Sukiyaki. It’s easily one of my favorite hot-pots of all time!
Sukiyaki is Japanese Beef Hot-Pot.
I had my first “real” taste of it when I was studying abroad in Tokyo. My host mother made it for me one night and I was mind-blown…
The broth was simple - salty, slightly sweet and savory – but so comforting!
A few spoonfuls of the broth over the rice. Followed by thin strips of marbled beef, and blanched veggies... simply amazing!
I still remember asking my host mother to jot down the recipe for me as I was leaving Japan.
She did - but it got shoved into a folder “somewhere” and received the fate of most crumbled papers.
I’ve been pondering about visiting Tokyo for the 2021 Olympics - and my first food adventure would have to be Sukiyaki.I wanted to see if I could recreate that Japanese homecook'd flavor for Katie.
So for the past few weeks, I’ve been experimenting with the ratio for Sukiyaki Sauce (the mix between soy sauce, mirim, sake and sugar)
After a few attempts, I've finally found what I was looking for. That balanced, savory and comforting flavor!
Now, I share it with you - our neighbors 😉
Ah, one thing before we jump to the recipe: Sukiyaki - unlike typical Hot Pot - is not meant to be a pot filled with broth. Instead, it's typically made with just a small layer - just enough to cover the bottom, so that the ingredients don’t stick to the pot.
Then, you can add more sauce or broth as you eat... keep this in mind when we pour the broth in later!
Cooking notes for Sukiyaki
The best part about Sukiyaki is of course, the thinly sliced beef. Try your local Asian mart to find Shabu Shabu Cuts.
In our recipe, we also use Mugwort & Shirataki Noodles. You can skip these two ingredients if it’s hard to find. They don’t make a material impact on flavor – more for visual and texture.
Note: Korean Dangmyeon Noodles (Sweet Potato Starch Noodles) works well as a substitute for Shirataki Noodles.
But if you’ll use Korean Dangmyeon noodles, remember to soak it in water (for 1 hour) so it can fully hydrate before cooking – or else, it will soak-up all the broth in the pot!
Cooking tip: We'll sear a few of the ingredients to maximize flavor - in particular, the Onion, Tofu & Spring Onion.
If at anytime, the broth begins to taste bland, add in more Sukiyaki Sauce. Conversly, if it tastes too salty, add more Anchovy-Kelp Broth.
Finally - in Japan - people like to crack a fresh egg and use it as a dipping sauce. Feel free to try it out this way if you'd like!
That’s it folks! Try this dish once and I know… you’ll crave it from time-to-time. It's a lifetime recipe!
-Daniel out 🕺
(P.s. If you’re cooking alone, don’t get bored. Consider listening to our latest podcast episode while you cook!)
- ½ Block Firm Tofu (150 grams)
- Handful of Shirataki Noodles (Or Korean Dangmyeon Noodles)
- 3 Shiitake Mushrooms
- Handful of Oyster Mushroom (or any other mushroom)
- 3 Leaves of Chinese Cabbage
- 1 stalk of Spring Onion (forearm-length piece)
- ½ whole Onion
- 3-4 stalks of Mugwort (Optional)
- 3 Cups Anchovy-Kelp Broth (or Japanese Dashi Broth)
- ⅔ cup Mirin
- ½ cup Soy Sauce
- 3 Tablespoons Sake (or Korean Cheongju)
- 2 Tablespoons Sugar
Eat Sukiyaki With:
- A bowl Cooked Rice
- 1 Beaten Egg (optional)
- Cut a block of firm tofu in half - we'll only need ½ (~150 grams). Then wrap it in a few paper towels and set it aside. The paper towels will drain the water out of it.
- Rinse the Shirataki noodles under running water. Then squeeze the water out of it. (Note: If you're using Korean Dangmyeon noodles, remember to soak the Dangmyeong noodles in a bowl of cold water for at least 1 hour.)
- Remove the stems off the Shiitake Mushrooms. Then slice into thin pieces.
- Separate a small bundle of Oyster Mushrooms into individual pieces.
- Next, tear-off 3 pieces off lettuce from a head of Chinese Cabbage. Chop them into 3-4 thick sections.
- Cut 1 forearm-length piece of Spring Onion stalk at a slight angle.
- Cut ½ a whole onion into thick strips.
- If you're using Mugwort, give it a rinse, then cut-off the stem portion (about ~2 inches from the bottom).
Make Anchovy Kelp Broth
- Fill a pot with ~3.5 cups of water. Then add in an anchovy-kelp broth packet and simmer for 5 minutes on medium heat (or make it from scratch). You'll end up with around ~3 cups of broth (doesn't have to be exact)
- Note: You can also use Japanese Stock broth - using dried Kombu only or a mix of Kombu & Katsuobushi.
Make Authentic Sukiyaki Sauce
- Take out a bowl and thoroughly mix: Mirin (⅔ cup), Soy Sauce (½ cup), Sake (3 Tablespoons), Sugar (2 Tablespoons).
- Give it a thorough mix again - so no sugar is sitting at the bottom. Then immediately pour it into a pot. Bring the sauce up to a boil. As soon as it starts to bubble, turn off the heat. Let the Sukiyaki Sauce cool down, then pour into a smaller cup.
Sear Ingredients for Deeper Flavor
- Take out a frying pan. Place it on a medium-high heat (don't add any cooking oil). Once its hot, use a piece of shabu-shabu meat and rub it around the pan, so we get a little bit of natural grease in the pan.
- Then add in the tofu block, onion, and spring onion cuts. Let them sizzle away for a few minutes until they get a nice sear on one side. Flip it and repeat. Take each ingredient out whenever it gets a nice sear.
Assemble Sukiyaki Pot
- Take out a large pot. Arrange the Tofu, Onion, Spring Onion, Shiitake Mushroom, Oyster Mushroom, Shirataki Noodles, Chinese Cabbage, Mugwort and Shabu Shabu Beef Slices.
- Then place the pot on a medium-high heat. Give it a few minutes - until you hear sizzling in the pot. Then add in around 2-3 soup ladles of the Sukiyaki Sauce.
- Let the ingredients bubble away in the Sukiyaki Sauce for 1-2 minutes.
- Then, add in the Anchovy-Kelp Broth (1-2 soup ladles worth).
- Then, slowly mix the beef in so that it can cook and add more flavor to the broth.
- Once the vegetables turn soft, enjoy!
- Note: As you eat, feel free to add more Sukiyaki Sauce if it tastes bland ... or more Anchovy-Kelp Broth if it tastes slightly salty. Adjust as you eat.
- Also remember to eat this Sukiyaki with a bowl of rice! (Too salty to eat on its own)
Optional Egg Dip (Japanese Way of Eating)
- Crack a fresh egg into a bowl. Whisk it up. Then pick out a few ingredients from the Sukiyaki and dip it the fresh beaten eggs - and slurp it up (This is the way that Japanese like to eat it!)