The Best Beef Dishes To Try At A Japanese Restaurant

Posted on: 8 November 2021

People often think of Japanese cuisine as being heavy on seafood. But beef is also quite popular in Japanese cuisine. In Japan, it is reserved for more special occasions, but Japanese restaurants in the United States tend to always have a few great beef dishes on their menus. Here are some key beef dishes to try the next time you visit a Japanese restaurant.


The word "gyudon" means "beef bowl" in Japanese, so you can bet that beef is a key ingredient in this dish. Typically, when you order gyudon, you'll receive a generously sized bowl of rice, topped with a mixture of sauteed beef and onion. A delicious, sweet sauce made with mirin, soy sauce, and dashi is drizzled over the whole thing.


If you see shabu-shabu on a Japanese menu, then you're in for a treat. This dish is made from thinly sliced beef that has been lightly boiled in seasoned water. Usually, the dish is either cooked tableside, or the guests are given their own beef and stock to do the cooking at their own table. If you're at a restaurant that has you prepare your own shabu-shabu, it can be a really fun thing to order when dining with a group. 


Neglimaki is a beef dish comprised of thin slices of beef wrapped around cooked scallions. Often, the dish is topped with a savory sauce and then sprinkled with green onions and sesame seeds before being served. Some restaurants serve negimaki with ginger and wasabi on the side, much like they would serve sushi. If you don't enjoy these garnishes, though, feel free to enjoy the negimaki rolls without them. The tenderness of the beef and the crunchiness of the scallions makes for a lovely contrast.


If you're a little more adventurous, then you may want to order the gyutan. This is beef tongue prepared in a specific Japanese style. It is usually grilled to medium rare and then sliced very thinly, much like one would slice a flank steak or top round. It's then drizzled with a sweet sauce and served alongside a salad.

If you enjoy beef, then definitely visit a Japanese restaurant, and look for some of these dishes. Japanese cuisine treats beef a bit differently than typical U.S. cuisine, so it's really worth exploring and expanding your palate. Enjoy your meal, and learn something new in the process.