F&W Top 40: Soboro Donburi (Gingery Ground Beef with Peas over Rice)


Food & Wine Magazine is celebrating it's 40 year anniversary by publishing 40 of their favorite recipes from the past 40 years. I will be trying many of these out and re-posting them for Y'all to enjoy.

This hearty Japanese rice bowl features soboro (finely ground meat simmered in soy sauce, dashi, and sake) served over rice to make a hearty meal. This version by Elizabeth Andoh was chosen by Food & Wine as one of the best 40 recipes from the last 40 years.

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. To simplify the recipe, Elizabeth Andoh suggests use water instead of dashi.

Soboro Donburi (Gingery Ground Beef with Peas over Rice)


  • 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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