sukiyaki it to me

Recently I have had this weird obsession with bento boxes. Being Japanese I am somehow drawn to these types of things – such as Hello Kitty and gadgets. My obsession with bentos ended up with me now the proud owner of 2 really cool ones. Then the obvious issue is what to fill the boxes with. This issue led me to the current post. Sukiyaki from Wikipedia:

Sukiyaki (Japanese: 鋤焼 or more commonly すき焼き; スキヤキ) is a Japanese dish in the nabemono (Japanese steamboat) style. It consists of meat (usually thinly sliced beef), or a vegetarian version made only with firm tofu, slowly cooked or simmered at the table, alongside vegetables and other ingredients, in a shallow iron pot in a mixture of soy sauce, sugar, and mirin. Before being eaten, the ingredients are usually dipped in a small bowl of raw, beaten eggs. Generally sukiyaki is a dish for the colder days of the year and it is commonly found at bōnenkai, Japanese year-end parties.

This is a dish that old mama Fujie usually busts out for special occasions in casa de Robesky. The tableside element of it adds to the sense of adventure. I recently purchased an induction cooker in Hong Kong, this in and of itself being a completely Asian purchase. So how do you make sukiyaki?


Step 1 – chop up the ingredients


Step 2 – the table


Step 3 – throw it all together


Step 4 – eat

The recipe – adapted from Mama Fujie’s and another one found online


  • 1 pound thinly sliced beef
  • A handful of shirataki noodles (made from yam cakes) or cellophane noodles
  • 7-8 shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 block enoki mushrooms
  • 1 medium negi (green onion for those whitey’s)
  • 1/2 Chinese cabbage 1 yaki-dofu (grilled tofu) / Fujie says: fresh Tofuji Tofu (not grilled)

For sukiyaki sauce:

  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 3 tbsps sake (Japanese rice wine)
  • 5 tbsps sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • Fresh ginger
  • 1 garlic clove

For dipping:

  • 4 eggs


  • Cut all ingredients into bite-sized pieces.
  • Arrange all ingredients on a large plate and place the plate at the table.
  • Mix soy sauce, sake, sugar, and water to make sukiyaki sauce.
  • Set an electric pan or a skillet at the table.

After this point, everything is done at the table as you eat.

Cooking and serving

  • Heat a little oil in the pan.
  • Fry some beef slices, then pour 1/2 the sukiyaki sauce in the pan.
  • Add other ingredients when the sauce starts to boil.
  • Simmer until all ingredients are softened.
  • Dip the cooked sukiyaki into the raw, beaten eggs and begin to eat.