Spring has just begun—which means there is just enough time for one more sukiyaki supper before the hot weather arrives. Sukiyaki is a Japanese Winter meal, cooked tableside and often eaten around New Years. To cook it the traditional way you'll need a butane burner or electric hot plate. If you enjoy hotpot-style cooking these two things are worth having anyway.
The usual ingredients are thinly sliced beef, tofu and a variety vegetables, typically cabbage, mushrooms, and onions. Many people dip their hot cooked beef and vegetables in a beaten raw egg. If this makes you squeamish, or the risk of eating raw egg out weighs the reward, just skip it.
- 2/3 cup mirin
- 2/3 cup sake
- 2/3 cup soy sauce
- 1 1/3 cups dashi
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 1/2 pounds sirloin beef, sliced into 1/4- to 1/8th-inch strips
- 8 ounces firm tofu, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced (shiitake, portabello, button, enoki or a variety)
- 1 yellow onion, sliced into thin rings
- 8 scallions, cut into 2 inch pieces
- 1 small head bok choy or napa cabbage, leaves cut into 1- to 2-inch segments
- 1 cup short grain rice
- 8 ounces shirataki or udon noodles
- 4 eggs (optional)
Bring mirin, sake, dashi and sugar to a simmer and stir until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and reserve.
Arrange beef and tofu on separate platters (or dinner plates) cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Arrange mushrooms, onion, scallions, and bok choy on a serving platter and set aside.
Rinse rice in a fine mesh strainer until water runs clear. Place in a small pot and cover with 2 cups water, bring to a simmer then turn heat to low and cover with tight fitting lid. Steam until all the water is absorbed, about 30 minutes.
Set up butane burner or electric hot plate, and carefully ignite. Place a thick bottomed, low sided pan over burner and pour in sauce mixture. Bring to a simmer
Divide rice between 4 small bowls. Place platters of ingredients around burner and cook as you eat by transferring to simmering broth and cooking to desired doneness. If desired, break egg into separate bowl, beat and use to dip steaming hot ingredients into.
Fine-mesh strainer, tabletop butane burner or electric hot plate, low-sided thick bottomed skillet