This Japanese Beef and Rice (Beef Takikomi Gohan) recipe is a great addition to your Takikomi Gohan collection. It is very easy to make and the rice is full of beef flavour. It is so delicious that you don’t need anything to go with it.
I had this Beef Takikomi Gohan at my sister’s place in Tokyo. The aroma of the beef cooked in the soy-based sauce was so good that I had to go to the kitchen and find out what was going on in there. Before eating the cooked rice with beef, which was delicious, I had already made up my mind to post this dish.
When you hear ‘beef and rice’, you might imagine Gyū-don – Japanese Beef Bowl. While Gyū-don is a bowl of rice topped with simmered beef and onion, Japanese Beef and Rice is rice cooked with flavoured beef.
Three dish names for Japanese Beef and Rice
Today’s dish is known by three different names in Japan. I used one of them in the post title, i.e. Beef Takikomi Gohan. It makes sense because the definition of takikomi gohan is rice cooked with ingredients.
The dish is also called ‘gyūmeshi’ (牛飯) in Japanese, which means beef rice. The word ‘gyū’ (牛) means beef or cow, and ‘meshi’ (飯) is cooked rice in this context.
As I often use in my mixed rice recipes such as Gomoku Gohan, Takenoko Gohan, cooked rice is also called ‘gohan’ (ご飯). Using this terminology, it is also called ‘niku gohan’ (肉ご飯) and this is the third name. It means cooked rice with meat and this is what my sister calls it.
The name ‘niku gohan’ does not represent the dish accurately. The word ‘niku’ (肉) means meat so you can use pork or even chicken to cook the rice with.
The kanji character for cooked rice is 飯 and it can be read as either ‘meshi’ (the accent is on ‘shi’) or ’han’ (Japanese kanji characters can often be read in two ways). The word ‘gohan’ is made of ‘han’ with the prefix ‘go’ (ご) which denotes politeness.
Incidentally, ‘meshi’ and ‘gohan’ can also mean meal. In this case ‘meshi’ is the word used only by some men, while females and the rest of the men call the meal ‘gohan’. It sounds rough-mannered when you call the meal ‘meshi’.
Ingredients of Japanese Beef and Rice (Beef Takikomi Gohan)
Other than the seasonings to add to the flavouring, all you need is rice, sliced beef and minced ginger.
- Rice – I used short grain rice. If you are fond of mochigome (sticky rice), you can mix some into the short grain rice to give the cooked rice a sweeter flavour. Long grain rice can work, but the cooked long grain rice will not have a sticky texture like the short grain rice and it can be difficult to pick up the rice with chopsticks.
- Beef – you need thinly sliced beef with a bit of fat, cut into large bite size pieces. I used thinly sliced wagyu beef suitable for Sukiyaki. A bit of marbled fat melts into the rice when cooked and gives a great flavour to the Takikomi Gohan. If you are not using Wagyu beef, try to get premium-quality meat with a bit of fat on it.
- Ginger – I minced the ginger but if you enjoy the distinct flavour of ginger, you can julienne it finely.
- Flavouring – the flavouring sauce consists of 2 parts soy sauce, 2 parts mirin and 1 part cooking sake. No dashi stock or beef stock is required.
If you are mixing mochigome and short grain rice, you need to adjust the amount of water to cook the rice as sticky rice does not require as much water as other rice grains. Please visit my post Gomoku Gohan (Japanese Mixed Rice), which explains how to work out the quantity of water required.
Cooking Japanese Beef and Rice is Easy
Cooking is as simple as the ingredients.
- Sauté the ginger and the beef with a bit of oil.
- Add the flavouring to the beef and cook until the beef just changes the colour.
- Drain the sauce and reserve it.
- Put rice, water and the sauce in a pot or a rice cooker.
- Spread the beef over the rice and cook rice just like cooking plain rice.
Please use my recipe, How To Cook Rice The Japanese Way to cook the rice and work out the quantity of liquid required. The only difference is that the amount of water is made up of the sauce and water, and beef pieces are on the rice.
Japanese Beef and Rice (Beef Takikomi Gohan) is so tasty that I always eat too much rice. It is a great rice dish and is perfect for a bento box too.
This Japanese Beef and Rice recipe will be a great addition to your Takikomi Gohan collection. It is very easy to make and the rice is full of beef flavour. It is so delicious that you don’t need anything to go with it.
Prep Time does not include time to soak rice.
Don't forget to see the section 'MEAL IDEAS' below the recipe card! It gives you a list of dishes that I have already posted and this recipe that can make up a complete meal. I hope it is of help to you.
- 360ml / 12.1oz short grain rice (note 1)
- 120-150g / 4.2-5.2oz wagyu beef very thinly sliced (note 2)
- 10g / 0.4oz ginger minced
- 1 tsp oil
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp mirin
- 1 tbsp cooking sake
Wash rice and prepare for it as per How to Cook rice The Japanese Way up to the steps just before cooking. Reduce the amount of water in the pan by 50ml. (note 3)
If the beef slices are large, cut them into about 4cm x 7cm / 1½“ x 3" strips.
Heat oil in a frying pan over medium high heat.
Add ginger to the pan and cook for 30 seconds or so, then add the beef.
Sauté the beef, separating each slice, until most of the beef slices turns brown.
Add the Flavouring ingredients to the pan and bring it to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat.
Drain the sauce from the pan into a measuring cup, leaving the beef in the pan. You should have about 50ml of the sauce (note 4).
Add the sauce to the pan with the rice and mix, ensuring that the colour of the liquid is even.
Place the beef on the rice spreading gently to cover the surface of the rice.
Cook the rice as per the instructions in How To Cook Rice The Japanese Way.
When mixing the rice, ensure that the beef pieces are evenly scattered. Serve while hot.
1. If you wish, you can mix mochigome (sticky rice) with short grain rice. Since sticky rice does not require as much water to cook as other types of rice, you need to adjust the total amount of liquid to cook the mixed rice. Please see my post Gomoku Gohan (Japanese Mixed Rice) to work out the amount of water required.
2. Wagyu beef releases better flavour into the rice because marbling fat melts into the rice. If you are not using Wagyu beef, try to get premium-quality meat with a bit of fat such as top sirloin, strip loin or rib eye steak.
I used sliced Wagyu beef for Sukiyaki. It is important to use beef meat that is very thinly sliced so that the meat is tender when cooked.
3. If you are using a rice cooker, fill the water with the washed rice to the level for short grain rice, then remove 50ml / 1.7oz from it.
4. If you do not have enough sauce, add water to make it up to 50ml / 1.7oz.
If you have more than 50ml / 1.7oz, remove more water from the pan/rice cooker so that the total amount of water + sauce is the quantity of liquid required to cook rice.
E.g. if you have 60ml /2oz of sauce, remove 10ml / 0.3oz of water from the pan/rice cooker as you already reduced the water by 50ml / 1.7oz at the beginning.
5. Nutrition per serving.
serving: 154g calories: 245kcal fat: 4.2g (6%) saturated fat: 1.5g (8%) trans fat: 0.1g polyunsaturated fat: 0.4g monounsaturated fat: 2g cholesterol: 15mg (5%) sodium: 314mg (13%) potassium: 85mg (2%) carbohydrates: 40g (13%) dietary fibre: 0.7g (3%) sugar: 2.3g protein: 8.9g vitamin a: 0% vitamin c: 0.1% calcium: 1.4% iron: 15%