Gyudon in the Slow Cooker - Japanese Beef and Rice Bowls

 I love Japanese food, but a lot of it can be intimidating to make at home (I'm looking at you, sushi!). Gyudon is a simple, satisfying, easy beef and rice recipe that I make in the crock pot. It can be gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo, whole30 and THM. You will love it!

Sometimes when you go to a new place and eat a new thing, you realize you want to eat it again and again when you get home...and maybe marry it. Last year when we went to Japan, we ate so many tasty things (and let's be honest, some gross things), and one of the things I loved the best was a simple dish called Gyudon. I love Japanese food, but a lot of it can be intimidating to make at home (I'm looking at you, sushi!). Gyudon is a simple, satisfying, easy-to-make beef and rice recipe that I make in the crock pot. It can be gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo, whole30 and THM. You will love it! 

 It was love at first bite. My husband is sneaking a bite while I was trying to take a picture at the little restaurant across from Himeji castle.

It was love at first bite. My husband is sneaking a bite while I was trying to take a picture at the little restaurant across from Himeji castle.

 

The first time I ordered it I picked the picture off of the menu because there were no English menus. Gyudon consists of shaved beef and onions in a broth, served over rice with a raw egg that mixes in with the piping hot gyudon and cooks from the heat. I happen to love raw egg yolks added to soups and things like this, but for the sake of the squeamish, we'll use an egg over easy. If even that is too much, try a fried egg or skip it altogether but you are missing out!

 

 This is the sign we saw in front of the restaurant where we ate the gyudon. As chicken owners who consume a lot of raw eggs, we agree with Mr. Egg.

This is the sign we saw in front of the restaurant where we ate the gyudon. As chicken owners who consume a lot of raw eggs, we agree with Mr. Egg.

 

The beef and onions are sautéed and then stewed in a pot with broth. That sounds like something that requires a lot of supervision, and I just don't have time for that these days. I've made it the traditional way, and this time I decided to try it in the slow cooker because it takes just a few minutes to throw together, I don't have to babysit it or actively engage, it makes my house smell yummy all day, dinner is ready when I am, and I can do most of the clean up in the morning when it's less hectic.

To make it gluten-free use gluten-free soy sauce. To make it Whole30 and Paleo compliant, also leave out the sugar and serve with cauli-rice instead of white rice.

 

 

Slow Cooker Gyudon

2 pounds thinly sliced beef (a fatty choice like chuck or ribeye is typical, but because I made it in the slow cooker, I used sirloin. Also because that is what I had on hand)

2 large onions, sliced

4 teaspoons sugar

4 tablespoons mirin (cooking wine, but also comes in a non-alcoholic version in the Asian foods section of the grocery store)

4 tablespoons (gluten-free) soy sauce

 

Serve with:

1 egg per serving

green onions, sliced

white sticky rice - 1 cup per serving

 

I had a sirloin roast in my fridge, so I used my food processor with the slicing blade to make the thin beef slices. I turned on the saute function in my Instant Pot and started browning the beef while I sliced the onions. After adding the onions I continued to saute while I mixed the sugar, mirin and soy sauce in a measuring cup. I poured the sauce over the beef and onions, and stirred, put the glass lid on and set to slow cook for 8 hours. It was probably ready before that, but I wasn't.

I made the sticky rice in my other Instant Pot (yes, I have two for just such an occasion, and often use them simultaneously). 

To serve layer rice, gyudon, egg over easy and green onions. Enjoy!