Hayashi Ground Beef (Dry)

I love taking trips to Japan because I always come back feeling so inspired in the kitchen! Walking past restaurant windows displaying plastic food replicas of their menu is genius because it will eventually make you hungry!

I love soba noodles so much that whenever I see fake soba bowls I instantly start drooling. The same goes for pasta and Japanese curry – “Hi, I’d like to order EVERYTHING that’s in your window please?”

During my last visit in Tokyo, I was looking for a place to cool off and get away from the busy traffic and crowds.

Luckily, I found a cute little cafe tucked away on a quiet street that had everything I was looking for: relaxing music, big windows, a decent amount of space between the tables and only a handful of customers.


There was also this impossible to ignore, sweet and intoxicating aroma wafting from the kitchen. When I asked the waitress what that smell was, she replied “dry hayashi curry (pronounced karē).” Dry hayashi?? I had never heard of that before!

“Nani desu ka?” I inquired.

She then proceeded to explain that it’s a curry made with ground beef, onions and carrots cooked in a simple sweet sauce made with ketchup and beef broth.

The reason why it’s called dry is because most of the liquid gets absorbed during the cooking process. Put that over rice and top it with a mashed boiled egg and some crispy fried onions slices. DE-LI-CIOUS!


I jotted down as many ingredients as I could without looking like I was trying to steal their yummy recipe and told myself to write a post about it when I got back to Brooklyn.

I think the flavors are pretty similar to what I tasted in Japan; sweet and tangy with a beefy saltiness from the broth. The first time Ben tasted it he thought the flavors were a bit bland.

We then realized it was because the mashed boiled egg lacked seasoning and consequently ended up toning down the flavor. So the second time I made hayashi ground beef, I added plenty of salt and pepper to the egg and it made all the difference!


I wish I could remember the name of the cafe in Tokyo but I am terrible when it comes to keeping notes about restaurants in Japan. Almost every spot we visit ends up being spectacularly good so we no longer keep track of names and instead base our decisions on the window display that looks the most attractive.

Serve this hearty and comforting hayashi ground beef with a side of nasu dengaku, simmered kabocha squash or some charred soy and sesame edamame.

beef-sauce-frying beef-dry-sauce mashed-eggs hayashi-2WEB Print

Hayashi Ground Beef (Dry)

A delicious ‘no sauce’ take on the classic hayashi curry.

  • Author: Caroline Phelps
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 16 minutes
  • Total Time: 26 minutes
  • Yield: 2 people 1x
  • Category: Beef
  • Cuisine: Japanese


  • 1/3 carrot (peeled and diced into small cubes)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 150 grams lean ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon corn starch
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 2 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon sake
  • 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
  • 1 boiled egg


  1. Slice onion half. One half will be for frying, the other will go in with the dry curry.
  2. Slice one half into thin half moons. Finely chop the other one.
  3. Boil egg and cut into small pieces or mash with a fork. Season well with salt and pepper.
  4. Heat oil and add onions and carrots. Cook for 3 minutes.
  5. Sprinkle corn starch on top of ground beef and add to the vegetables. Add 1/4 cup beef broth and break the ground beef while stirring. Cook for 3 minutes or until the beef has cooked through.
  6. Add beef broth, ketchup, sake and worcestershire sauce. Mix well and cook for 10 minutes or until all the liquid has evaporated. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Fry onions in a separate pan until crispy. (with some oil)
  8. Put rice on a plate, top with curry, eggs and fried onions.


Hayashi ground beef will keep refrigerated for up to 4 days.

Keywords: recipe, main, rice bowl

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