Long before rice bowls were in vogue, cookbook author and Japanese expert Elizabeth Andoh taught readers how to make donburi—a casual, working-class dish of meat and vegetables served over rice as a complete meal. This version, made with a seasoned ground meat sauté known as soboro, features ground beef, peas, and fresh ginger spooned over perfectly steamed rice. This hearty Japanese rice bowl features soboro, finely ground beef simmered in a soy sauce, dashi, and sake mixture. To simplify the recipe, Elizabeth Andoh suggests use water instead of dashi.


  • 1 pound 90% lean ground beef
  • 1/3 cup sake
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup Dashi or water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup frozen English peas, thawed
  • 1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 5 cups hot Cooked Rice
  • 2 tablespoon beni shoga (Japanese pickled ginger) or 1 large tomato, sliced


  • Step 1
    Stir together ground beef, sake, soy sauce, dashi, and sugar in a small Dutch oven or medium-size, heavy saucepan. Cook over medium-high, stirring often to break up large lumps of beef, 5 minutes. Stir in peas and ginger; cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is mostly evaporated and beef is no longer pink but is still moist, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat.
  • Step 2
    Divide rice evenly among 4 large bowls. Spoon 1/2 cup beef mixture over each. Garnish with pickled ginger.

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