I love this dish because of the rich flavors and how it's easier than it seems (it pipelines well). The main ingredients are beef, onion, and egg, and the flavor is sweet and savory from mirin and soy sauce. It works as a whole meal and also as a main dish served along miso soup, salad, and steamed vegetables.
The one trick is that the beef needs to be sliced very thin, the thinner the better. To make this possible, put the beef in the freezer ahead of time to make it keep its shape better. Thin slices aren't possible without this step.
- 1 tbsp. oil or fat. I like using half neutral oil and half bacon fat.
- 10-12oz beef or bison. I think ribeye is the premium cut for this, but anything works. The pictures are taken with bison sirloin :)
- 1 medium onion. The sweeter and softer the better. You want to have roughly the same meat and onion by volume.
- 2 tbsp. sake. Gekkeikan is my favorite cooking sake: it's common in the US and cheap, but not so cheap that it isn't also drinkable.
- 2 tbps. mirin. Mirin is really hard to find in the US. 99% of mirin in grocery stores is actually some form of corn syrup, while true mirin ("hon mirin") is pure rice fermented in a specific way and is ~15% alcohol. I would highly recommend ordering some mirin from Eden Foods online. It is real mirin but with salt added to allow it to be sold as not alcohol.
- 3 tbsp. soy sauce. Consider using a reduced salt soy sauce if your mirin is salted.
- 2-3 eggs, depending on size. I usually use 3 eggs.
- 1 green onion, sliced
- pickled ginger
- ground chili pepper or hot sauce
0. Put beef in freezer at least 30 minutes before starting cooking, or more depending on the size of the chunk.
1. Start cooking rice.
2. Heat oil and/or fat in a pan that can be covered on medium-high heat. I use a 10" cast iron pan with a matching glass lid.
3. Cut onion in half, and then cut each half into thin slices. Angle the cuts to the core of the onion to make the slices all roughly the same size.
4. Add onion to pan and coat with oil/fat. Add more oil if they look dry. Cook until tender. You can experiment with adding other vegetables here, like maybe cabbage or carrot.
5. Get beef out of freezer and slice into slices that are as thin as possible.
6. Add beef to pan and move things around until there is no more pink. Chopsticks make this easier.
7. If there is a lot of liquid in the pan, consider pouring it out. This can help cook the egg at the end.
8. Lower heat and add liquid: sake, mirin, and soy sauce (2/2/3). Simmer for up to 5 minutes.
9. Whisk together eggs, raise heat to egg-frying temp, make sure beef and onions are spread evenly, pour eggs over the top, and cover the pan.
10. Cook until eggs are mostly solidified. If you wait until there's no liquid left, the eggs will end up overcooked.
11. Put rice in bowls and add the result from the pan on top. Be sure to drizzle any liquid left over on top of that.
12. Top with sliced green onions and other toppings. Consider serving with miso soup, a salad, and/or steamed vegetables.