Happy Donabe Life

Soy-Simmered Beef and Burdock

Gyu to Gobo no Shigure-ni

Beef and burdock always make a great combination, and this dish is no exception. This is a traditional Japanese dish, and is very popular as a home dish, especially as you can make it with inexpensive komagire cut beef (basically thin end-cut or scrap meat). By simmering the thin slices of beef and burdock together in the sweet soy-based sauce, the dish creates the wonderful rich and earthy flavor. I love to add a generous amount of ginger for the additional layer of flavor. I often enjoy serving this over plain rice to make a rice bowl dish. It’s so good!


Classic-style Donabe (1.2-qt/ 1,200 ml or larger) or Bistro Mushi Nabe (Large)




  • 8 oz (240 g) burdock root, shaved with a knife (shave as if you are slicing a large pencil)
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 14 oz (400 g) beef komagire-cut (thinly-sliced beef scraps), or sukiyaki-thin beef, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 oz (30 g) ginger, peeled and cut into fine shreds
  • 2 tablespoons raw brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) sake
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) mirin
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) soy sauce
  • Sansho powder, for serving
  • Sliced dry chili, for serving
  • Minced chives, for garnish


  1. Combine the burdock and the sesame oil in a donabe. Set over medium-heat. Sauté for about 3 minutes or until aromatic.
  2. Add the beef and sauté until the beef is almost cooked through. Add the ginger and cook for 1 more minute.
  3. Add the sugar, sake and mirin. Bring to a simmer, and cook for 2 – 3 minutes.
  4. Add the soy sauce, and line the surface with a piece of parchment paper. Cover with lid and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the liquid is mostly gone.
  5. Serve at the table and sprinkle some sansho and dry chili. Garnish with some minced chives.

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