I obsess so much over sukiyaki that it only makes sense that I have a post on it. Nami, the author of JustOneCookbook already has a lovely sukiyaki recipe. I made some slight modifications, but she pretty much nails it on the head. The recipe below is a combination of my experience at Obachan's house and Nami's from JustOneBookbook.
Sukiyaki is fun when you get a group of people together. Just make sure everyone is seated within arms reach of the hotpot. Use two burners and pots if you have a larger group!
Serves 6 really hungry people, or 8 mildly hungry people
Feel free to adjust the ingredients depending on your group's preference. Just make sure you have a variety of mushrooms, cabbage, noodles, and onions. You just can't go wrong with sukiyaki! I'll often cut extra amounts of vegetables to use just in case the group is gobbling it all up. Extras can be easily saved for another meal. Frozen udon also comes in multiple packs, so if anyone is still hungry at the end you can throw in extra noodles.
3 packages Enoki Mushrooms
5-8 Shiitake Mushrooms, sliced into .5" pieces
1 package Maitake Mushrooms
1 package Hiratake (also known as oyster mushrooms)
1-2 Napa Cabbages, sliced into 1.5" pieces
1-2 Carrots, sliced in .25" rounds
1-2 packages of Frozen Udon Noodles
1-2 packages of Shirataki Noodlesj (brown or white, doesn't matter)
1-2 packages of Broiled Tofu, cubed in 1-2" pieces
1-2 bundles of Tokyo Negi (giant Japanese green onion), sliced
4 lbs. of Kobe Beef (or best thin sliced meat you are willing to buy, my rule of thumb is .6-.7 pounds per person)
1 dozen Cage Free, Organic, Pasture Eggs (typically from the farmer's market or reputable food store. They cost around $9 for the entire dozen)
**A special note about the eggs**
American eggs are not as high quality and salmonella-free as the ones in Japan. You need to buy eggs that are PASTURED (chickens are allowed to roam in a pasture freely). Empowered Sustenance breaks this raw egg deal down perfectly. Organic and cage free eggs do not equate to pastured eggs. More information can also be found on SafeEggs.
If you want to make your own, use Nami's recipe
Sukiyaki Tare (I like using the pre-made version, you should be able to search for "sukiyaki sauce" or "tare" in any Japanese grocery store)
2 Cups of Water on hand
Iwatani Butane Portable Stove
Extra butane gas canisters (they are MUCH cheaper at the grocery store... only $2 or so)
Recommended Japanese Grocery Stores
- Wash and chop all of the vegetables/tofu as specified on ingredient list.
- Arrange ingredients on a plate so they are easily accessible next to the stove.
- Rinse the shirataki noodles in a colandar under cold running water for 3 minutes to remove the strange "fishy" smell.
- Remember to place the frozen udon out on the table so you don't need to get up to retrieve it later on.
- Open the beef packaging and arrange the meat on a plate if you wish (not necessary).
- Each place setting should have a bowl, high quality raw egg, and chopsticks.
- The portable stove should be set up in the center of the table within arm's reach for everyone. Keep the sukiyaki tare, water cup, and tongs/long chopsticks right next to it. You may want to appoint a designated "cook" or two to be in charge of adding ingredients into the sukiyaki pot.
- Everyone should crack their raw egg into their bowls and beat to get the yolk thoroughly mixed. This will be another part of your "sukiyaki sauce".
- Turn the heat on medium-high and place several pieces of beef in to get the pan started.
- Once there is a bit of natural oil/fat on the pan (sometimes people add a spot of vegetable oil), you can add in large handfuls of vegetables, tofu, and shirataki noodles.
- Liberally squirt the sukiyaki sauce in and taste as you go.
- The vegetables will cook down and yield water, but you can add it a few small pours of water whenever the broth gets low.
- Grab small pieces of vegetables and meat for yourself, dip into your raw egg, and pop it in your mouth! This might be hard for some to wrap their heads around, but the raw egg makes a huge difference. Its amazing, you should really try it.
- Eat and encourage others to chow down once the ingredients are cooked. This is a continuous process of eating and adding ingredients. It's best not to overcook the meat, so leave an empty plate out for the cooked pieces.
- Once everyone's eating pace starts slowing down, the vegetables have dwindled, and the broth is strong and flavorful, add the frozen udon into the pot.
- Enjoy the intermingled flavors of the sukiyaki pot over a bowl of udon!
So what is the verdict? Do you love sukiyaki as much as I do?