Japanese Beef Bowl

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We were in the mood for some simple Japanese cooking.

The following recipe was based on a recipe found in a Japanese cookbook. We made a few modifications due to our lack of the original ingredients. Usually, sake and Mirin cooking sake would be used. However, since we did not have any in the kitchen and was too lazy to go buy it, we decided to substitute it with rice vinegar and sugar.

Japanese Beef Bowl
½ lb beef (we used Sirloin)
½ yellow onion
1 cup of chicken stock
4 tbsp rice vinegar
3 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp soy sauce

2 bowls of cooked Japanese rice

The beef should be thinly sliced (as thin as you can find them) and cut into pieces about 2-3 inches long.
The onion should be cut lengthwise into about 6 wedges.

1. In a pot, combine the chicken stock and 2 tbsp of rice vinegar. Add 1.5 tbsp of sugar and bring it to a boil.
2. Put the chopped onions in to the pot.
3. When the onions become soft, add the pieces of beef into the pot.
4. When the beef appears to cook (turn white), add 1.5 tbsp of sugar and 2 tbsp of vinegar.
5. Let it simmer for a few minutes, occasionally skimming off the foam that develops on the top.
6. Pour the soy sauce into the pot and simmer over low heat. Remove from heat, when the liquid contents reduce to about 2/3.
7. Serve the contents over the bowls of rice.

Sprinkle some sliced chives or scallions over the rice bowls.
Optionally, you can also add shredded red vinegary ginger (which can be found in a little jar in your local Asian supermarket) on the side. We didn’t have any, and so we just sprinkled some sliced chives on top.

To accompany our beef bowls, we made a simple appetizer dish.

Sesame covered string beans.

Handful of string beans
3 tbsp sesame seeds
Pinch of salt
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp soy sauce

1. Boil the string beans in salted water. When cooked, drain the beans and run it under cold water.
2. Slice the beans into 1.5 inch long pieces.
3. Toast the sesame seeds and then grind them up.
4. Add the sugar, oil, and soy sauce. Continue grinding the mixture until it has a smooth texture.
5. Combine the string beans with the sesame mixture and mix well.

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