What is Cheese Baked Gyudon?

Gyudon, also known as beef bowl, is a popular Japanese rice dish made with thinly sliced beef and onions simmered in a sweet and savory sauce, served over a bowl of rice. It's considered fast comfort food in Japan.

What is Cheese Baked Gyudon

Recently, Japanese beef bowl chain Sukiya shared an "arranged recipe" which shows how to transform an ordinary gyudon beef bowl into a baked dish called Melty Three-Cheese Doria by topping it with extra cheese and baking.

So what exactly is this cheese baked gyudon or doria?

Understanding Gyudon - The Origins

The word "gyudon" literally translates to "beef bowl" in Japanese - "gyu" means beef and "don" refers to a bowl. It was made popular by Japanese fast food chains like Yoshinoya and Sukiya as an affordable, hot, filling meal for busy workers and students.

While gyudon is considered fast food today, its origins can be traced back to the late 1800s. When Japan opened the Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo in 1899, affordable restaurants sprung up around it to feed the fish merchants and workers. Bowls of piping hot rice topped with thinly sliced beef and onions provided quick, nourishing meals that could be eaten on the go.

Over the years as Japan modernized, gyudon chains like Yoshinoya and Sukiya expanded all over the country, cementing beef bowls as quintessential Japanese comfort food.

How Traditional Gyudon is Made

The key to great gyudon lies in the preparation of the main ingredients - the beef and onions.


  • Use very thinly sliced premium beef, ideally with some marbling. This allows the beef to cook quickly while remaining tender.
  • Common cuts used are ribeye, sirloin or pork loin.
  • Freeze meat briefly to slice it paper-thin at home or purchase pre-sliced meat.


  • Slice onions very thinly to match the sliced beef.
  • Soften the onions well before adding beef.


  • The umami-rich sauce is made with dashi stock, soy sauce, mirin, sugar and sometimes sake or rice vinegar.
  • Reduce the sauce slightly to concentrate flavors.

To Assemble

  • Place hot cooked rice in a bowl.
  • Top with the beef and onions in sauce.
  • Mix gently before eating while piping hot.

So in its most basic form, gyudon features sliced beef and onions simmered in a sweet and salty sauce, served over a bowl of steaming white rice.

Introducing Cheese Baked Gyudon/Doria

As mentioned earlier, Sukiya shared an innovative way to transform the humble gyudon into a cheese baked rice dish called doria, using ingredients most people have on hand.

What is Doria?

Doria refers to a class of Western-influenced Japanese rice bakes. It typically features cooked rice mixed with creamy white sauce and cheese, then baked. Seafood, meat or vegetables are often layered between the rice and sauce.

Some examples include:

  • Seafood doria with shrimp or crab
  • Chicken and mushroom doria
  • Vegetable doria

So Sukiya's cheese baked gyudon recipe basically converts a beef bowl into a beef doria using the toppings and sauce already present in a gyudon. The result is a delicious rice casserole with melted cheese.

How to Make Cheese Baked Gyudon/ Beef Doria

Make this fusion dish at home by following these simple steps:


  • 1 takeout beef bowl (with or without cheese)
  • 3 types of sliced cheese (50g)
  • Parsley (for garnish)


  1. Transfer beef bowl from takeout container to an oven-safe baking dish. Spread it evenly.
  2. Top with sliced cheese (cheddar, mozzarella etc). Sukiya recommends a 3-cheese blend but you can use whatever you have.
  3. Bake at 500°F (260°C) for 15 minutes. At this temperature, the cheese will melt into a bubbly topping in the residual sauce and moisture from the beef bowl.
  4. Garnish with chopped parsley. The bright green parsley provides visual contrast and freshness.

In just 15 minutes, the humble beef bowl transforms into cheesy beef doria loaded with umami flavors from the soy and dashi in the gyudon sauce!

The result is a more elaborate, casserole-style dish using ingredients you likely have at home. No extra cooking or elaborate steps required!

Key Takeaway: Transform an ordinary takeout gyudon/beef bowl into cheesy beef doria by topping with sliced cheese and baking until melted and browned.

Tips for Customizing Cheese Baked Gyudon

This innovative hack recipe from Sukiya provides an easy template to make gyudon more interesting. But you can customize it further to suit your tastes:

1. Use different proteins

  • Substitute beef for other proteins like chicken, pork or shrimp.

2. Play with different cheeses

  • Get creative with cheese choices! Try cheddar, gouda, Gruyere, mozzarella or provolone.

3. Mix in extra vegetables

  • Add blanched broccoli, spinach or mixed veggies to the dish before baking.

4. Adjust seasonings

  • Boost flavor with spices like garlic powder, white pepper or paprika.
  • For added richness, stir in cream cheese before baking.

5. Switch up toppings

  • Instead of parsley, finish with sliced green onions, fried shallots or sesame seeds.
  • For crunch, add crumbled bacon or panko breadcrumbs.

With the right adjustments, you can create inventive bakes while recycling leftovers!


Can I make cheese baked gyudon without takeout?

Yes, you can absolutely prepare the beef bowl at home from scratch using thinly sliced beef and onions simmered in the classic gyudon sauce. Follow the same assembly and baking instructions after.

What oven temperature should I use?

Bake at around 500°F (260°C) for 15 minutes until the cheese is completely melted and browned in parts. Keep an eye on it towards the end.

Can I prep and freeze this bake?

You can assemble the unbaked casserole up to the point before baking, then cover and freeze it. Thaw overnight in the fridge before baking as directed.

What rice is traditionally used?

Plain Japanese short grain white rice is customary, but you can use basmati rice or rice mixes like garlic rice too.

Can I use plant-based beef alternatives?

Certainly! Swap thinly sliced beef for seared plant-based beef strips or crumbles to make this recipe vegetarian/vegan.


This unique hack by Japanese beef bowl chain Sukiya reveals how humble gyudon can be elevated into a cheesy baked doria with just a few extra ingredients and minutes of baking.

It provides home cooks with a template to reuse leftovers in creative ways.

AGAH Productions
AGAH Productions