Copycat Yoshinoya Beef Bowls

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Copycat Yoshinoya Beef Bowls taste just like the popular fast food beef bowl recipe from Japan!

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Remember that time I got paid to spend the entire summer in Japan in college (Camp Adventure, woot!) and gained like, 15lbs from drinking too much Peach Chu-Hi and eating WAY too many gyoza?

Well there’s something else to blame for all the weight I packed onto my short little frame in 3 short months – Yoshinoya Beef Bowls. OH YES!

Yoshinoya is a fast-casual restaurant chain in Japan that’s famous for it’s beef bowls containing silky white rice and piles of thinly shaven, tender as all get out beef on top. Are you gagging yet?

(source)

They’re pretty much everywhere and you can get in and out in under 15 minutes, making it ideal for stopping in for a quick lunch, bite after work, nosh after the bars…

I was incredibly Japan-sick after I returned at the end of that summer, and vowed to recreate the dish I loved so much at home so I could have it anytime I wanted. Using only 6 low-fuss ingredients, I think I got pretty close!

Start by bringing beef broth, soy sauce, mirin, and a little sugar to a boil.

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This is mirin, by the way. It’s a Japanese cooking wine that you can get at any grocery store these days.

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After the liquid is boiling, add in sliced onions.

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Let them cook until they’re tender, about 5 minutes.

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Finally, add in very thinly sliced beef loin. I’ve had my butcher do the slicing for me before, otherwise just pop the beef into the freezer until it hardens, then slice it. Unlike my thighs that summer, the thinner the better! ;)

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Since the beef is sliced so thin, it literally takes a minute to cook in the hot broth. It’s kind of like Pho in this way.

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OMG, that just reminded me of my INSANE first boss out of college who ate pho everyday for lunch. Eeek! Movingonmovingonmovingon! Pile the tender beef and onion slices over fluffy white rice, drizzle with some sauce, and you are set my friend! :)

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Yoshinoya Beef Bowls

Print this recipe!

Serves 4

Ingredients:
1-1/3 cup beef broth
5 Tablespoons soy sauce
3 Tablespoons mirin
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 yellow onion, sliced
1lb beef, sliced very thin (I used top sirloin)
white rice

Directions:

  1. Bring beef broth, soy sauce, mirin and sugar to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to medium and add onions. Cook until onions are tender, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add beef slices into the broth and cook until just barely done, about 1-2 minutes. Serve over white rice.

Tip: to slice beef or chicken thin, place into the freezer until nearly frozen, then cut.

Chicken version: substitute 1lb chicken breast for beef, use chicken broth instead of beef broth

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The sauce in this dish is so delicate. Neither salty, nor sweet – it is just right. Mixed with the melt-in-your-mouth beef and onions, I am sent straight back to the counter at my local Yoshinoya with just one bite.

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Don’t fear, beef haters, this recipe tastes awesome made with chicken broth instead of beef broth, and using sliced chicken breast instead of beef. Throw some broccoli or edamame in there, and you’ll be in Heaven!

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Ugh, now I kind of want to read Memoirs for a Geisha. My copy is completely tattered from reading it nearly 5 dozen times after I returned home from Japan at the end of that summer. It’s funny how you can build such a strong connection with a place in such a short amount of time. I could easily move there tomorrow and call it home!

Alas, I’ll have to call the moving men another day. Poor Ben spiraled today and I sent him straight to bed after he got home from work. Thinking this ear infection has turned into something worse, so I’m off to play nurse for the night. :(

Oh! And the new IGE tour will come tomorrow or Wednesday. Still putting the final touches on, such as improving post navigation and bumping up the size and darkness of the font. My aging eyeballs can barely see a thing! ;)

Have a great night!

~~~~~

Have you ever had the opportunity to study or live abroad?

Got any crazy boss stories?

My summer in Japan was the best summer of my life. Unlike studying abroad, it was free and I actually got school credit while getting paid. That said, a semester in Italy or New Zealand would have been awfully nice!

As far as crazy bosses – I think I finally, 7 years later, am getting over the trauma my first boss out of college caused me. Cuckoo puffs screamed at me for a good 15 minutes when I once closed the office dishwasher with my foot. That was on one of her good days.

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