Yakiniku Donburi: Japanese Beef and Vegetable Rice Bowl

Sauteed Beef and Vegetables Over Rice
Yakiniku Donburi (Beef and Vegetable Bowl). David Solzberg/Stockfood Creative/Getty Images
  • Total: 13 mins
  • Prep: 8 mins
  • Cook: 5 mins
  • Yield: 2 bowls (serves 2)

Yakiniku donburi, or yakiniku don, is a simple Japanese dish of grilled beef and vegetables served over a bed of rice in a bowl. Donburi literally translates to bowl, but it also refers to the staple Japanese dish of protein, seafood, and vegetables served over rice in a bowl. The term "donburi" is often used interchangeably with "don."

In Japanese, "yakiniku" typically refers to meat that is grilled over an open flame; however, it can also refer to the Korean method of cooking meats on a griddle or pan.

Ingredients

  • For Yakiniku Sauce:
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons granulated white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground roasted white sesame seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon roasted white sesame seeds​
  • For Yakiniku Rice Bowl:
  • Assorted vegetables of your choice
  • Olive oil
  • 1/4 yellow onion, sliced thinly
  • 3/4 pound thinly cut beef, such as Japanese Shabu-shabu cut beef or sukiyaki-cut beef
  • 3 to 4 cups cooked brown or white rice

Steps to Make It

  1. Make the yakiniku sauce. In a small pan add all ingredients for yakiniku sauce and heat over medium-low heat until cooked through, about 2 minutes.

  2. Using a strainer, strain the yakiniku sauce to remove the garlic clove and set the sauce aside.

  3. If you are using vegetables such as bell peppers, mushrooms, scallions, or summer squash, slice into strips or circles. Broccoli florets can be kept as is or made smaller; green beans should be trimmed and baby bok choy left whole.

  4. In a large skillet, heat about 1 tablespoon of olive oil; add the sliced onion and vegetables and saute until tender over medium-high heat. Remove the vegetables from the pan and set aside on a plate.

  5. Add more olive oil to the skillet to coat evenly. Add the beef and cook until the desired doneness. Return the cooked vegetables to the pan and then pour some yakiniku sauce over the beef and vegetables to coat evenly.

  6. Into 2 deep bowls, spoon the hot cooked rice. Top with the beef and vegetable mixture. Serve extra yakiniku sauce on the side as needed.

Recipe Tips

If you cannot find Japanese Shabu-shabu cut beef or sukiyaki-cut beef, you can use thinly sliced flank or sirloin beef. To make the task of slicing easy, place the meat in the freezer to firm up; then use a sharp knife to create nice, thin, even slices.

Feel free to use any combination of vegetables that you like. A variety of colors and textures is always pleasing to the eye and the palate. Choose yellow, orange, or red bell peppers, shiitake mushrooms, fresh green beans, broccoli, and/or baby bok choy.

If you prefer, you can just season the beef with yakiniku sauce and then place the sauteed vegetables to the side. It is also nice to garnish the bowl with other fresh vegetables like sliced cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, or carrots, or finely shredded green or red cabbage.

Roasted white sesame seeds are known as iri goma in Japanese and are sold in jars or shaker bottles. To grind up the seeds, place in a mini food processor or spice grinder and blend until the consistency of course salt.