Sukiyaki party !!!

Sukiyaki party !!!

Sukiyaki

By
From
JapanEasy
Serves
2-4
Photographer
Laura Edwards

Sukiyaki is one of those Japanese foods that’s so fun and so easy I always wonder why it hasn’t become more popular. Essentially, it’s a sweet soy-based beef and vegetable hotpot. But like most Japanese hotpot dishes, the cooking is typically communal, done at the table. Prepared raw meat and vegetables are laid out alongside a bubbling cauldron of delicious broth-sauce, for diners to dunk in and cook to their liking, before retrieving it and immersing it in a bowl of dipping sauce on the side, and gobbling it up, piping hot. It’s a joyous, convivial, exciting experience, and it’s SUPER easy.

Not at all difficult; in fact, you don’t even have to do most of the cooking!

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
3 leeks, washed and trimmed, cut on the bias into slices 2 cm thick
500g turnips or daikon, peeled and cut into rounds 1 cm thick
4 carrots, peeled and cut on the bias into slices 1 cm thick
100g mangetout
1/2 hispi, chinese or flat cabbage, cut into chunks 2–3 cm wide
200g rocket, watercress or other peppery greens, see note
300g mixed mushrooms, see note
800g bavette/flank steak, partially frozen and sliced very thinly against the grain
500ml Sesame sauce
or 400ml Ponzu, for dipping
4 portions noodles, fresh is best (ramen or udon)

For the broth-sauce

Quantity Ingredient
1 tablespoon oil
30g dark brown sugar
500ml water, plus more as needed to top up
150ml sake
150ml soy sauce
10-15g kombu
or 1 teaspoon dashi powder
or 1/2 beef stock cube, (optional)

Method

  1. Prepare your veg and beef as described (and feel free to use different kinds, as well). Lay them all out beautifully on a bamboo platter hand-crafted by Shinto priests, or whatever large plate you have. Lay out the beef on a separate dish, and gather everyone around the table with the burner in the middle. Give everybody a bowl with some sesame sauce or ponzu in it.
  2. Place a large hotpot or casserole on the burner, and add the oil. Add the brown sugar and let it melt and bubble, then add the water, sake, soy sauce and kombu/dashi powder/stock cube, if using. Bring this mixture to the boil and discard the kombu. Reduce the heat to a low boil/high simmer. Now we start cooking!
  3. Pass around the meat and veg, allowing everyone to dip whatever they like into the broth and cook it to their liking – then they just fetch it out with chopsticks, dip in their dip, and eat! Over time the broth will take on the flavour of everything that goes into it, becoming rich and deep. It will also reduce – top up with water as needed to keep the party going.
  4. Once the veg and meat have been devoured, bust out the noodles. At this time you should stop topping up the broth and let it reduce into a luscious, sweet sauce. Add the noodles and cook them until tender, then slurp them up (the dipping sauce will probably be gone at this point, but you won’t need it anymore because of how much flavour and substance you get from the broth itself).
  5. It’s really a tremendously fun and fortifying meal, especially nice for a dinner party in winter. But you can do it as an ordinary weekday dinner, too, and without the portable burner. Just make the broth as stated above, then cook all the veg to your liking, and add the meat and noodles last. Ladle it out into big, deep bowls as a kind of sukiyaki stew – oh, and you won’t need the dipping sauce if you cook it this way, but a little bit of lemon is nice to offset the rich sweetness of the broth.

Note

  • Keep an eye out for chrysanthemum greens (tong ho in Chinese) – they’re amazing

Note

  • Some supermarkets have an ‘exotic’ variety pack, or go for oyster or shiitake

Note

  • If you’re going to cook this at the table, you’ll need a portable gas burner or some sort of electric cooker – induction or an ordinary ceramic one will be fine (just be careful of the cord).
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