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Sukiyaki / Japanese Hot Pot

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Sukiyaki is a Japanese stir-fry that is traditionally prepared at the table in a special pan and one of Winter Recipes.
Guests use chopsticks to serve themselves out of the pan or to cook the meat in the simmering broth, as with fondue.

In the 1890s when Japan was opened to foreigners, new cooking styles were also introduced. Cows, milk, meat, and egg became widely used, and sukiyaki was the most popular way to serve them.
The first sukiyaki restaurant, Isekuma, opened in Yokohama in 1862.
Beef is the primary ingredient in today's sukiyaki.
There were two main ways of cooking sukiyaki: a Kantō (Tokyo area) and a Kansai (Osaka area) style. In the Kantō way, the special cooking sauce's ingredients are already mixed. In the Kansai way, the sauce is mixed at the time of eating.

(Sukiyaki Image / Before heat-treatment)

(Sukiyaki Image / After heat-treatment)

But after the great Kanto earthquake of 1923, the people of Kantō, temporarily moved to the Osaka area. While the people of Kantō were in Osaka, they got accustomed to the Kansai style of sukiyaki, and when they returned to Kantō, they introduced the Kansai sukiyaki style, where it has since become popular.

How to Make Sukiyaki (Japanese Beef Hot Pot)

This recipe has been adapted so that it can be prepared quickly in your kitchen.
It uses trefoil, a member of the parsley family, which has a long thin stem with many 3-pointed leaves.
It has a light flavor somewhat similar to sorrel or celery.
Trefoil can be found in some Asian markets but if it is not available, use 3 ounces of sorrel or spinach.

  • 1 piece of Wagyu fat
  • 12 oz of Saga wagyu beef thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup mirin
  • 1/2 cup sake
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 8 oz firm tofu diced 1" X 1"
  • 2 cups Nappa cabbage, cut into 1" pieces
  • 12 fresh shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 Tokyo scallion, or scallion, cut 1 1/2" long
  • 1 cup Dashi
  • 1 bunch Enoki mushrooms
  • 2 bunches chrysanthemum leaves, or water cress
  • 1 pack of yam noodles (shirataki) drained and rinsed, or substitute bean-noodles


Preheat a casserole type of large pan. Place the fat piece to oil the pan.
When the fat melts, place slices of wagyu beef to sear them lightly.
Add mirin, sake, soy sauce and sugar.
Add tofu, Nappa cabbage, shiitake mushrooms, and scallion.
Pour in half of the dashi. When dashi boils, add enoki mushrooms and chrysanthemum leaves.
When the leaves wilt, it is ready to serve.
* In Japan sukiyaki is cooked on the dining table, and each person uses chopsticks to pick up the ingredients from the pan as they are cooked. Therefore, all the ingredients are not put into the pan at once, but little by little.

By J.S. on Jan 17, 2010




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