Steak Donburi – Beef Steak Rice Bowl

If you’re looking for ways to elevate your rice bowls, you must give this Steak Donburi a try! The beautifully charred steak topped with a runny egg yolk makes this an extra indulgent and special meal. I mean, what’s better than a perfectly cooked ribeye served sliced on a bed of fresh hot rice? Not much if you ask me!

For this recipe, I used a ribeye steak however you can use other cuts of steak like strip sirloin. I don’t recommend using tough cuts such as hanger steaks.

I pulled the steak out of the fridge an hour before cooking and seasoned it with salt on both sides. This allows the salt to penetrate deep into the steak which results in a flavorful and well-seasoned steak. Keep in mind that you’ll need to let the seasoned steak rest for at least one hour for this to work.

If you don’t have the time, I recommend taking the steak out at least 30 minutes before cooking and seasoning it right before it hits the pan.

The flavors of the sauce tie up the entire dish altogether. But if you want to give it a bit of a kick, I also recommend adding a dab of wasabi on the side.

What does Donburi mean?

Donburi is a Japanese dish that serves rice in a bowl and is usually topped with meat, seafood, or vegetables. It’s aptly named after ‘donburi’ – which refers to the large-sized bowl that it’s commonly served in. 

Each donburi has its own name to indicate which type of topping it has – and oyakodon, gyudon, and katsudon are some of the most popular ones. Oyakodon is a chicken and egg rice bowl, gyudon is a beef rice bowl, and katsudon is a pork rice bowl. 

Donburi is also referred to as ‘fast food’ because of the ease of its preparation. It’s also typically enjoyed with pickles, soup, or noodles on the side but it’s also perfectly delicious on it’s own.

If you’re craving a hearty lunch or dinner and want to make your own donburi at home, give this recipe a try!

How to make Steak Donburi

This recipe will only take you 10 minutes to cook so if you’re ready for an epic meal, follow the recipe below:

Step 1: Season the steak

Take the steak out of the fridge at least 1 hour before cooking and season with salt on both sides.

If you’re in a time crunch, pull the steak out 30 minutes before cooking. Season with salt on both sides right before it goes into the pan.

Step 2: Wash and cook the rice

While the steak is resting, wash and cook your rice with your rice cooker or on the stovetop.

Step 3: Prepare the garnish and sauce

Slice the onions thinly, remove the stems from the Thai chili peppers, and chop the scallions. Set these aside for later.

In a bowl, combine the soy sauce, sugar, sake, mirin, and bonito flakes, then give them a good stir until the sugar is fully dissolved.

Step 4: Cook the steak

In a pan, heat 2 to 3 tablespoons of oil on medium-high heat. Then, season both sides of your steak with black pepper (skip this if you’ve already seasoned your steak).

When the oil in the pan is smoking hot, place the steak and let it cook for 2-3 minutes on each side for medium-rare – or until your desired doneness. Then remove the steak from the pan and let it rest for at least 10 minutes.

Step 5: Cook the sauce

In the same pan, add the sauce mixture, onions and Thai chili peppers. Let the sauce reduce for 1-2 minutes before straining.

Step 6: Assemble the rice bowl

Place about 1 cup of rice in a bowl, shaping the top into a dome shape. Then, slice your steak into your preferred thickness and arrange them on top of the rice.

Step 7: Prepare the egg yolk

In a different bowl, crack an egg and separate the yolk from the egg whites. Then, place the egg yolk in the center of your donburi.

The fresher the egg, the more flavorful it’s going to be, so make sure to use high-quality eggs!

Step 8: Garnish and serve

Drizzle a few spoonful’s of the sauce around the steak. Then garnish with chopped scallions and a dollop of wasabi on the side. 

Enjoy!

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of meat is best for Steak Donburi?

I like to use ribeye steak for this recipe because it’s one of my favorite cuts of steak. But if you prefer to use a different cut, I also recommend strip sirloin because it’s as tender as ribeye.

I don’t recommend tougher cuts of meat like hanger steak. If you’re not a fan of beef, you can also swap it for a tender cut of pork, like tenderloin or chicken thighs.

What goes well with Steak Donburi?

Donburi’s are traditionally served with pickles, noodles, or soup, but you can enjoy them with side dishes that are easily accessible to you.

Some of my personal favorite side dishes to enjoy with steak donburi are pickled cucumbers. I always find myself going back and forth between Korean Cucumber Kimchi and Chinese Cucumber Garlic. These cucumber side dishes are great because they can be made in advance and stored in the fridge for 4-5 days.

If I’m feeling extra hungry or I’m entertaining a group of guests, I also like to serve Crispy Japchae Dumplings with the donburi. These shallow fried vegetarian dumplings are light and crispy which helps balance out the richness of the steak donburi. Don’t forget to serve the dumplings with my universal Korean dipping sauce on the side. Sauce is essential for dumplings!

What rice is used for donburi?

Since donburi is a Japanese dish, it’s traditionally prepared with Japanese rice. However if you are unable to find Japanese rice, any type of short-grain white rice will also work.

I don’t recommend using long-grain white rice, like jasmine rice, because they’re extremely fluffy and light. The creaminess of the egg yolk and sauce adheres to short-grain rice much better than long-grain rice.

Is donburi sauce sweet?

The donburi sauce is usually a balance between sweet and umami, but it will also depend on your toppings. Each type of donburi will have its own version of its sauce, but recurring ingredients like soy sauce and mirin are commonly found throughout.

For instance, this Steak Donburi recipe is served with a mixture of soy sauce, mirin, sake, and sugar, so it will have a blend of sweet and umami flavors. The optional addition of wasabi will also give this dish an interesting depth of flavor.

Are you supposed to mix donburi?

There are not rules! It’s important that you enjoy food that’s most delightful and pleasurable to you.

Some people like mixing the donburi together because it distributes the toppings and sauce throughout the entire bowl for the perfect bite every single time. However, some people prefer eating it unmixed too.

At the end of the day, it’s all just a matter of preference. It will still taste just as delicious regardless of how you eat it!

If you’re ready to level up your rice bowl game, this steak donburi will not disappoint! Give it a try and let me know how you like it 🙂

5 from 2 votes

Steak Donburi

Servings 2 bowls
Prep Time 1 hr 15 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 1 hr 25 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 lb steak ribeye
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 cups rice cooked
  • 1 scallion chopped for garnish
  • 1 tsp salt to taste
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper to taste
  • wasabi to taste

Sauce

  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1.5 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp sake
  • 3 tbsp mirin or cooking wine
  • 1/4 medium onion thinly sliced
  • 2 whole thai chili peppers optional
  • pinch of bonito flakes optional

Instructions

  • Take out the steak at least 1 hour before cooking. Season with salt on both sides and set aside. If you don't have enough time, take the steak out 30 minutes and bring to room temperature. Season with salt and pepper right before cooking.
  • While the steak is resting, wash and cook your rice in the rice cooker or stove top.
  • Thinly slice the onions and remove the stems from the thai chili peppers. Chop the scallions for garnish. Set aside.
  • Combine the soy sauce, sugar, sake, mirin, and bonito flakes. Mix well.
  • In a pan, heat up 2-3 tbsp of oil on medium-high heat. Season the steak on both sides with black pepper.
  • When the pan is hot and smoking, add the steak and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side for medium rare or until desired doneness. Remove from pan and let this rest for least 10 minutes.
  • In the same pan, add the sauce mixture, onions and thai chili peppers. Cook down for about 1-2 minutes and strain.
  • Place about 1 cup of rice into a bowl and shape the top into a dome shape. Slice the steak to your desired thickness and place it on top of the rice.
  • Crack an egg and separate the white and the egg yolk. Place the yolk in the center of the bowl.
  • Using a spoon, drizzle a few spoonful's for the reduced sauce on the steak. Garnish with chopped scallions, wasabi and enjoy!

Notes

  1. I used a ribeye steak however you can use other cuts of steak like strip sirloin. I don’t recommend using tough cuts such as hanger steaks.
  2. If you have the time, pull the steak out of the fridge and season it with salt for at least one hour. If you don’t have time, take the steak out 30 minutes before cooking and season right before adding to the pan. 
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: Japanese

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  1. 5 stars
    Thank you so much for sharing the recipe. This turned out perfectly. Hubby and I loved it!

    1. 5 stars
      Hi Stacy! So very glad to hear you and your husband loved the recipe 🙂

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