My kids adore Japanese food. When they were little, Yoshinoya beef bowls were the easiest way to make sure they had their lunch during our outings after church on Sundays. Of course their palates have since matured and Japanese fare now ranges to kaiseki meals, but once in a while we will return to comfort food favorites. I have always wanted to replicate the beef bowl from Yoshinoya. I’m not sure of this is that accurate a version but the kids seem to like it and I’ve been tasked to record the recipe (which sort of came off the top of my head and was also inspired by a recipe book I came across in Japan which remarkably, was written in English).
The wonderful thing about gyudon (Japanese beef bowls) was that this was safe food for the kids. Kid #1 had multiple food allergies to cow’s milk, wheat, fish, prawns, and egg, while kid #2 only had an egg allergy but it was so bad that a smidgen of egg contamination would result in vomiting and hives within minutes. Thanks to her I discovered early on that baguettes are finished with an egg wash before baking. Our other easy food was, of course, Singapore’s unofficial national dish, chicken rice. But the oily rice was a caloric bomb and somehow the Japanese food always seemed like a more healthy alternative. Eventually both kids grew out of their food allergies but those early years with limited exposure to certain foods has really limited their food vocabulary. Even today, kid #1 shuns seafood and kid #2 will not eat eggs unless they are completely disguised in a cake or a custard bun.
So here is the gyudon beef bowl recipe – I wish I had figured it out earlier – I would have saved a lot of money buying Yoshinoya beef bowls!
Low Carb Gyudon Beef Bowl
- 300g thinly sliced beef (for shabu-shabu)
- 1/2 onion, sliced into thin strips
- 1 clove of garlic, diced
- 3 spring onions, green parts chopped
- 2 cm knob of ginger, finely grated together with juice of the ginger
- 5 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp sake
- 1 tbsp sugar substitute
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Mix the soy sauce, sake, sugar substitute, garlic, ginger and spring onions in a bowl (keep 1 tsp of chopped spring onions aside for garnishing).
- Add the beef and mix in the marinade thoroughly. Chill in the fridge for 20-30 minutes.
- Heat up a skillet and the olive oil over moderate heat.
- Sauté the onions till slightly caramelized and softened.
- Add the beef and its marinade and stir fry, making sure that the beef separates out and is not in clumps.
- Cook for 3-4 minutes till the beef is no longer pink. Sprinkle the remaining spring onions on top.
- Serve hot over rice for non-low carbers or over cauliflower rice for low-carbers.