Smart Recipes with Umami

Gyudon (Beef bowl)

The next Umami dish is from Alex Craciun, ex Executive chef of Japanese restaurant Sosharu and Hiya Shanghai. This is a home-cooking version of one of his popular dishes at his restaurant. Wafer-thin beef in a tangy sauce sits on top of a bowl of rice. You just mix everything with chopsticks, and eat. Umami from beef, onion, mushroom, soy sauce and egg are combined to give your tastebuds a treat.

Serves 5
• 2 onion
• 2 spring onions/scallion
• 340 g thinly sliced beef (chuck or rib eye). I get mine from Meat Me At Home
• 1 tbsp neutral - flavoured oil (vegetable, canola, etc)
• 5 large eggs
• 300 g mushroom, fresh shiitake or button mushroom, whatever you can get
For the Sauce
• 200 g sugar
• 200 ml sake
• 200 ml mirin
• 100 ml soy sauce
To Serve
• 3 cups cooked Japanese short-grain rice
• pickled red ginger (beni shoga or kizami beni shoga)
• garlic chips
• pickled daikon
• egg yolk
• spring onions
• cucumber

1. Slice the onions, cut the spring onion into thin slices (save some for garnish), and cut the beef into small pieces.
2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium to high heat, and cook the sliced onions and mushrooms until tender.
3. Add the beef and sugar. Cook until the beef is no longer pink.
4. Add sake, mirin, and soy sauce
5. Reduce the heat and simmer for 2-3 minutes. I thicken the sauce with some corn flour
6. If you'd like to add cooked egg, slowly and evenly drizzle the beaten egg over the beef. Cook covered until the egg is done. Add the spring onion right before removing from the heat.
7. Place the beef and cooked egg on top of steamed rice, pour on the desired amount of cooking sauce, and top with pickled red ginger, pickled daikon, thinly sliced cucumber and spring onion. Add a raw egg yolk if you like.

Alex Craciun