Easy Copycat Recipes of Your Favorite Japanese Restaurant Dishes

Bring the restaurant experience to your home with easy recipes that replicate Coco Ichibanya’s curry rice, Pepper Lunch’s bestselling pepper rice, and Yoshinoya’s beef bowl.

Knowing how to cook is more than just a life skill or a way to feed the family. It also allows you to easily recreate your favorite restaurant meals. Take for example the richly spiced curry rice dishes of Coco Ichibanya, the sizzling meat-and-rice combinations that Pepper Lunch has to offer, or the hearty portions of Yoshinoya‘s beef bowl.

If you ever crave food from your favorite restaurant but want to skip out on the drive and the long wait, you can easily whip it up at home. Here are three easy copycat recipes—Japanese restaurant edition—that you can make for the family.

Sliced Pork Curry à la Coco Ichibanya

While rich and flavorful just like any other curry, Japanese curry uses fewer spices compared to its Indian and Thai counterparts. The result is an understated, full-bodied curry that isn’t as spicy, as it takes on a more “umami” note.

Want something hearty but mellow? This Coco Ichibanya dupe does the job nicely. And the best part is that you can use store-bought Japanese curry cubes to speed up the process, especially on busy days when you need to whip up last-minute meals.

Coco Ichibanya and Easy Copycat Recipe
Coco Ichibanya (Left) and Easy Copycat Recipe (Right)


  • 250g of thinly sliced pork (you can also replace this with beef or your choice of meat)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 white onion
  • 1 tsp onion powder (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil
  • 2 Golden Curry cubes
  • 1/4 cup room temperature water
  • Cooked white rice


  1. Marinate your pork slices in salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Set aside for half an hour to one hour.
  2. Chop your white onion into thin, half-moon slices.
  3. In a pan over medium heat, add your cooking oil, then saute onions until caramelized or translucent. You can add a pinch of salt to draw out moisture and help it cook faster.
  4. Add in your marinated pork and cook until browned. This shouldn’t take too long, since the pork slices are thin. Set aside.
  5. In the same pan, lower the heat, then add your curry cubes and water. Make sure the water is at room temperature so that it can easily dissolve the cubes. If the water is hot, it’ll clump up and be harder to break apart. Mix until fully dissolved and cook until bubbly.
  6. Add back your pork and mix until well combined. Serve with steaming hot white rice and enjoy!

Family-sized Pepper Rice à la Pepper Lunch

Pepper Lunch became a popular go-to restaurant because of its novel concept of serving sizzling plates. Loaded with rice and meat (or seafood), this Japanese dish is best enjoyed on the spot—peppery and sizzling hot.

Replicating the Pepper Lunch experience at home is easy. All you need is a cast-iron pan, your choice of meat, rice, and corn. But because not everyone has solo-sized sizzling plates, this recipe is made in a large, family-sized portion

Pepper Lunch (Left) and Easy Copycat Recipe (Right)


For the Meat:

  • 500g of thinly sliced pork (sukiyaki or samgyupsal cut) or your choice of meat
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 can of whole corn kernels
  • Cooked white rice
  • Chopped spring onions, optional

For the Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Honey (if you want it sweeter, you can add more)
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp vinegar
  • Cornstarch slurry (1 Tbsp of cornstarch and room temperature water)


  1. Marinate your pork in salt and pepper for half an hour. Set aside.
  2. Make your Honey Garlic sauce in a small pan over medium to low heat by adding in your soy sauce, honey, and garlic. Mix until well combined, then add vinegar for that bright acidity.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix your water and cornstarch to make a slurry. This will help thicken the sauce. Pour it into your sauce and mix until it reaches your preferred consistency.
  4. In a cast iron pan, arrange your rice, pork sukiyaki, and corn. Top with chopped spring onions. To enjoy, add your honey garlic sauce and some pepper. Mix everything and enjoy while piping hot.

Beef Rice à la Yoshinoya

Gyudon, or beef rice bowl, is the bestselling product of Japanese eatery Yoshinoya. It features a bowl of steamed rice, topped with a mix of thinly sliced beef and onions, which have been cooked in a sweet and savory sauce—made with soy sauce and mirin.

Hearty and filling, all the same, this dish is inexpensive and easy to prepare, since all you need to do is marinade it, and then cook it when you’re ready to eat. What’s more, its simple flavor makes it appealing to people of all ages—even kids!

Yoshinoya Gyudon Beef Bowl
Source: Yoshinoya


  • 500g of thinly sliced beef (you can also replace this with thinly sliced pork)
  • 1 to 2 white onions
  • 2 Tbsp cooking oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Cooked white rice
  • Chopped green onions, optional
  • Pickled red ginger, optional

For the marinade:

  • 1/2 Tbsp sake
  • 2 Tbsp mirin
  • Sugar, to taste
  • 3 Tbsp soy sauce


  1. In a bowl, combine your dashi, sake, mirin, sugar, and soy sauce. Add in your thinly sliced beef and mix until well combined. Set aside and let it marinate for half an hour.
  2. In a pan over medium heat, add your cooking oil and saute your onions until translucent.
  3. Add your marinated meat mixture and cook until browned. Be careful not to overcook it! Once the meat loses its pink color, it’s good to go.
  4. Serve over piping hot white rice and garnish with spring onions. You may serve it with pickled red ginger on the side or even with a poached egg for that gooey golden-yellow yolk.

Check out these easy recipes!

Delicious Leftover Lechon Recipes To Spice Up The Dinner Table

Rice Cooker Recipes: Healthy, Tasty, and Easy

6 Easy Recipes To Get Kids To Eat Vegetables

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