Sukiyaki is a Japanese winter stew dish consisting thinly sliced beef, tofu, vegetables like mushrooms and cabbage cooked in a mixture of soy sauce, sugar, and mirin which is prepared and served in the nabemono with eggs on the side that acts as a dip.
There were no written proof on when and how this was invented in Japan but there are several popular anecdotes on how this all started, all of which are based on spades or in Japanese the “suki”. One story is about a medieval nobleman when he dropped by a commoners hut after doing some hunting, he ordered the peasant to cook the meat for him but after the peasant realized that he does not have the proper utensils to cook for a noble person used and cleaned his spade (“suki”) and broiled (“yaki”) the mean on it. Another popular story is that the use of suki as a cooking and eating device by the Portuguese settlers as well as the Japanese peasants. Anyways regardless of which story may be true the dish eventually became popular during the 1860’s when Japan was introduced to the world, new cooking styles and ingredients were introduced, during those time sukiyaki was the most popular way of preparing a dish. Then came the first sukiyaki restaurant called Isekuma where it opened in 1860 in Yokohama region.
Traditionally there are two ways of cooking the sukiyaki first is the Kantō Style (Tokyo area) where the sauce’s ingredients are already mixed while cooking and another one is the Kansai Style (Osaka area) where the sauce is mixed at the time the food is consumed. Today we will be making the Kanto Style where we will cook everything in a prepared sauce, I know it looks complicated on the photo but trust me this is quite easy and at the same time very delicious.
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- 500 g sukiyaki beef
- 300 g or 1 large block firm tofu, diced
- ½ Napa cabbage, sliced
- 8 pcs shiitake mushrooms
- 1 200 g pack yam noodles (shirataki) or bean tread noodles
- 2 spring onions, chopped
- 1 cup dashi stock
- ½ cup mirin
- ½ cup sake
- ⅓ cup soy sauce
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2 bunches chrysanthemum leaves (optional)
- 1 egg per person
- In a bowl combine dashi stock, mirin, sake, soy sauce and sugar.
- In a large metal deep pan add oil, turn heat to high. Once oil it hot place slices of Sukiyaki Beef and sear until light brown in colour (do not cook fully).
- Pour the combined sauce then add the tofu, Napa cabbage, shiitake mushrooms and spring onions.
- Bring it to a boil then add the chrysanthemum leaves if your using one.
- Simmer until all leaves wilt then serve while hot with raw eggs on the side used as a dipping sauce.