Monday, October 29, 2012

Hayashi Rice (ハヤシライス)

I haven't posted to my blog in ages, I know but as I sit listening to Sandy howl outside, I thought I would type out a recipe or Hayashi Rice

Hayashi Rice is one of those classic Japanese comfort foods that most people get from a packaged Hayashi Rice Roux - works exactly like the Japanese Curry Roux.

S&B Hayashi Rice Sauce Roux - it is yummy too!

Hayashi Rice usually contains beef,onions, and button mushrooms, in a thick demi-glace nuanced sauce which often contains red wine and tomato sauce. This sauce is served atop or alongside steamed rice. The sauce is sometimes topped with a drizzle of fresh cream. It resembles Japanese curry and usually appears on menus alongside curry.

One popular theory about the name suggest that it was named after it's inventor Mr Hayashi, the first president of Maruzen Food, which operated an early Yoshoku restaurant and still has Hayashi Rice on the menu today.

Hayashi Rice's origins are a bit murky if you try to research it, but to me, it is almost a perfect Japanese version of  French Boeuf Bourguignon or Beef Burgundy.  Whatever the case, it is delicious and one of my favorites.

It isn't difficult to make at home and while the roux cubes are perfectly fine, I think that once you make Hayashi Rice at home, you'll see how easy and yummy it is.

I often just make it with beef, onions and mushroom - but you can certainly (like curry) add potatoes, carrots and peas if you like...

Hayashi Rice (ハヤシライス)

6-8 servings


1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 pound well marbled beef chuck cut into 3/4″ pieces* (see note below)
3 onions, trimmed and thinly sliced
3 small cloves garlic minced
2 cups red wine like a burgundy or the red cooking wine from the grocer’s
1 cup beef stock

1 cup chicken stock  (trust me, it makes a difference)
1 bay leaf
2 cloves
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon Bulldog or tonkatsu sauce
1 packet of Swanson Beef Flavor Boost packet (or 2 tablespoons demi-glace)
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
8 ounces baby bella or button mushrooms, sliced or whole as you prefer

Thickening Roux:

3 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1.  Heat a large pot or dutch oven over medium high heat until hot, then add the oil.

2.  Generously salt and pepper the beef, then add it to the hot oil.

3.  Fry undisturbed for a few minutes or until the beef has a golden brown crust on one side, then flip the beef and fry until browned on the second side.

4.  The browned crust is where the flavor is at, so the more crust the better.

5.  Transfer the beef to a large bowl and set aside.

6.  Add some more oil if needed, then add the onions and cover with a lid and cook over medium low heat for 10 minutes.

7.  Remove the lid, then continue to cook the onions, stirring frequently until it’s about 1/6 of the original volume, and is brown and glossy. This can take 30 minutes to an hour.

8.  Return the beef and any accumulated juices to the pot along with the garlic, mushrooms, wine, stock, bay leaf, cloves, tomato paste, tonkatsu sauce, beef flavor boost, soy sauce, and paprika.

9.  Partially cover with a lid and cook for 1-2 hours or until the beef is very tender.

Make the Thickening Roux:

1.  While the beef is cooking, heat the butter and flour in a small saucepan over medium high heat.

2.  Stir continuously until the butter is melted, then stop stirring until the mixture starts taking on a color.

3.  Continue cooking and stirring at regular intervals until the roux has reached a caramel brown color.

4.  Remove from the heat.

Thicken the Sauce:

1.  When the beef is tender, turn the heat down to low, add the roux a spoonful at a time and stir vigorously to keep it from clumping.  (I usually add it via a fine wire mesh strainer just like when you make miso soup)

 2.  The hayashi rice should start getting thick pretty quickly (you might not need all the roux).

3.  Stop when you’re happy with the thickness.

Serve with hot white rice.


* NOTE:  It is a bit extravagant, but I do often make this with a whole beef tenderloin cut up into cubes and it's delicious.  If you do use beef tenderloin, there are two differences:

1.  Do not brown the beef as much as you would the chuck - just sear it well on both sides and then remove to the bowl.  It will not be done by any means - very rare.

2.  After you brown the beef - proceed with the entire recipe as written but DO NOT ADD the beef in step # 8, just the accumulated juices to the pot.  The beef gets added during the last 10 minutes of cooking, before the sauce is thickened.

~ Many Kids love Hayashi Rice ~