Skirt Steak and Caramelized Onion Rice Bowls

Skirt Steak Rice Bowls

I recently had an excellent lunch at the newly opened Pabu in Boston. One of the highlights for me was their take on gyudon, a classic Japanese dish of boiled steak and rice. Their version had perfectly cooked steak on top of the seasoned rice and caramelized onions, so I took that as an inspiration for making my own at home. I was craving it so bad that I cooked it for some friends only a few days later. It actually worked great as a backyard BBQ dish. I put the seasoned rice and caramelized onions into the bowls in the kitchen, and then we all went outside as I grilled off the steak. After slicing it everyone was able to build their own bowls with the cilantro, pickled onions, and jalapenos.

Getting a good caramelization is key to this dish. Also the pinch of instant dashi broth in the onions.

As I said, I put the base of the dish together early because it didn’t need to be served hot.

Anyone else grilling today?

A post shared by Dan – The Food in my Beard (@tfimb) on

It was a great Sunday afternoon for grilling.

Steak down first, then top with all that good stuff.

Everyone was able to add as much of each ingredient they wanted.

I love the bright flavors of the pickled onions and jalapenos to balance out the deep flavors of the steak and onions. All in all a great dish for a great afternoon.

Skirt Steak and Caramelized Onion Rice Bowls

A rice bowl with marinated and grilled skirt steak, caramelized onions, pickled onions, jalapenos, cilantro, and a fried egg. Inspired by Gyudon.
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
marinate time1 day
Total Time1 day 1 hour
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Japanese
Keyword: Bowl, grilled
Servings: 3 bowls


steak and marinade

  • 1.25 pounds skirt steak
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon powdered dashi
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 clove garlic grated
  • 1 inch ginger grated

pickled onions

  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon powdered dashi
  • 1 red onion sliced
  • 1 cup red vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 1 teaspoon sugar


  • 2 onions sliced thin
  • 3 cups cooked rice
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 3 eggs
  • pickled jalapenos
  • chopped cilantro
  • sesame seeds


  • Mix the marinade ingredients together and add the steak. Allow to marinade for a few hours or overnight.
  • Mix the red onions with the vinegar and other pickling ingredients. Allow to sit for a few hours or overnight.
  • Cook the onions slowly with the other caramelized onion ingredients until deep brown, about 30 minutes.
  • Mix the cooked rice with the sesame oil, rice vinegar, sugar, and salt and stir to combine. Split between the bowls.
  • Add the onions to the bowls.
  • Cook the meat to medium, about 5 minutes per side depending on the thickness. Allow to cool 5 minutes before slicing thin against the grain.
  • Fry the eggs over easy.
  • Build the bowls with the steak, then pickled onions, jalapenos, cilantro and the egg. Garnish with sesame seeds and serve.


  1. Hello! I’m allergic to fresh fish and all seafood inluding seaweed. What can I use in place of dashi powder and fish sauce?

  2. “Cook the onions slowly with the other caramelized onion ingredients until deep brown, about 30 minutes.” What other caramelized onion ingredients?

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