Gyuudon with Onsen Tamago
This week I cooked for a test run at Umi Kitchen, an exciting opportunity for home cooks to expand beyond the walls of their own kitchens! Umi, meaning mother, is a food delivery online platform that connects hungry New Yorkers with healthy and delicious home cooked meals. I’m going to gloss over the company’s impressive resume, which you can learn more about on this link. (Hint: Danny Meyer) After signing up to be one of their home cooks, I immediately received a detailed startup package, including information on developing a culinary style, packing instructions and even how to write a note to a potential customer.
For the test run, I am sending in one of E’s favorite comfort foods, Gyuudon. Although E is Chinese-Italian, his taste buds are more biased to the Italian half. Very early on in our relationship, he already made it clear that he expects pasta on the table at least three times a week. Of course, he also has strong nostalgia towards Asian food, especially popular ones in Hong Kong in the 90s, when he still lived there.
One of these dishes is gyuudon. Gyuudon means beef rice bowl in Japanese, and is the signature dish of the ubiquitous chain store Yoshinoya. Thin slices of onion and beef are cooked in a sweet soy sauce base, ladled over a steamy bowl of white rice. It is the typical salary man meal- quick, filling and affordable. If you feel extravagant, top with an onsen tamago and let the luscious yolk permeate through the layers of beef and rice.
This tasty and well balanced Japanese meal will be one of my first menus available on Umi Kitchen. If you’d like a taste of it, order from Yan’s 24 Hour Kitchen via Umi, and it will be delivered right from my kitchen to your doorstep!
Gyuudon (Beef Rice Bowl)
1 medium onion
½ cup (120 ml) kombu dashi*
1 tbsp dry sake
2 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp jaggery (or sugar)
2 tbsp soy sauce
¾ lb (12 oz, 340 g) thinly sliced rib eye, chuck beef or "hot pot beef"
2 tbsp beni shoga (Japanese pickled red ginger)
2-3 onsen tamago (soft poached egg)
Shichimi togarashi (optional)
- Cut the onion into thin slices and chop the green onion. Set aside.
- Heat a large frying pan over medium high heat and add the dashi, sake, sugar, mirin, and soy sauce. Cover and cook until it boils.
- Once the sauce is boiling, add the sliced onions and spread them out with a chopstick so all of the slices touches the sauce. Cover and cook again until tender.
- When the onion is soft, add the beef and cook until it is no longer pink. Skim the foam or fat with a fine mesh sieve if you want.
- Serve the meat and sauce over steamed rice, and top with scallion and red ginger.
- If you like to add an egg, make sure the rice is piping hot. Crack an onsen tamago into a small bowl, making sure there are no shells, and gently slip it on top of your rice bowl. Break the egg and dig in with a spoon.
* Soak a piece of kombu, around 4" x 5" in 4 cups of cold water and let sit at room temperature for 7 hours. Remove the kombu and store the water in the fridge for up to a week