What Cut Of Beef Does Yoshinoya Use? A Complete Guide

Are you a fan of Yoshinoya’s famous beef bowls? Have you ever wondered what cut of beef they use to achieve that tender, juicy flavor?

Look no further! In this article, we’ll dive into the world of Gyudon and explore the different cuts of beef that can be used to recreate this beloved Japanese dish at home.

From fatty short-plate to boneless short ribs, we’ll cover it all. So grab a bowl of rice and get ready to learn about the secret behind Yoshinoya’s mouth-watering beef bowls.

What Cut Of Beef Does Yoshinoya Use?

Yoshinoya is famously picky about their beef and only uses short-plate from American beef. This cut of beef is known for its marbling and tenderness, which contributes to the smooth richness of the sauce in their beef bowls.

However, in 2004, the BSE scare and the ensuing ban on US beef in Japan caused Yoshinoya to replace their iconic beef bowl with a pork bowl. While some consumers simply switched brands, some loyal Yoshinoya fans went to the lengths of visiting the chain’s foreign locations to enjoy their beloved Gyudon.

When the ban was lifted over two years later, Yoshinoya stubbornly refused to compromise on quality and price, sticking with short-plate beef for their beef bowls.

The History Of Gyudon And Yoshinoya

Gyudon is a popular Japanese dish that consists of thinly sliced beef and onions simmered in a sweet and savory broth, served over a bowl of rice. The dish originated from Gyunabe and Sukiyaki, where thin slices of beef are cooked with vegetables in a pot. At some point, it was served over rice in a bowl as “donburi” (rice bowl).

In 1899, the first Yoshinoya restaurant was opened in Tokyo’s Nihonbashi district. The founder, Eikichi Matsuda, had the idea to use cheaper cuts of beef to make the dish more affordable for the working class. He used paper-thin slices of short plate from American beef and simmered it with onions in a special sauce. This not only made the dish more affordable but also helped to tenderize the meat.

Thanks to Yoshinoya’s success, gyudon became known as the “beef bowl” and is enjoyed by many people all around the world. However, in 2004, the fear of mad cow disease and a ban on imports of beef from the United States caused Yoshinoya and most competitors to terminate gyudon sales in Japan. Yoshinoya moved its business to a similar dish made with pork instead of beef, which it named butadon.

Sukiya continued to serve gyudon using Australian beef and also added a dish, tondon, equivalent to Yoshinoya’s butadon, to its menu. The ban was eventually lifted in 2006 after detectable quantities of prohibited spine tissue were found in the first post-ban shipments arriving in Japan.

Despite the challenges faced by Yoshinoya and other gyudon restaurants, the popularity of gyudon continues to grow. It remains a popular quick and inexpensive lunch menu for salarymen and people all around the world who love the rich flavors and tender meat of this iconic Japanese dish.

Understanding The Different Cuts Of Beef

If you’re looking to recreate the authentic Yoshinoya Beef Bowl at home, it’s important to understand the different cuts of beef that can be used. While Yoshinoya uses short-plate beef, this cut can be hard to find in some areas.

A good alternative is boneless short ribs, which tend to have good marbling and are a little more tender than short-plate. Another option is using thinly sliced beef from cuts such as rib eye or chuck. These cuts are more readily available and can still produce a delicious Gyudon.

Regardless of the cut of beef you choose, it’s crucial to slice the meat thinly against the grain. This is what makes it possible to cook the meat for such a short amount of time and yet still have it come out tender. If you’re friendly with your local butcher, you can try asking them to cut it for you on a meat slicer, or you can lightly freeze the beef and then use a very sharp knife to slice it into sheets that are about 1/16 of an inch thick (~1.4mm).

The Science Behind Yoshinoya’s Beef Bowl

The key to the delicious taste of Yoshinoya’s beef bowl lies in the selection of the cut of beef used. Short-plate beef from American beef is chosen for its high marbling and tenderness. The marbling in the beef contributes to the smooth richness of the sauce, while the tenderness keeps the thin slices of beef moist.

It’s important to note that short-plate beef can be a bit hard to find. However, boneless short ribs can also be used as a substitute, as they tend to have good marbling and are a little more tender than short-plate. Another good option is thinly sliced meat used for Philly Cheesesteaks. Regardless of what cut of beef is used, it’s crucial to slice the meat thinly against the grain. This ensures that the meat cooks quickly and remains tender.

Yoshinoya is also known for its commitment to food safety. The American beef used in their beef bowls strictly adheres to international, U.S., and Japanese standards, ensuring safety and security. The Yoshinoya Holdings Group also strives to establish a management system that ensures a thorough understanding of food safety in every process from procuring ingredients to serving products at stores, delivering customer satisfaction.

How To Make Your Own Gyudon At Home

If you’re a fan of Yoshinoya’s beef bowl, or gyudon, but want to make a healthier and more affordable version at home, here’s how to do it.

First, prepare your ingredients. You’ll need thinly-sliced beef (ribeye or chuck are good options), onion, green onion, and dashi (Japanese broth made with kelp and smoked bonito). If you don’t have dashi, you can substitute with beef broth or chicken broth. You’ll also need seasonings such as soy sauce, mirin, and sugar.

Next, cook the onion until tender in the dashi and seasonings mixture. Add the beef and simmer with the onion until the beef is just cooked. Make sure to portion control the beef, rice, and sauce to keep the dish low in calories.

Finally, serve the gyudon over steamed rice and garnish with green onion or other toppings of your choice. You can also add an egg yolk on top for extra richness.

To make your own gyudon sauce from scratch, bring beef broth, soy sauce, mirin and sugar to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to medium and add onions. Cook until onions are tender, about 5 minutes. Add beef slices into the broth and cook until just barely done, about 1-2 minutes. Serve over white rice.

With these simple steps, you can enjoy a delicious and nutritious bowl of gyudon at home anytime.

Other Variations Of Gyudon To Try

While Yoshinoya’s beef bowl is undoubtedly delicious, there are other variations of gyudon worth trying. One popular variation is the Negi Gyudon, which features thinly sliced beef and onions cooked in a sweet and savory sauce, topped with chopped green onions. Another variation is the Kimchi Gyudon, which adds a spicy kick to the dish with the addition of kimchi. For those who prefer a healthier option, the Tuna Gyudon uses canned tuna instead of beef, making it a great alternative for those who are watching their calorie intake. Additionally, some restaurants offer a “mixed” gyudon, which combines beef and pork for a unique flavor combination. Regardless of the variation, gyudon is a quick and satisfying meal that can be enjoyed any time of day.