Japanese ideal for experimental home cooks


Japanese food may seem like a cuisine that can only be enjoyed in Japanese restaurants, but home cooks willing to take a chance and try something new can enjoy this popular take on food in the comfort of their own kitchens. “Hayashi Raisu (Beef and Onions in Tomato Gravy Over Rice)” is commonly eaten at home in Japan, so it naturally makes a great dish for home cooks to try. The following recipe is courtesy of Amy Kaneko’s “Let’s Cook Japanese Food!” (Chronicle Books).

Hayashi Raisu

Beef and Onions in
Tomato Gravy Over Rice

Serves 4

3/4 pound beef rib eye, very

thinly sliced (almost shaved;

for ease, freeze for 1 hour before


1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

1 teaspoon plus 1 tablespoon


3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 1/2 yellow onions, cut

into 1/4-inch-thick slices

1/2 cup sliced fresh white


2 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose


1 cup dry red wine

3/4 cup tomato purée

3 tablespoons Worcestershire


1 chicken or beef bouillon cube

or 1/2 teaspoon granulated

chicken stock base

Place the beef in a large bowl and sprinkle with the salt, pepper and 1 teaspoon of the sugar. Using your hands, massage the seasonings evenly into the beef. Set aside.

In a large frying pan or wok, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium-high heat. When the butter is foaming, add the onions and cook, stirring often, until translucent and soft but not browned, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer the onions to a Dutch oven or other heavy pot.

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon butter to the frying pan and return to medium-high heat. When the butter is foaming, add the meat and cook briefly, stirring constantly to prevent the pieces from sticking together. Add the mushrooms and, when the beef is almost cooked, after about 3 minutes, sprinkle in the flour and mix well. Add the wine, again stir well to combine with the beef and mushrooms, and then transfer to the pot holding the onions.

Place the pot over medium-high heat and heat until the mixture bubbles. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the tomato purée, the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar, the Worcestershire sauce, and the bouillon cube and mix well. Cook, uncovered, for 15 minutes to blend the flavors.

Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, then serve hot.


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