SUKIYAKI ~ Beef
The sukiyaki house or restaurant in Japan is very expensive but worth every penny. Large trays of paper thin Kobe beef arrive at the table with sliced fresh veggies and the quantity is absolutely decadent.
The table has a built in hot pot in the middle and patrons cook their beef and veggies right in the boiling liquid. To top it off, the beef is dipped in a nice raw (pasteurized) egg beaten with hashi (chopsticks). This is truly sublime!
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- 3 lb
- paper thin slices of kobe (scarce amounts are available in the u.s.), angus ribeye or other top quality beef
- 1 lb
- firm tofu, cubed
- 2 bunch
- 12 large
- shiitake mushrooms, sliced
- 6 large
- napa cabbage leaves, sliced crosswise in 2 to 3 inch wide pieces
- 8 pkg
- yam or shirataki nooodles (have more on hand)
- 1 large
- pot of steamed rice
- 2 lb
- thinly sliced sweet potato
- 2 lb
- snow peas
- 2 lb
- fresh spinach or trimmed and cut swiss chard
- 1 bunch
- shinguku (chrysanthemum leaves) optional
- cooking pot sauce
- 2 c
- 1/2 c
- tamari (wheat free soy sauce)
- 1/4 c
- 1/4 c
- 1/4 c
- sugar or sugar substitute
1This recipe requires a great deal of preparation, however, I assure you it is worth it.
If you can get a gas powered hot plate for the middle of the dinner table, this would be ideal.
A cast iron braising pan or deep 10 inch cast iron skillet would also be perfect. The liquid should be added to the pan and warmed on the stove. Once it is hot enough, it should be placed on the hot plate in the middle of the table.
The sauce for cooking should be kept at just below boiling and the liquid should be deep enough for guests to add the ingredients they wish without crowding each other out.
The idea is to heat only enough food that can be eaten before it goes cold. Small batches should be made at a time. The liquid should be replenished as needed.
Small bowls of rice should be served as a side dish.
Not traditional with sukiyaki, but a nice side dish, are Japanese pickles. I have included a recipe on this site for making them.
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2If you can't get a hot plate. people often use a fondue pot. These usually have canned heat as a source of heat to keep the liquid hot enough.
I believe Le Creuset and Staub have one and Lodge has mini pots that will work. There is also the Japanese nabe or cast iron pot can be found online or in Asian stores.
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3In this photo you can see the nabe pot on the table heating element used to cook the food.
You will see the little bowl with the raw egg just waiting to be beaten.
To the right, is a flask of ice cold sake. I imagine it must be summer. Japanese sake hot or cold is very different than many kinds I have had in the U.S. They are much smoother.
However, in the past few years many more very good sake brands have shown up and some of the more famous brands are produced in the U.S.
Note: I just wanted to mention that true Kobe beef is not easily available in the U.S. and not at all in Europe as of 2014. It is extremely expensive and some beef touted as Kobe is not Kobe beef. I have had Kobe beef and there is nothing in the world like it.
Due to the climate, the soil and the grazing available to the beef, Kobe is remarkable, tender and full of flavor. You may note in the picture at the top of the page, the Kobe beef pictured there. Notice the marbleing and how thinly sliced it is. Ask you butcher to recommend a cut for you and ask him or her to slice it paper thin.
If healthy farm fresh eggs can be found from a trusted source, I recommend they be enjoyed with this recipe.
The cooked beef dipped in the egg is really delicious and offers the whole experience.
I hope you try and enjoy the Sukiyaki experience and hopefully you will be able to try it in Japan some day. : )
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