Soboro Donburi (Gingery Ground Beef with Peas over Rice)


In 2018, Food & Wine named this recipe one of our 40 best: This hearty Japanese rice bowl features soboro (finely ground meat simmered in soy sauce, dashi, and sake) served over rice to make a satisfying meal. Long before rice bowls were popular in the U.S., cookbook author and Japanese food expert Elizabeth Andoh taught readers how to make donburi — a casual dish of meat and vegetables served over rice — as a complete meal. This version features ground beef, peas, and fresh ginger spooned over steamed rice. To simplify the recipe, Andoh suggests using water instead of dashi.

Active Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
40 mins


  • 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


  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.

  2. Divide rice evenly among 4 large bowls. Spoon 1/2 cup beef mixture over each. Garnish with pickled ginger.

    Soboro Donburi
    Greg DuPree
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