Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Gyudon (牛丼) and Onsen tamago (温泉卵)

It's no secret that my fave choice of meat is beef. Whenever I'm out, if there's beef on the menu, there's an 80% chance that I'll get the beef choice. The other 15% is because someone else is getting it, and we'll be sharing. Or a 5% chance when I actually crave for something else.
Gyudon  (牛丼) and Onsen tamago (温泉卵)

Fresh flowers

Japanese food is one of my favourite cuisine. But whenever I'm dining at a Japanese establishment, beef tends to take a backseat in view of the delicious sashimi and sushi. However, whenever I'm at Yoshinoya (an established chain of beef bowl restaurants), I would always order the Gyudon (牛丼).

There's just something about the fatty layered thinly sliced meat and onions. The sauce being sweet, salty and addictive at the same time. I would happily douse my bowl of gyudon with a healthy dose of shichimi powder (and keep the shaker right next to me so that I can continue dousing the bowl with more).

This is my first attempt at homemade gyudon and onsen tamago. And I must say I'm rather pleased with how the both dishes turned out. In my Sis's words - "atas" fast food (gyudon has an almost synonym connection to Yoshinoya). But of course, it tastes so so so much better.

Gyudon (牛丼) (adapted from here)
(makes three to four servings)

155g flank steak, thinly sliced
1/4 big yellow onion, thinly sliced
1.5 tbsp soy sauce
1/4 tsp dark soy sauce
1.5 tbsp mirin
2 tsp sugar
85ml water
3/4 tsp instant dashi granules
steamed rice
onsen eggs (recipe below)

scallions, finely chopped
shichimi powder
beni shoga (japanese pickled ginger)

Heat some oil in a pan on medium high heat. Add the beef slices and saute briefly. Remove beef (and meat juices) from heat and transfer to a plate.
Combine soy sauces, mirin, sugar, water and instant dashi granules in the pan. Stir slightly to mix and add the onions. Cover with a lid and cook for 5 minutes till onions become soft and translucent and the liquid has reduced slightly.
Add the beef and meat juices back into the pan, turn on the heat to high and continue cooking for a few minutes to let the beef absorb the sauce, and to let the sauce thicken further. *If you would like a thicker sauce, add the beef only after the liquid has reduced significantly at the previous step. Continue cooking for a little longer, depending on how watery you like the sauce to be.
Remove from heat.
Divide the steamed rice into serving bowls. Distribute the beef and onions mixture onto the rice. Top with chopped scallions. Serve with the onsen eggs, (a healthy shake of) shichimi powder and pickled ginger.

Onsen tamago (温泉卵)
3 large eggs, room temperature
enough water to cover the eggs

Heat water to 60C to 65C. Add the eggs one by one carefully into the water.
Cook for 40 minutes, all the while maintaining the temperature at 60C to 65C. (I have an induction cooker at home - so I used the lowest temp setting of 60C without worrying that the water temperature will change by much.)
Alternatively, you could use a thermometer if boiling on the stove top to ensure the water stays around the same temperature - adding ice cubes when necessary if the water heats up too much.
Remove eggs from water. Submerge in cold water for a few minutes. Crack and peel the eggs carefully and serve immediately.

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