Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sukiyaki for two - Not Made In The CrockPot

HE SAID: Very good, different and light

Sukiyaki ingredients
While cleaning out our kitchen, we found a soon-to-expire bottle of Sukiyaki sauce.  Sukiyaki is a fun dish to make at home...healthy, easy to prepare...but if you ever have a chance to enjoy Sukiyaki in Japan or a Japanese restaurant where the waitress cooks everything for you at your table, definitely try it.

A fancy Sukiyaki meal in Japan can easily run you $160 per person or more.  It's a fabulous meal.  If you're wanting that sort of experience, we recommend Zakuro in Tokyo (Akasaka area).  It's pricey, but wow, the food is great and a waitress dressed in a yukata will prepare the meal at your table.    They'll even sell you their sauce!

It's easy enough to make your own sauce if you prefer.  There are several recipes on the internet like this one.  We've cooked this on the stove too, but it's fun to bring out the modern nabe pot and cook while you eat.

There's really no wrong way to make Sukiyaki.  Pick vegetables that cook fairly quickly.  If you don't have a Japanese market that sells beef sliced for Sukiyaki, ask your local butcher if he can cut your beef almost paper thin.  Sukiyaki beef is cut slightly thicker than shabu shabu meats.  If you really want to get fancy and you own some Japanese cutters which are flower shaped, etc., you can cut daikon (radish) and carrots into flower shapes.  Even if you don't have the cutters, you can easily cut daikon and carrots into shapes.  Cut designs into your fresh Shiitake mushrooms.  You can even take konnyaku and "twist" them.  We'll post instructions with pictures next time we do that.


Prep Time: 20-30 minutes
Cook Time: The duration of your meal (cook as you eat)

1 bottle of Sukiyaki sauce (taste it, some bottles require dilution, especially if you have high blood pressure like the female half of this couple)
1 tray of beef, sliced for Sukiyaki (and very marbled)
Chinese cabbage, chopped (depends on how much you want to eat)
1/2 tray firm tofu (we prefer House brand), cubed
1 pkg enokitake mushrooms (normally fresh Shiitake mushrooms are also used, but the male half of this couple doesn't care for them)
1 pkg shirataki noodles (we prefer the goma or sesame ones)
Negi (scallion) - optional
1 T olive oil

Photo from site -
by Setsuko Yoshizuka
Rinse and chop chinese cabbage, arrange in tray.  Rinse and cube tofu, arrange in tray.  Don't cut your tofu too small or it'll fall apart while boiling - also, use firm tofu.  Rinse and remove roots from enokitake mushrooms.  Separate and arranged in tray.  Drain shirataki noodles, arrange in tray.  Arrange beef in tray.  Turn pot on, add olive oil.  Add one or two pieces of meat in the pot, move it around the pot to grease up the pot.  Pour diluted sauce into pot.  Bring to a "soft" boil.  Add other ingredients in pot.  We don't recommend adding everything in at once.   It looks pretty, but things start to over cook.  As items are done cooking, transfer them into your personal dishes and eat with rice you've cooked in your rice cooker FROM Japan!  So good!

Enjoy...we sure did!

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