Gyudon refers to a donburi topped with stewed beef. A donburi is a type of meal consisting of a large bowl filled with rice and covered with a topping. Gyudon therefore is topped with thinly sliced beef that has been stewed with onions and other ingredients and flavored with sweet soy sauce.
Gyudon is a popular everyday food for young people and businessmen. Most people eat gyudon at special gyudon shops. Gyudon offer a satisfyingly large amount of food at a relatively low price.
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History of Gyudon
Origin of Gyudon
For a long time, Japanese people did not eat beef because cows were needed to work the fields. Around the middle of the 19th century, as foreign diplomacy was becoming important, restaurants became able to offer beef for consumption by foreigners. From this, a miso-flavored beef hot pot was developed. The contents of the hot pot were then served on rice, which was an early form of the gyudon. Currently, gyudon are seasoned with soy sauce instead of miso and have a sweeter taste.
When ordering a gyudon, the size must also be chosen. The amount of food in each size depends on the restaurant, but a "nami" size is the normal size. Larger than nami is "omori," and larger still is "tokumori."
Shichimi chili pepper and beni shoga (pickled ginger) are available. Most shops allow you to use as much as you would like. These condiments alter the flavor of your gyudon.
Shichimi chili pepper is a blend of numerous Japanese spices and has a spicy, peppery taste.
Beni shoga is ginger pickled in salt and sour red plum vinegar. Beni shoga balances out the sweetness of the gyudon.
Toppings and Extras
These are some additional gyudon toppings. Some of these are not available at all gyudon shops.
Nama tamago：Gyudon topped with a raw egg.
Hanjuku tamago (ontama)：Lightly boiled egg.
Natto：Fermented soybeans. Have a unique aroma and are gooey.
Nori：Dried, flattened seaweed.
In addition to the above, many shops offer original gyudon options, such as kimchi and tofu.
If you say "tsuyudaku" when you order, you will get extra gyudon sauce added to your gyudon. Use tsuyudaku when you want a gyudon with lots of sauce and a stronger flavor.
Takeout is frequently available at gyudon shops.
Here are some shops where you can eat gyudon.
Yoshinoya is a nationwide gyudon chain focusing on its slogan, "Tasty, Cheap, and Fast." Yoshinoya is a pioneering force in gyudon chain shops.
Gyudon is called "gyumeshi" at Matsuya. Matsuya offers a large menu with, in addition to gyudon, curry and yakiniku set meals.
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