With the countless amount of recipes in Oishinbo, it was a difficult task to sort what food to cook. All of them looked appetizing. Most of them read like they’re the greatest dish we could ever taste! And there are some that have flavors we could only dream of.
However, I realized that after my post on a recipe taken from Yoshinaga Fumi’s Kinou Nani Tabeta, not a lot of people have access to Japanese goods and it’s rather sad that the pleasure of eating food from a manga was mine alone.
Thus, I took the task to choose dishes that we can all eat! Not all of us might be able to find some shiso leaves and freshly cut bamboo but I think, at the very least, some rice would be available to all.
For this MMF, I will be cooking a couple of dishes from Oishinbo. I think some folks are trying other dishes from other manga, but at least here, we’re gunning for a homebrew of the Ultimate Menu.
For tonight’s dinner, we’re serving Beef Garlic Rice Bowl.
That’s just Gyudon, isn’t it?
Well, technically it is because gyu (牛) stands for beef and don (丼) is short for donburi (どんぶり) which means bowl. That said, it doesn’t mean we’re dishing up an entire bowl of beef. Donburi often entails a dish on top of a bowl of rice. Like rice toppings in Chinese restaurants! It’s considered a manly dish – the kind that you have on the go for a quick lunch. I have friends who told me that they’d never go to places like Yoshinoya in Tokyo because that was just men’s territory.
Of course, that’s not the case here.
See, the story of this beef bowl begins with the engaged Yamaoka and Kurita who can’t seem to get their heads together on a decent apartment. Both of them have different expectations on their dream home and to quell their tension, the couple decided to have lunch at the restaurant under one of their intended places.
The proprietor offered quite a lot of dishes for the couple, but more than that, she was nice enough to show the couple how she cooked her famous beef bowl. And that sealed the deal on the apartment where they’re staying.
Haru’s Beef Bowl
- 1 slice of New York Strip Beef Steak (or sirloin steak)
- 3-4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped (add more if you love the garlic flavor)
- 2 tbsp of Soy Sauce (or less. Check the saltiness of your soy sauce)
- 1 cup of cooked plain white rice
- A slab of unsalted butter
- Salt & Pepper
Note 1: I will leave the amounts of salt, pepper, and garlic to your preference. And yes, butter too. If you’re the butter lover.
Note 2: Make sure that fat in your New York Strip Beef Steak has not been trimmed yet! Also, try to see if the fat (the white stuff) marbles into the flesh. That way, you know your steak’s going to be the juicy kind.
Let’s get cooking!
1. Trim the fat off your New York Strip. Cut the fat into small pieces.
2. Heat your pan and fry the fat with some of your garlic. Cook them both until they’re brown. Take them off the heat and set aside.
3. Heat the same pan up to high while you season your beef with some salt and pepper. Don’t add too much salt. In fact, you can even forget it if your soy sauce is too salty. Once the pan is hot enough, fry your steak to your preferred rawness. I prefer mine to be medium raw so that means that if poke my steak, my finger still kinda sinks in. Brown both sides of the steak then set aside.
4. In the same pan, melt the butter and before it’s fully melted, add the soy sauce. This’ll be the sauce so set that aside.
5. When that is done, add the garlic, the fat bits, and then the rice. Stir-fry in the pan until rice is nice and brown.
6. Put the cooked rice in the bowl.
7. Cut your steak into 1cm strips at an angle before putting it on top of the rice. Put your butter sauce on top ENJOY THE AWESOMENESS!!
I was particularly enthusiastic about this because I think it’s a dish that everyone can cook. If you can’t cook rice, it wouldn’t hurt to go to your nearest Chinese shop and buy 1 cup of rice. The steak, I think, is perhaps one of the most important cooking techniques and rather easiest to do (as long as you pay attention!). If you don’t know much about steak cooking, you might want to look at Jamie Oliver for the essentials. Once you got your groove on cooking steaks, then this recipe should not be a problem.
Oishinbo would often attribute the awesomeness of steak with the freshness of the beef. At times they would talk about happy cows would end up becoming tasty beef. While this chapter of Oishinbo highlighted on the importance of building a home together, this dish is also a litany to how Oishinbo has captured the marriage of Asian and Western palettes.
And indeed, this dish tasted awesome! I was literally in tears just eating this dish and I wished I cooked another bowl for me to pig on. I basically gobbled up this bowl, thinking “Why, I’ve never really gobbled anything or something before!” Simple and humble flavors that end up tasting fantastic together. Granted that you didn’t burn the garlic to black.
Garlic and soy sauce are one of the best combinations. The rice is laced with the flavors of the soy, garlic, and beef that you’d honestly wish you cooked more. Just a note: I realized that the sauce can get a bit salty if you just happened to have a darker soy sauce. Since I use a sweeter light soy sauce at home, it turned out perfectly. Do taste your soy sauce before cooking. If it’s too salty, just add a tablespoon of soy sauce and water!
Do give this dish a try, even if you don’t have a bowl!