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The beef bowl is essentially Japan’s equivalent to the American hamburger. Offered by inexpensive restaurants across the nation, the beef bowl, or gyudon, as it’s called in Japanese, is a tasty, hot meal that’ll give you all the protein and carbs you’re craving without costing you much money or time.

But while you’re usually never far from a beef bowl joint in Japan, what if you live in a town or country that doesn’t have a Yoshinoya, Matsuya, or, most tragically of all, a mouth-watering Sukiya? No problem, because with this amazingly simple recipe, you can make your own Japanese-style beef bowl in just five minutes!

While we’d love to take the credit for this easy recipe, it actually comes from Oishinbo, a manga that’s been highlighting culinary delights nonstop since 1983. Each chapter of the popular comic follows travelling reporter and gourmand Shiro Yamaoka as he enjoys yet another sublime delicacy. In one chapter, Shiro even steps into the kitchen to teach a boy who’s never cooked how to prepare gyudon.

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We assume that the deliciousness of the resulting meal somehow brings the boy’s family closer together or resolves some other conflict, but we’re not sure. That’s because as soon as Yamaoka finished his explanation of how to make the dish, we dropped the manga and headed into the kitchen to try making it ourselves. After all, if a fictional pre-teen could manage it, how hard could it be?

Cooked white rice
Thin-sliced beef
Beef tallow
Soy sauce
Nori (dried seaweed)
Sansho (a type of crushed Japanese pepper)

1. Scoop the cooked rice into a bowl. Crumple up a few strips of nori and sprinkle them over the rice.

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2. Since we’re going to be sautéing the beef in a frying pan, you’ll want it cut thin. As luck would have it, someone had just given us a pack of high-grade Kobe beef, but whatever thin-sliced beef you’ve got to work with will do fine.

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Melt a pat of beef tallow in heated frying pan, then toss in the beef and sauté it. Don’t add any of the other seasonings at this point, since we’re going to use them later.

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3. Once the beef is cooked, transfer it to the bowl, placing it atop the rice. Make sure to leave the drippings in the pan, though, because we’re going to use them as the base for our beef bowl sauce.

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Add two or three table spoons of sake to the pan along with a dash of soy sauce. Rub the rest of the tallow onto the pan, give everything a quick stir, and then pour the resulting mixture over the beef and rice.

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4. Finally sprinkle the sansho onto the beef. If you’ve never tried it before, it’s like a slightly earthy pepper with a touch of bitterness. If you’re after something a bit spicier, you can substitute shichimi, Japan’s indigenous equivalent to cayenne pepper and another popular gyudon condiment.

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5. Finally, eat your delicious meal that took almost no time or effort to cook.

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Altogether, it only took us ten minutes to prepare the beef and sauce, and that’s including the time we spent taking photos of everything. If you’re not visually documenting the process, you could easily get your time down to five minutes, meaning that as long as you keep some rice and the other ingredients on hand, you can be enjoying great gyudon in less time than it takes to walk to the closest Yoshinoya, even if you live in Japan.

Photos: ©RocketNews24
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