I think this is three Japanese recipes in a row, which is most unusual for me - so unusual that I had to add a Japanese category for the first one. Still, after spending £20 on ingredients for okonomiyaki I thought I should actually use them, rather than clogging up the fridge and cupboards with yet more sauces and condiments.
Prior to the last recipe, whilst googling to find out what beni shoga was (it is the red pickled ginger in the okonomiyaki) I saw that it is an ingredient in gyudon, which took be straight back to my time in Kuala Lumpur, where we lived opposite the huge 6 story behemoth of Mid-Valley mall. KL really isn't designed for pedestrians and near every day we would brave 6 lanes of traffic, pausing on the safety of a red painted strip in the middle, to reach the mall and have a meal. Dicing with death was worth it though as, with its 6th floor food court and ground floor full of chain restaurants, you could literally eat day in day out for months with no need of repeating a dish. One of those ground floor chains was Yoshinoya, a Japanese place famed for its gyudon, or beef bowl - a big bowl of rice, covered in thin slices of beef and onion stewed in dashi.
It's healthy and totally delicious, the bite of just-cooked onion and slightly chewy beef adding substance to the soothing, dashi soaked rice below. Another bonus is the ease and quickness of preparation, a perfect mid-week meal. Just chuck some rice on to cook and whilst it's bubbling away you've more than enough time to slice the onions and beef and give them their bath, just remember to get the beef in the freezer a while before as slicing it thinly without it being semi-frozen is nigh on impossible.
When choosing to recreate the dish said dashi was a problem though, along with the mirin. Whilst I got to use another couple of tablespoons of beni shoga, so working my way through about 20p of the £20 cache of ingredients, I needed to buy some dashi powder (£1.50), and some mirin (£3.50) - in the words of Homer Simpson "Doh!". I'm sure I can find some other Japanese dishes to use these up though, hopefully without requiring too many more purchases - hopefully...
1 cup (230gr) of Japanese rice, I use Nishiki
1 1/3 cup (320ml) of water
200gr-300gr of rib of beef
1 medium onion
500ml dashi stock
6 TB soy
2 TB mirin
1 ts sugar
2 TB beni shoga (red pickled ginger)
Shichimi/Seven Spice seasoning (optional)
First things first get your beef in the freezer for 30-45 minutes, till it firms up, then slice as thin as you can across the grain.
Place the rice and water in a saucepan, cover and bring to the boil then turn the heat right down and simmer, with a lid on, for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave, again with the lid on, for 15 minutes.
Slice the onions about 8mm thick then fry, in a little oil, for 2-3 minutes. I like them to take on a little colour (so getting some flavour from Maillard) but they look better if they don't.
Add the dashi, mirin, soy and sugar, bring to the boil and simmer for 4 minutes.
Add in the beef and cook for 1-2 mins just just cooked through.
Split the rice between two bowls, place half the beef and onions on top of each and then ladle in some of the cooking liquid, depending on how wet you like it.
To serve, place the ginger on top and, if you're using, give it a sprinkle of shichimi for some spice.