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Japanese Simmered Beef

Simmered Beef and Onion

My grandmother's recipe: Beef and onion are cooked in mixture of sake, miring and soy sauce giving the dish a sweet and tangy flavor.  Perfect for serving over rice or hot noodle soups.  
Course Main Course
Cuisine Japanese
Keyword beef, donburi, onion, slow cook, stew
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Author Koshiki Yonemura


  • 1 pound beef, such as chuck, thinly sliced thinly sliced by butcher or get pre-sliced beef from local Asian grocery store
  • 2 medium yellow onion, peel, remove root end and slice lengthwise
  • 2 tablespoon vegetable cooking oil
  • 1/3 cup sake rice wine
  • 1/3 cup mirin sweet rice wine
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce


  • Cut the sliced beef into 1 inch strips. 
  • Cook sliced onions with 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a saucepan on medium heat until onion is coated well with oil. Turn the heat low, cover and let it sweat until translucent about 15 minutes, stir occasionally.   
  • Put another saucepan, large enough to hold all the meat and onion, on stove top on a high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of oil and when the saucepan is very hot add beef. Cook the beef until lightly brown. Turn heat to medium-low and add sake and cook for 5 minutes. Add mirin and cook for another 5 minutes or so.  
  • Add the cooked onion to the beef pan and add soy sauce. Turn the heat to low, loosely cover the pot and cook until beef is tender, 30-45 minutes.  
  • Serve simmered beef and onion on top of white rice Donburi style or on top of hot soba or udon noodles with broth.