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Teriyaki beef bowl — the first step in trying to cook Japanese food

A quick and healthy Japanese meal to enjoy during a study break

The soy sauce works well in this dish because it not only adds saltiness, but also gives the beef bowl a tasty and authentic color.
The soy sauce works well in this dish because it not only adds saltiness, but also gives the beef bowl a tasty and authentic color.

In the first few weeks of a new academic year, it always takes some time to transfer from the slow and relaxing pass of summer break into a fast-paced academic life. During this time, we often have less time to cook for ourselves and enjoy delicious food, and with the pandemic prevents us from visiting our favorite restaurants, this year is more difficult than most.

As a big fan of the beef bowl in Japanese fast food restaurants, I’ve always wanted to make it by myself to save driving to the restaurant, and now, quarantine has provided me with the opportunity to take some steps and try to create recipes just from my memories of the taste. I remembered that onion strips and beef rolls were major ingredients in the beef bowl, and the taste was a mix of sweet and salt. Given that the color of beef bowls are brown, I thought soy sauce could work because it not only adds saltiness but also gives the beef bowl a tasty color. The sweetness of oyster sauce makes it a perfect candidate as an ingredient in this recipe. However, the ratio of oyster sauce and soy sauce was hard to find, and I had to try several times to get it right, as my first few attempts were either too sweet or too salty. 

After more experiments, I eventually created a recipe that not only takes less than 15 minutes to cook, but also mimics the taste of Japanese cuisine. This teriyaki beef bowl is a healthy choice for the upcoming school year since it contains both protein and vegetables. More importantly, it lets you try out international cuisines as none of us will be traveling any time soon. Let’s get started.

Prep Time: 7 minutes

Cook Time: 8 minutes

Serving Size: 2 servings


200 grams beef rolls 

½ medium white onion 

3 teaspoons soy sauce 

2 teaspoons oyster sauce 

2 teaspoons cooking wine

2 bowls white rice 

3 teaspoons of any cooking oil

500 milliliters water


1. Cut the onion half into strips. 

2. Mix the soy sauce, oyster sauce and cooking wine together in a separate bowl. 

3. Boil water in any kind of pot and put all of the beef rolls into the boiled water. Take the beef rolls out when they turn grey.

4. Heat a pan on high heat and add your cooking oil of choice — personally I use peanut oil. Wait 30 seconds for the oil to heat up.

5. Put the onion in the pan and stir-fry for three minutes.

6. Add the boiled beef rolls into the pan and stir-fry with the onions for one minute.

7. Add the mixed sauce into the pan and stir-fry everything for one more minute.

8. Put two tablespoons of the dish on top of white rice.

You do not have to be afraid of burning anything or worry about whether this recipe is too hard for your first attempt at cooking. All you really have to do is to mix the sauce and stir-fry the onions and beef rolls. 

The heart of this recipe is the mixture of soy sauce, oyster sauce and cooking wine. You can use this sauce to make more innovative dishes. When you replace beef rolls with lamb rolls, you will have a teriyaki lamb bowl. If you prefer chicken, then you can use this recipe to create a nutritional chicken dinner.

Despite the ease of this recipe, some may find it difficult to buy some of the ingredients, such as beef rolls or oyster sauce. I would recommend the Asian supermarket nearest to your home to buy these ingredients. In the meat freezer in any of these supermarkets, you should find boxes of beef rolls or lamb rolls. Among the shelves of various sauces, you will likely find the oyster sauce next to soy sauce. 

As we start to enter midterm season, there will be less time to shop in grocery stores and to think about what to eat tomorrow, but after learning this new recipe, you won’t be disappointed to see half an onion and some meat in the refrigerator. And, if you are a fan of Japanese food and have not enjoyed it since the pandemic started, this recipe will be a great choice for you to get started on cooking international cuisines for yourself, your family and your friends. 

As always, if you make this recipe, please share a picture and tag @cavalierdaily on Instagram — we’d love to see your meal.