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
- 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.