Hayashi raisu (rice): Japanese beef stew

hayashi_raisu2.jpg

I have not added a yohshoku (Japanese-adapted Western food) recipe in quite some time. The main reason for this is I haven’t been making any…since most yohshoku dishes tend to be a bit heavy on the butter or cream or rich sauces.

I do sometimes crave this classic yohshoku dish. Hayashi raisu (or hayashi rice) is a Japanese version of a rich beef stew, and in terms of popularity it’s second only to the mighty curry rice, Japanese style curry. Just like curry, you can buy hayashi raisu roux blocks at Japanese grocery stores (look in the curry roux section).

Incidentally, the hayashi part sounds like the Japanese word for a wood (as in a smaller version of a forest), but it’s derived from “hashed”, as in hashed beef. I think the origins are a hashed beef stew. I can see influences from beef bourgignon, stroganoff and various British stews in there.

The beef used is not tough old chewy meat - it’s usually made from cuts that are tender enough to be cooked quickly. The kind sold for ‘minute steaks’ is fine. Sukiyaki beef is great if you can afford it. I’ve seen recipes around that suggest using pork instead of beef, but…that’s just not right to me. Hayashi rice = beef! Beef!

Making hayashi rice from scratch can be easy or tremendously complicated, depending on one thing: whether you make your own demi-glace or not. Demi-glace is reduced, concentrated beef stock that is thick and paste-like. In Japan you can buy demi-glace in cans. You can buy it elsewhere too, though the good kinds can be very expensive. The only other substitute is to make your own strong beef stock from beef bones, meat trimmings and so on and reduce it down and so on. Using stock cubes just won’t do it, I’m afraid, and forget about the usually insipid beef stock in a carton or can.

I’ve given instructions for making hayashi rice from handy roux blocks (which can vary in quality) and using demi-glace.

Hayashi raisu (Hayashi rice)

  • 450g / 1 lb thinly sliced beef
  • 4 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • About 10-12 mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 medium carrot, thinly sliced
  • Butter or oil
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 cup (240ml) red wine
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce or Bulldog chuunou sauce
  • 1 Tbs. soy sauce
  • Parsley or green peas for garnish

The sauce ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup demi-glace or 4 cups strong beef stock
  • 1 16-oz or 440g can of canned tomatoes
  • 1 Tbs. tomato paste
  • 2 Tbs. butter
  • 3 Tbs. flour
  • Water

OR

  • 6 blocks (or more if you like it thick) from a hayashi rice roux packet
  • Water

Equipment: a large frying pan or sauté pan, a heavy bottomed pot for stewing or a crockpot

Cut the meat up into bite-sized pieces. Heat up a frying pan with butter, oil or combination of both, and sauté the beef until browned. Take out the meat and set aside.

In the same pan, add a bit more butter (no this is not diet food) and add the onions. Sauté over medium-low heat until limp and slightly brown. Add the garlic, mushrooms and carrot. Sauté until the mushrooms are turning limp.

Put all the vegetables in a heavy-bottomed stew pot (a crockpot will do nicely too).

Add the wine. If you’re using the hayashi rice roux blocks, add about 4 cups of water (don’t add the roux at this point yet). If you’re using the other sauce ingredients, add either the demi-glace plus 3 cups of water, the canned tomato and tomato paste, or 4 cups of strong beef stock and the canned tomato and tomato paste. Add the bay leaves and thyme.

Let it all simmer until the liquid has reduced to about half. Add the beef to the pot and contine simmering - the beef should be very tender.

If you’re making your own sauce, make a roux by melting 2 Tbs. of butter in the frying pan and adding the flour. Stir until the flour is grainy and a little bit browned. Add to the stew and stir. Add the Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce.

If using the roux blocks, add them now and stir well to melt.

Add a little water or stock to thin out if it looks too thick. Simmer a few minutes.

Taste and add salt or pepper as needed. Take out the bay leaves.

Serve over rice that’s been mixed with a little salted butter. Garnish with chopped parsley or a few green peas.

This makes 6 to 8 servings.

Hayashi omuraisu

Leftover hayashi makes a very rich sauce for omuraisu (rice omelettte) instead of ketchup. Use plain buttered rice instead of ketchup-chicken rice as the filling.

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27 comments so far...

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Mmmm

WOW! Does that look good! I think I want some for dinner tonight.

Hillary | 4 December, 2007 - 21:39

strong stock

I know demi-glace is a very strong indeed stock. From the descriptions, it sounds like it could make fairly good finger jello. So how strong a beef stock would be strong enough to make a good replacement? I’ve only made a beef based stock a few times, so knowing the amount of gelatin needed would make an attempt easier.

Lots more practice at chicken stock, but chickens seem to release a lot more gelatin than beef.

Emily | 4 December, 2007 - 23:41

strong beef stock

Emily, it should be the kind of stock that gellified when it cools - so one that’s made with good bones. Demi-glace is so thick it’s gellified and pasty…sort of like, dare I say it, Marmite!

(though I wouldn’t substitute Marmite.)

maki | 5 December, 2007 - 00:11

Re: strong beef stock

Emily, Maki,

I just wanted to add that I regularly make stock 'cubes', or demi-glace, at home. I use marrow bones and regular broth bones for a truly gelatinous stock that will solidify in the refrigerator quickly, they cost 80 cents or so at my butcher (I'm in Rome). I usually make one batch of broth, strain in and cool it over night, then defat it it in the morning. Then I make a second batch of broth with the bones, strain, cool, defat. I then reheat both together and reduce them to the intensity of flavor I want (this last time almost down to a syrup), let it cool in the frig, run a knife around the edges and pull it out of the pan, cut it into cubes and then freeze the cubes. That way, when I want stock but don't feel like making it from scratch, I can just add a cube to water. Sauces get slow cooked flavor in a minute, etc.

Just thought I'd share if you get the urge to try it. You can definitely do it in less time if you do all the broth at once or whatever (I don't have big enough pots). I'll post a more precise recipe on my blog sometime soon!

Best,

HS

HomieSapiens | 26 March, 2013 - 13:47

I found a box of curry sauce

I found a box of curry sauce in the back of the cupboard tonight, which got me craving Japanese comfort food. I’ve never tried making this myself but oh how I’m tempted now…

Annemarie | 5 December, 2007 - 00:41

When I scrolled down finding

When I scrolled down finding this I thought you had made some kind of saucey gyudon! I’ve seen demi-glace numerous times at the Japanese supermarket, but never knew what it was exactly, and the stew roux next to the curry roux but never thought too much of it, but I think now I’ll have to try it!

MasPinaSarap | 6 December, 2007 - 09:13

hayashi rice

I made this for dinner last night and it was delicious! I usually buy the roux but I really liked the way it turned out with the beef broth. I can’t wait to try with the demi-glace! Thank you! Oh, and I love your site!

Debbie

Debbie Yoshii | 18 December, 2007 - 23:33

i think...

I do not believe this

fornetti | 31 August, 2008 - 05:21

Hi! Found this page through

Hi! Found this page through google-search on hayashi rice recipe. I tried yours and it was fantastic! It’s a new favorite now in my house. I made it from scratch, didn’t use demiglace/roux/whatever and it was perfect.

Thank you for sharing!

mojolove | 17 November, 2008 - 20:27

Is it hayashi rice if you

Is it hayashi rice if you make it with chicken? :) Anyway, that’s what I tried tonight, with chicken thighs and substituting chicken stock for beef/demi glace. My husband said it tasted “confused”. But then we put some Ikari sauce on it and all was right with the world!

Andrea | 30 December, 2008 - 05:31

Hayashi rice is a beef stew,

Hayashi rice is a beef stew, so it’s made with beef. The chicken variation sounds interesting!

maki | 30 December, 2008 - 22:17

Own sauce

What do you mean by 'if you are making your own sauce' make a roux by .....etc

If i'm using the 4 cups of beef stock, do i still need to make a roux with flour and butter? Or do i just add the worcestershire sauce and soy sauce and skip the roux part?

Thank you

Summa | 25 April, 2009 - 10:27

Re: Own sauce

Where it says 'the sauce ingredients', it gives you the things you need to make your own sauce, up to where it says OR and gives the alternative of using a readymade hayashi rice base. So if you aren't using a readymade hayashi rice base you need to make your own sauce with the beef stock, roux, etc.

maki | 26 April, 2009 - 00:18

Re: Hayashi raisu (rice): Japanese beef stew

I've just made demiglace (man, it took hours! I'm Italian and you just don't find the canned type here) just so I could taste hayashi rice again. I just love it, it's full of memories for me. Thanks for sharing a reliable recipe! All the ones I found on the net call for roux blocks, and they're even harder to find than canned demiglace ;_;

Claudia | 13 June, 2009 - 15:47

Re: Hayashi raisu (rice): Japanese beef stew

Can I substitute the beef with tofu and also the beef stock with vegetable stock... hayashi rice looks good but I'm a vegetarian so yea... do you think I can do that?

JpKarenR | 15 December, 2009 - 01:59

Re: Hayashi raisu (rice): Japanese beef stew

Hayashi rice is a beef stew. So no. There are lots of other vegetarian recipes here.

maki | 15 December, 2009 - 09:34

Re: Hayashi raisu (rice): Japanese beef stew

If you wanted to substitute vegetarian ingredients for the beef you could, only it would no longer be called Hayashi raisu - there's nothing stopping you from trying different things, it's just a matter of giving it an appropriate name

anon. | 13 November, 2010 - 04:33

Re: Hayashi raisu (rice): Japanese beef stew

What brands of roux would you recommend? My area only has Korean grocery, not Japanese. So there is SOME Japanese content, but not everything. I've gotten the curry roux there, but never seen any beef roux. If I know what I'm looking for by name, then I can order online!

Jess | 18 April, 2010 - 03:22

Re: Hayashi raisu (rice): Japanese beef stew

I made demi sause my self with beef bone and vegies it was taking more than 2hours but taste was super .
I love hayashi rice !

Jenny | 28 April, 2010 - 23:09

Re: Hayashi raisu (rice): Japanese beef stew

I love hayashi raisu and bought some hayashi cubes in Japan. Unfortunately the U.S. border guard dumped them because they contain beef. Where can I get these in the U.S.? Will Japanese grocery stores here carry these?

anon. | 21 June, 2010 - 03:58

Re: Hayashi raisu (rice): Japanese beef stew

I have been looking for a Hayashi beef stew dish for years. While living in Calgary the girls and I would go for Hayashi rice and loved it. The only thing different is that their dish had small potatoes in it and it had a flavor in it that was spicy hot(perhaps a little chilli in it but not sure). You just wanted to eat and eat until it was all gone. Wonderful. Do you think it was the chilli peppers?
Thanks in advance.

Joyce | 23 October, 2010 - 00:06

Re: Hayashi raisu (rice): Japanese beef stew

Hi! I made hayashi rice a couple of times and I am wondering why the color is kinda reddish rather dark brown color like in the restaurant. Is it something that got to do with substitute Demi sauce with concentrate beef stock?

Thanks!

Tarn | 20 November, 2010 - 19:44

Re: Hayashi raisu (rice): Japanese beef stew

I used to frequent a small third generation Japanese restaurant that specialized in this...Over an 80yr history and ONLY served this dish. People from all over the country came and lined up for it. They had a pot of their secret recipe sauce that never emptied. It was REAL comfort food and sadly the owner passed away with no one to carry on. I've tried the recipe given here, and it's a good one.

anon. | 19 May, 2011 - 04:34

Re: Hayashi raisu (rice): Japanese beef stew

Thanks a lot for this wonderful recipe... it's a kind of heaven in the mouth!
I personally have made it with much more vegetables and of course I consequently adjusted the sauce.

Alex | 13 May, 2012 - 14:44
anon. | 27 June, 2012 - 05:14
anon. | 4 March, 2013 - 19:46

Re: Hayashi raisu (rice): Japanese beef stew

Attempted this for my family last night. They seemed to enjoy it but I don't think the roux I made was exactly right. The Japanese/Korean Food Store Near Me didn't have any hayashi roux packets that I was able to locate. One error that I may have made was trying this recipe in a crockpot first, it took far too long to cook and I moved it to a stewpot on our electric range and it was much faster.

Michael | 2 November, 2012 - 13:33

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