Authentic Sukiyaki Recipe (serves 4 – 6)
Sukiyaki is among the most common dishes found in Japan, and as such there are as many variations on it as there are people who make it. This is a basic recipe that includes the most common ingredients used throughout Japan. A truly authentic sukiyaki recipe may include ingredients that are harder to find outside of Japan; I have tried to include alternatives where I can.
½ cup sake
¼ cup mirin
¼ cup dark soy sauce
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
½ pound lean beef
10 – 12 shiitake mushrooms
2 oz enoki mushrooms
4 large napa cabbage leaves
1 negi (Japanese leek). If unavailable, a regular leek or 2 large green onions are an adequate substitute.
½ pound konnyaku or shirataki noodles
½ pound firm tofu
½ cup komatsuna (Japanese mustard cabbage). If unavailable, mustard greens are an adequate substitute.
Eggs (1 per person)
Boiled soba or udon noodles
1. Prepare the sukiyaki ingredients:
• Slice the beef very thin.
• Remove the stems from the shiitake mushrooms.
• Remove the white stem from the napa cabbage leaves. Cut the stem into thin slices, and roughly chop the leaves into 3-inch wide pieces.
• Remove the ends of the negi and chop into 2-inch long pieces.
• Boil the konnyaku noodles until fully cooked, then drain.
• Slice the tofu into 1-inch cubes.
• Wash and drain the komatsuna.
2. To make the sukiyaki sauce, combine sake, mirin, dark soy sauce, and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring it to a boil to dissolve the sugar and cook off the alcohol. Remove from heat and set aside.
2. Heat an iron sukiyaki pot (if unavailable, a large cast iron skillet or steep-walled non-stick skillet will suffice) and sear the beef. Pour 2 – 3 tablespoons of sukiyaki sauce over it as it cooks.
3. Add shiitake mushrooms, enoki mushrooms, napa cabbage, negi, konnyaku, tofu, and komatsuna to the pot, in that order. This will ensure that the ingredients finish cooking at about the same time. Do not stir or mix the ingredients together: they should each occupy their own section of the pot.
4. Pour the remaining sukiyaki sauce over the ingredients. Cover and let cook for 3 – 4 minutes.
5. The ingredients should now be thoroughly cooked and warmed through, and have released enough liquid to make a broth.
6. Traditionally, sukiyaki is a family-style dish and is eaten straight from the pot with chopsticks. If this is not desirable, portion the sukiyaki ingredients and broth evenly into bowls for each diner.
7. Authentic sukiyaki recipes are served with raw egg on the side. As the steaming hot ingredients are taken from the pot, diners dip them immediately into the raw egg and eat them.
• When adding the ingredients to the pot, do not put the konnyaku next to the beef; it is believed that this makes the beef tough.
• Soba or udon noodles are sometimes added to the pot towards the end of the meal to soak up the remaining broth.