Here’s what’s discouraging: search engines seem to think beef bowls are synonymous with one entirely mediocre chain, Yoshinoya. While it may dominate the market for Asian-style beef over rice served in an entirely American fast food setting, gone are the college days when this beef over rice provided any more satisfaction than the all-too-fragrant Subway that shared the building. 

Here’s what’s encouraging: one trip to your nearest Asian supermarket will solve this problem from start to finish. Walk around, take in the scenery and then head over to the meats. More likely than not, especially at Korean supermarkets, you will find packs of fresh or frozen pre-marinated thinly sliced ribeye. Grab a few of these, along with a large bag of short-grain rice. Believe it or not, you’ve just purchased what it takes to make at least 10 killer lunches with damn near zero effort. And by killer I don’t mean “now I have a resident stomachache, why did I eat that Yoshinoya beef bowl?” Once the bowl is assembled, the toppings and obscene or innocuous sriracha drawings are entirely up to your imagination. Don’t act like you’ve never taken juvenile advantage of sriracha’s awesome precision dispensing nozzle. 

A quick defrost in the microwave and 5-minute stir fry yields flavorful, fresh-tasting beef. Making rice is easy. Trust our hyperlinked sweeping generalizations. And on those nights you just can’t bring yourself to make the delivery guy go out in the rain just to accomodate your laziness, you’ve got the makings of a satisfying meal without ever having to open and stare desolately into the fridge.