An outdoor cooking recipe that’s too good to wait until your next camping trip to try.

There’s a simple purity to Japanese rice bowls. You’ve got everything you need in a single bowl, with all the ingredients’ flavors mixing together into a delicious and nourishing harmony.

Of course, even if you only need one piece of tableware to eat a rice bowl, you need all sorts of pots and pans to make the rice bowl right? Not necessarily, because we’ve got a recipe that lets you cook an entire gyudon, or beef bowl, in a single pan that you can eat out of. And yes, that means that you don’t even need a rice cooker! All you need is a mess tin, of the type you can get from any camping or outdoor goods supplier.

● Rice (144 milliliters [4.7 ounces])
● Water (180 milliliters [6.1 ounces])
● 4-times concentrated mentsuyu bonito broth stock (2.5 tablespoons)
● Mirin cooking sake (1 tablespoon)
● Beef (150 grams [5.3 ounces])
● 1/2 onion
● 1 egg yolk
● Pickled ginger (to taste)
● Green onion (to taste)

Once again, this recipe comes from Japanese YouTuber chef Ken Outdoor Cooking, and while it’s originally meant to be made while camping, there’s nothing stopping us from using it to whip up some super-easy, ultra-tasty gyudon at home too.

Step 1: Pour the rice and water into the mess tin and let it soak for 30 minutes.

Step 2: Slice the onion.

Step 3: Cut the beef into strips approximately two centimeters (0.8 inches) wide.

Step 4: Once the rice has soaked for 30 minutes, pour the mentsuyu and mirin into the mess tin ad give it a few light stirs.

Step 5: Toss in the onions and beef. In particular, you want to make sure the beef is evenly distributed so that all of it gets properly soaked with the broth’s flavor.

Step 6: Now it’s time to close up the lid and start cooking.

If you’re using a block of solid cooking fuel, Ken says you can just let it go until the fuel is used up. On the other hand, if you’re using a gas burner, you want to start off cooking on medium heat for the first 10 to 15 minutes, then switch to low heat for another 10 minutes. That might seem like a long time, but gyudon beef is a type of nimono, traditional Japanese simmered dishes, and so the cooking process is a slow and steady one.

▼ Since the contents are simmering, you might want to place something on top of the mess tin to keep the lid from lifting up while the heat is on.

Step 7: Once the cooking is done, wrap the mess tin in a towel to let it steam for a final 15 minutes.

Step 8: At this point, the gyudon aroma should be becoming unbearably enticing. Luckily, it’s almost ready to eat, so carefully remove the mess tin’s lid, making sure not to singe your fingertips.

Step 9: If necessary, spread out the meat to smooth away any clumped sections, then pour your egg yolk in the center.

This is actually an optional step. Some people prefer their beef bowl without egg, and that’s fine. For those who do appreciate the eggy extra, though, Ken says that the heat of the gyudon itself will be enough to cook the yolk.

Step 10: And last, add as much pickle ginger and green onion as you like. This is also an optional step, since while they add some nice color to the presentation, some people would rather enjoy the straightforward flavor of the beef, onion, and rice without any extra intrusions on their palate.

▼ Finished!

Now all that’s left to do is dig in! If you added the egg yolk, it’s a good idea to break it up with your chopsticks right at the start of eating, in order to maximize its reach and help it receive the rice’s heat.

▼ Ken’s video demonstration

Including the time for the rice to soak, the whole meal-prep process takes about 60 minutes. But though the recipe doesn’t provide instant gyudon gratification, there’s really only about 10 minutes of active work on your part involved. That means you’ve got plenty of time to put up your tent and look through the photos you took while hiking and building up an appetite as your dinner is cooking, or to just relax on the sofa and crack open a cold one if you’re giving yourself a taste of this delicious outdoor recipe while staying at home.

Reference: Ken Outdoor Cooking
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