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Thursday, May 04, 2006

Beef Bowl

I've been working the past couple of days. For those of you that doesn't know, I am currently job-hunting, so I have lots of free time, other than occasional interviews. My friend that works at temp staffing agency knows this, so she asked if I could fill-in to work at this warehouse for two days, putting small valves and nuts into plastic baggies to be shipped out. It sounded like an easy job for $9/hr, so I said I would do it.

The job was easy, but since I had been sitting in front of the computer all this time, being on my feet all day was quite exhausting (am I getting old?!). I knew I had to get proper dinner to refuel my energy, so I decided to make some beef bowl [gyudon].

For those of you that have ever lived in Japan, you would know that beef bowl is like Japanese version of fast-food. Yoshinoya, by far the most popular venue, is like McDonalds (though I think most of my friends prefered Matsuya). I associate beef bowl as something construction workers ate. My work was nothing close to that of construction worker, but I craved it, so I decided to make it.

IN JAPANESE: Gyudon
CATEGORY: Meat, Noodle/Rice
COOKING METHOD: Boiled
DIFFICULTY: Medium
SERVES: 2 people
LENGTH OF TIME: 15 min

INGREDIENTS:
5-oz of thin sliced beef (5-6 slices)
Half of an onion thin sliced
2 TBsp soy sauce
1 TBsp sake
1 TBsp mirin
1 TBsp sugar
1 TBsp red-wine (optional)
1 TBsp apple juice (optional)
1 clove of garlic finely chopped
1 half inch piece of ginger (see TIP: Ginger)
1/2 tsp of bonito soup stock powder [hondashi] (about 2 shakes)
Half cup of water
some pickled ginger (optional)

HOW TO:
From the ingredients list, it might look slightly difficult, but it's not. First, put half cup of water into a flat pan, and add 2 shakes of bonito powder and turn the heat to about medium.

While the pan heats up, add soysauce, sake, mirin, sugar, (red wine and apple juice if you have them) as well as the finely chopped garlic and shred the piece of ginger into the pan. Let it shimmer for a minute until all the ingredients are mixed together.

Add the thin sliced onion into the pan and let it shimmer for a few minutes until the flavor soaks into the onion.

I usually then use my hands to tear the thin sliced beef into small pieces to add to the pan. If you don't want to use your hands, you can use a knife, but the important thing is that you need to get thin enough slice of beef that you can tear it into pieces even with your hands.

Use chopsticks or fork to turn the beef around so it will cook evenly and let it shimmer in low heat for few minutes more until flavor soaks into the beef.

Serve on top of bowl of rice, and garnish with pickled ginger if you like. If you like lots of flavor, you can add the leftover soup over the rice [tsuyudaku].

3 comments:

estrella said...

I just wanted to let you know that I really enjoy your blog. I've looked at some other sites to try Japanese recipes and it seems as if you aren't Japanese you'd never be able to figure out what the ingredients were let alone the process. So thank you for making this easy for the non Japanese :). I hope will add some more recipes soon.

marion said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

Lucy

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carl said...

JW,thankyou for these resipies.i have been looking for such resipies as i worked for a Japenes man for some 18 years,whom i have dire respect for,Thankyou