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How to Cook Sukiyaki (すきやき)

Sukiyaki

Sukiyaki with Beer!

Some would say that Sushi is Japan’s most famous food, but it does not have a song named after it like Sukiyaki (すきやき).  We are now deep into autumn and soon it will be winter.  This period is great for cooking Sukiyaki because you can buy delicious white cabbage (hakusai) and mushrooms at the store around this time.  It is served best on a hotpot placed right on the dinner table,  but don’t let not having one stop you from trying to make this recipe.   It is perfect for a family gathering, dinner party or a dinner for two with huge appetites.  Authentic Japanese sukiyaki is not like the broth-ish type we see around the world, so don’t be suprised if it does not look like the one you are familiar with.

Osugiri (Thin sliced Japanese Beef)

You can't go wrong with Usugiri, thinly sliced Japanese beef

Ingredients (serves 4-5):

* Amount of meat and vegetables can be flexible

  • 400-500 g Sliced beef (Usugiri)
  • 200- 300g Shirataki Noodles (しらたき/糸こんにゃくIto Konnyaku)
  • 100g Enoki mushroom
  • 100g Shimeji mushroom
  • 1 Onion (sliced)
  • 2-3 Naganegi (Long spring onion)- sliced in 2cm size
  • 80g Gobo (Greater burdock root)  -thinly sliced and quickly boiled
  • 1 block of Firm Tofu *Ideally grilled Tofu (焼豆腐Yaki-tofu)
  • Sukiyaki Sauce (Adjust the amount of Sukiyaki sauce depending on amount of vegetables and meat.)

DSC_0017

How to Make Sukiyaki Sauce

  • 1/2 cup (100cc) of Soysauce
  • 1/2 cup of Rice wine (Sake or cooking sake)
  • 1/2 cup of Sugar

Optional Ingredients

Egg, Mochi, Shungiku leaves (春菊)

Cooking

1. Heat 1 big spoon of cooking oil in the pan and cook beef. When beef is cooked, add seasonings for sukiyaki sauce (soysauce, sake and sugar).
Sukiyaki

2. Move the beef to one side of the pan and add shirataki, white cabbage, gobo, long spring onion, onion, tofu and mushrooms and cover the pan. (Only part of the ingredients will be soaked by sauce but they will shrink.)
Sukiyaki
3. When the ingredients shrink, mix them (among their portion of the pan) so that those on top will be soaked as well.  Cook for 5 to 10 minutes.

DSC_0041

4. Taste and adjust flavor by adding sukiyaki sauce ingredients if necessary.

5. Serve hot.  Eat it with rice or udon which you can add in the remaining soup after you finish eating meat and vegetables!

Oh, and in case you don’t know the song I was talking about, here are a few clips from youtube for you:

Here is the original version of Sukiyaki.  It’s real title is Ue Wo Muite Arukou (Look Up When I Walk).

Here is probably the more popular (depending where you are from) English version from the 1990s:

But I prefer this acoustic cover by Kinna Granis:

Legend has it that your sukiyaki tastes better when you play these songs as you cook sukiyaki.  Ok, maybe there is no such legend, but why risk it?

Ittadakimasu!

inbento boxes from japan

17 Comments

  1. Japundit says:

    Story added…

    Your story has been featured on Japundit!

    Here is the link: http://www.japundit.com/FoodDrink/Sukiyaki_Recipe

  2. mahjonghound says:

    Great recipe, thanks. I can't wait to try this, although I'll need to find a substitute for the spring onions because I've never seen them in the store.

    "Some would say that Sushi is Japan’s most famous food, but it does not have a song named after it like Sukiyaki"

    Would you count "Sushi Girl" by the Tubes as a sushi song?

    Su-su-sushi

    Mushi Mushi

    Cherry blossom and rice

    Su-su-sushi she's so nice

    1. Asawa says:

      Hi Mahjonghound! Where are you based? You can skip the spring onions and it should still come out ok! Haven't heard of that song, ill try to listen to it while I eat sushi!

  3. flip says:

    wow… looks delicious

  4. [...] Japan and there are many variations of this recipe. Here is a nice version of the recipe from the Fukuoka Dreaming blog  There are some good pictures of the dish on this blog as [...]

  5. Discovered your site via CNNGo.
    Very interesting read — planning on trying some of the dishes you featured.
    I am referencing your post on “Sukiyaki” on my blog, I hope you don’t mind.

    Please keep posting. It’s a nice and informative blog and I revel on discovering Japan through your posts!

    More power and God Bless!

  6. kaeru says:

    Hi Kamikaze Girl,

    Thanks for the reference! Please keep visiting!

  7. Sandy says:

    Thank you for sharing this recipe, its the real deal!! I also love the songs! I played them while I was cooking the sukiyaki!

  8. kaeru says:

    Thanks Sandy! I hope the songs made the experience richer!

  9. [...] until the 70s, much of the food writing about Japanese cuisine focused on sukiyaki, a winter dish of beef, vegetables and noodles. And Reichl herself caught hell in 1983 for doing [...]

  10. Japanophile says:

    Interesting. None of the beef hotpots I had in Hokkaido and involved cooking the beef before adding the sauce like here. Is this a regional variation?

  11. Asawa says:

    Hi Japanophile. Im actually not sure, but from my experience, central Japan also does it as written. Will look into Hokkaido sukiyaki preference!:)

  12. [...] dish that is perfect for this miserably cold weather. This week’s recipe has been taken from fukuokadreaming.com, a brilliant blog written by a Fukuoka local, so you should definitely check it [...]

  13. lovesukiyaki says:

    My father was stationed in Japan during he Korean war. While he was there for several years he had a Japanese girlfriend. Perhaps its a regional thing, but the recipe my dad was taught is entirelu different other than the beef. Broccoli bamboo shoots waterchessnuts yellow squash and zucchini and snow peas. And a litte green onion.

    1. Kaeru says:

      Thanks for the comment and the interesting tidbit. I guess different recipes evolve from different regions, different families and different times. It would be interesting to read about different Sukiyaki recipes from all over Japan!

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