Gyūdon translates to “beef bowl.” Basically, a bowl of rice topped with beef simmered with onions in a combination of ingredients found in every Japanese kitchen (and just about every Japanese dish): soy sauce, sake, mirin (sweet rice wine), and sugar. It’s seasoned with sugar, a pepper mix, and dashi (instant fish powder, another kitchen staple).
I followed the instructions from a YouTube channel, Cooking with Dog, and was very happy with the results! Plus, the lady who cooks and Francis (her dog) are hilarious.
There are lots of recipes on her channel more indicative of true Japanese cooking, the kind of things people eat every day. Sure, sushi and tempura are popular, but teriyaki isn’t as popular as Japanese restaurants in America would have you think.
Chain restaurants are quite popular in Japan, and I know of two that serve gyūdon: Sukiya and Yoshinoya. If you’re going to Japan on vacation you owe it to yourself to try out this popular dish. Just be forewarned, some of the establishments have you order & pay from a vending machine located in the restaurant and hand your ticket to an employee who prepares your food.