What is Sukiyaki Beef Don?
Sukiyaki (すき焼き) is a Japanese dish made with beef, Japanese leeks, grilled tofu, and shungiku (crown daisy), all of which are simmered in a soy sauce, sugar, and sake-based sauce. Then, the word “don” is short for “donburi” which refers to a bowl of rice.
Therefore, a Sukiyaki Don is essentially sukiyaki beef served on a bed of rice.
In terms of taste, it is characterized by a strong sweetness, with the sweetness of the sugar and mirin coming first, rather than the saltiness of the soy sauce, giving it a distinctive flavor.
Although it may be similar to Gyudon (beef bowl), the flavors of sukiyaki are distinctively sweeter, and it includes unique ingredients such as crown daisy and leeks.
How I Developed This Recipe
There are many ways to make sukiyaki bowls. Some people make them similar to Gyudon, while others simply place Sukiyaki on top of rice. For my Sukiyaki Don, I adopted an approach similar to Oyakodon, as I believe eggs are essential to sukiyaki.
The goal was to highlight both high-quality beef and eggs. The garnish includes crown daisy (shungiku) and Japanese leeks, adding to the sukiyaki-style both in flavor and presentation.
This recipe creates a harmonious blend of ingredients and is a must-try for those who love sukiyaki!
Ingredients & Substitution Ideas
- Thinly Sliced Beef: Use very thin slices, such as those used in sukiyaki or shabu shabu. Wagyu beef isn’t necessary, but the thinness of the slices is crucial. I’ll discuss recommended beef cuts later on.
- Shungiku (Crown Daisy): This is a classic ingredient in Japanese sukiyaki, but it’s also hard to find outside Japan. Spinach or bok choi are great substitutes if that’s the case.
- Japanese Leeks: Also known as “naganegi” in Japanese. For this, regular leeks would be the best possible alternative.
- Shiitake Mushroom: If unavailable, feel free to use any mushrooms you like from your local area.
- Pasteurized Eggs: The recipe is made with medium-sized eggs, but small or large eggs are also fine, depending on what you have on hand. Since the yolks are served raw, use pasteurized eggs to prevent foodborne illness.
- Warishita Sauce Ingredients: Combine dashi granules, soy sauce, sake, sugar, and mirin. This sauce is key to the dish’s flavor.
- Benishoga (Red Pickled Ginger): Use this as a garnish. It adds a nice zesty touch and a pop of color.
- Cooked Japanese Short-Grain Rice: Short-grain Japanese rice is the best choice for donburi dishes. For recommendations on Japanese rice available in the U.S. and instructions on how to cook it in a pot, see my ‘How to Cook Japanese Rice Recipe‘.
So now, let’s talk about the beef a bit further.
The choice of beef depends on personal preference and budget, but generally, high-quality meat with good marbling is best suited for sukiyaki. There are four types of beef cuts that are ideal for sukiyaki:
- Rib eye roll: considered one of the finest cuts for sukiyaki, it has a good balance of fat and lean meat with beautiful marbling. The fat easily melts into the sauce, adding to its rich and flavorful taste.
- Chuck eye roll: with a high-fat content and fine marbling (though not as much as rib eye), chuck eye is an ideal choice for sukiyaki. It is also commonly used for shabu shabu and yakiniku.
- Plate: a slightly coarser option with a good amount of fat, plate is a decent choice for sukiyaki if you are on a budget.
- Round: a leaner option for those who do not enjoy fatty meats.
Curious about the exact brands and products that bring my recipes to life? Discover the brands and ingredients behind my recipes at the Sudachi Amazon Storefront. Explore my handpicked pantry essentials and find your next kitchen favorites!Jump to Full Recipe Measurements
Visual Walkthrough & Tips
Here are my step-by-step instructions for how to make Beef Sukiyaki Don at home. For ingredient quantities and simplified instructions, scroll down for the Printable Recipe Card below.
Before we dive into cooking, there are a couple of important steps.
First, let’s handle the eggs. Each bowl requires 2 eggs. One egg is separated, saving the yolk to garnish at the end. Be sure to use pasteurized eggs for this since it won’t be cooked.
The white is whisked with another egg and then later simmered with the sauce and vegetables.
Since my recipe serves 2, I saved 2 yolks and mixed 2 whites and 2 whole eggs in a separate bowl.
Next, let’s chop our veggies. Here’s how I do it:
- Shiitake Mushrooms: Separate the caps from the stems. Slice the stems! If you’re feeling creative, carve a little design into the mushroom caps for decoration.
- Shungiku (Crown Daisy): Cut them into 2 cm lengths, which is just a bit less than an inch. This size is perfect for a nice bite.
- Leeks: Slice these diagonally.
Now, let’s start cooking. Place a frying pan on the stove and add dashi granules, soy sauce, sake, sugar and mirin.
Mix them together and and both parts of the shiitake mushrooms. Turn the heat on to medium-low and stir occasionally.
When the mushrooms are softened and the sauce is bubbling, add the beef. Cook it to your preferred level of doneness. In my case, I like to cook it until just a little pink remains. This is the last time you’ll cook the beef, so think about how you like it done.
After the beef reaches your desired doneness, remove just the beef and shiitake mushroom caps from the pan and set them aside.
Next, add the shungiku and leeks to the pan. Cook them until they are slightly softened.
Once the greens are to your liking, pour in the pre-mixed eggs (the combined whites and yolks). Continue cooking over low to medium heat until the eggs reach your desired texture.
I prefer my eggs a little runny, but if you like your eggs well-done, feel free to cover the pan with a lid so that the top can steam.
Finally, it’s time to assemble the dish. Start with a bowl of rice. Layer the egg mixture on top, followed by the beef.
To finish, add the reserved egg yolk and a bit of red pickled ginger for an extra zing.
Enjoy!Jump to Full Recipe Measurements
I hope you enjoy this Sukiyaki Don recipe! If you try it out, I’d really appreciate it if you could spare a moment to let me know what you thought by giving a review and star rating in the comments below. It’s also helpful to share any adjustments you made to the recipe with our other readers. Thank you!
More Japanese Beef Recipes
- Sukiya Gyudon (Japanese Beef Bowl)
- Beef Kushiyaki (Japanese Beef Skewers)
- Gyukatsu (Japanese Beef Steak Cutlet)
- Beef Tataki (Japanese Seared Beef Fillet)
Want more inspiration? Explore my Beef Recipe Roundup Post for a carefully selected collection of tasty recipe ideas to spark your next meal!
Sukiyaki Don (Sweet Simmered Beef Rice Bowl)
- 1 Japanese leeks (Naganegi) or regular leeks
- 50 g crown daisy (shungiku)
- 2 fresh shiitake mushroom(s)
- 2 pasteurized eggs
- 2 eggs
- ½ tsp dashi granules
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp sake
- 2 tbsp mirin
- 1 ½ tbsp sugar
- 200 g thinly sliced beef check for recommended cuts in the post
- 2 portions cooked Japanese short-grain rice
- red pickled ginger (benishoga)
- Cut 1 Japanese leeks (Naganegi) into diagonal slices ½ inch thick and 50 g crown daisy into 2 inch pieces. Separate the stems and caps of 2 fresh shiitake mushroom(s), thinly slice the stems and cut decorative patterns on top of the caps.
- Separate two 2 pasteurized eggs, place the yolks in a bowl and set aside to garnish the dish later. Add the whites to a separate bowl and crack in another 2 eggs. Whisk well and set by the stove.
- Take a cold pan and add ½ tsp dashi granules, 2 tbsp soy sauce, 2 tbsp sake, 2 tbsp mirin and 1 ½ tbsp sugar. Mix well.
- Add shiitake mushrooms (both caps and stems) to the sauce and heat over medium-low, stirring occasionally.
- Once it starts to bubble and shiitake is slightly softened, add 200 g thinly sliced beef and cook to your preferred doneness.
- Once cooked to your liking, transfer the beef and mushroom caps to a plate and set aside.
- Add the crown daisy and leeks to the pan and cook in the leftover sauce until slightly softened.
- Once softened, pour in the bowl of egg mixture from earlier.
- Cook the eggs to your preferred doneness. If you prefer it well done, place a lid on to help the top steam.
- Divide 2 portions cooked Japanese short-grain rice into serving bowls and topped with the simmered eggs and vegetables.
- Arrange the beef on top and garnish each bowl with a shiitake cap, egg yolk and red pickled ginger.