comes together quickly and bursts with amazing flavor. I consider it a lifesaver for weekday dinners! You need to try it.
What is Shigureni?
Shigureni (時雨煮, しぐれ煮) refers to dishes such as beef or seafood that are cooked in a sweet soy sauce broth flavored with ginger.
The word ‘Shigure’ (時雨) means autumn shower, and ni (煮) applies to the style of cooking by simmering. If you could read kanji, the name may capture your attention. Perhaps the expressive name suggests its flavor is as robust and fleeting as the autumn rain!
When we prepare Shigureni, we would go heavily with the seasonings so we could preserve the dish for a longer time. It should taste sweet and salty with a wonderful gingery fragrance, and meant to be eaten with plain steamed white rice.
The strongly seasoned dish makes an excellent side or main dish to prepare ahead of time. For longer storage, you can even go heavier on the seasonings and simmer to preserve the dish for up to a month or even longer!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Simple 5 ingredients – You’ll need only basic Japanese condiments and ingredients.
- Great meal prep or bento dish – It’s prepared for preserving purpose, so you can make it ahead and serve it throughout the week for bento or weeknight dinner.
- A flavorful accompaniment to rice – Because of the strong seasoning, we always enjoy this dish with plain steamed rice. We call it “Gohan no Okazu (ご飯のおかず)”.
- Easily adaptable – Swap thinly sliced beef with ground beef, or to pork or chicken, or seafood like scallop or clams.
Perfect Meal Prep Dish
When I have time on the weekend, I’d make this Simmered Beef with Ginger and save enough portion for my meal prep. Throughout the week, I’d serve it as a side dish for kids bento or our lunch as shown below.
I only had to make miso soup and every dishes were from my Japanese-style meal prep, Jobisai (常備菜), which I store in the refrigerator or freezer.
Here’s an example of Japanese meal prep you can easily create at home:
- Broccoli Blanched with Sesame Oil
- Bean Sprout Namul
- Pickled plum (Umeboshi)
- Tofu Miso Soup
- Steamed rice (defrosted from my frozen rice)
- Simmered Beef with Ginger (Shigureni)
Variations and Substitutes
Japanese home cooks also love to prepare this Simmered Beef with Ginger dish with burdock root (Gobo). This dish is called Gyu Gobo no Shigureni (牛ごぼうのしぐれ煮). Gobo and beef pair very well together, so give it a try if you like.
Instead of thinly sliced beef, feel free to switch it with ground beef, pork or chicken, or seafood like scallop or clams.
This Shigureni recipe will save you a lot of time in the kitchen, so plan ahead and make a batch!
Japanese Ingredient Substitution: If you want to look for substitutes for Japanese condiments and ingredients, click here.
Simmered Beef with Ginger (Shigureni)
- ½ lb thinly sliced beef (chuck or rib eye)
- 1 knob ginger
- Gather all the ingredients,
- Peel and slice the ginger. Then cut into julienned pieces.
- Follow this tutorial to thinly slice the ribeye if needed. Cut into 2-inch (5-cm) pieces.
- In a medium saucepan, add 2 Tbsp sake, 2 Tbsp mirin, 2 Tbsp soy sauce, and 1 tsp sugar.
- Add the julienned ginger and bring it to a simmer.
- Add the meat and separate it with chopsticks. After 3 minutes or so, fat from the meat will melt and become a part of the sauce.
- Simmer on low heat for 10-15 minutes until cooking liquid is almost gone.
- Once you can see the bottom of the saucepan, transfer to a plate and serve. You can garnish with julienned ginger. If you plan to save for later, transfer to an airtight container and let cool completely.
- You can keep in the refrigerator up to 4-5 days or in the freezer for up to a month.