Updated: Sep 28, 2021
Happy St. Valentine's day everyone! If you want to serve something special for your loved one tonight, I can't think of anything better than preparing and sharing a pan of sukiyaki.
Sukiyaki originated in Japan about 100 years ago when the centuries old ban on meat eating was repealed by the Emperor Meiji and the consumption of meat become popular again. Today, there is a slight regional variation in the way Sukiyaki is made. Coming from Tokyo, I'm showing you how to make Sukiyaki "kanto" style ("kanto" describing the eastern side of Japan's main island, Honshu) of which Tokyo is a part. In Japan, people eat the meat component of this dish with a raw egg, but eating raw eggs comes with a lot of worry baggage here in the UK, so i'm not including egg. The beef used for sukiyaki is very finely sliced, so either ask your butcher to do this for you or alternatively, try an Asian or Japanese store to find it.
Once you've gathered your ingredients, you'll need to make a sukiyaki sauce to cook your ingredients. My sauce recipe is easy and can be prepared in 15 minutes. Then you'll just need a large frying pan and (ideally) a table top portable cooker. If you don't have one, you can always cook this on top of the hob at a pinch. When you finish your meal, you should be left with some rather tasty juices in the pan. In Japan, people fry udon noodles in this leftover sauce, as the udon noodles soak up the flavours really well. Alternatively, if you've already eaten your fill, pop the juice in the fridge - it should keep for up to a week, so you can fry some noodles in it for a lunch or supper later on.
If this is something that floats your culinary boat, you can find the written recipe for Sukiyaki and Sukiyaki sauce just below.
happy cooking! kurumi XXXX.
For an alternative , fish based, Japanese hotpot, why not take a look at my "Ishikari nabe" recipe here.
Sukiyaki (Kanto style)
(makes 2 portions)
80g peeled onion
2 large chinese cabbage leaves
4 fresh shiitake mushrooms*
250g firm or grilled tofu**
4 bundles of shirataki
250g extra thin sliced beef***
1tbsp veg oil or beef lard
250ml japanese dashi stock
(a table top cooker if you have one, otherwise you can. make this one your hob)
*you can also use button mushrooms or enoki mushrooms, if you prefer
**grilled tofu ( yakidofu) is commonly used for sukiyaki in Japan, but you can use firm cotton tofu as I do here if grilled tofu is not available
***traditionally beef lard is used for sukiyaki, but if it’s not available, just use veg oil
cut the onion into 1cm slices
cut the leek diagonally into 1cm slices
halve the cabbage leaves lengthways, then cut them diagonally into 2cm slices
halve the tofu lengthways and cut into 1 cm slices
remove the mushroom stalks and cut crosses into the mushroom heads (if you like, this is purely for decoration)
heat the oil in a hotpot or a frying pan and fry 1/2 the leeks lightly, then add 1/2 of the onion, tofu, shirataki & shiitake
pour the sukiyaki sauce in & simmer the vegetables
when the vegetables are half cooked, lay 1/2 the beef slices over the vegetables
when the onion & leek is cooked well, it’s ready to eat
as you take cooked food from your hotpot/frying pan, replenish it with more raw ingredients & sukiyaki sauce * - just take care to keep the raw meat separate from the food that is ready or almost ready to eat
* if the sauce becomes too thick, add a little japanese dashi to loosen it up
how to make sukiyaki sauce:
(makes enough for 1 sukiyaki meal of 2 portions)
50ml japanese dashi stock (I used instant granules here)
100ml soy sauce
50ml japanese sake
30g brown sugar*
* you can use white sugar as a substitute
combine all the ingredients in a pan, bring to the boil while stirring, then turn off the heat (yes, it's that easy!)
you can keep any leftover sauce in the fridge for up to a week. you can also use this sauce in recipes such as “gyudon” (Japanese beef bowl donburi).