Sukiyaki is one of the most popular hot pot dishes in Japan. It has a sweet and salty flavor a little bit like teriyaki sauce, but with beef and vegetable in the mix, it has its own Sukiyaki taste people love so much. We usually cook Sukiyaki in a cast iron Sukiyaki pot at the dinner table using a portable gas stove and eat it as we cook. It is a perfect dinner for family or great food to enjoy with guests.
Although Sukiyaki is a Japanese “national” food like sushi, it is different by region. In eastern Japan (Kanto), they use a premixed sauce called “Warishita” made from sugar, soy sauce, mirin, etc. to cook with meat and vegetable, but in western Japan (Kansai) we put mainly sugar and soy sauce directly onto meat in the pot to season. Because we are from the west, we make Kansai style Sukiyaki here.
In Sukiyaki, you need thinly sliced beef. Preferably with fat marbled into red meat, such as Kobe (Matsusaka) beef. They are notoriously expensive, but the texture is unbeatable compared to lean red meat. You might not even need teeth 🙂 So tender and just yummy! Here in the US, you can use thinly sliced rib-eye instead.
Other than beef, there are some ingredients you might not be familiar with:
Ito Konnyaku (Shirataki) Konnyaku is a jelly-like food made from konnyaku potatoes. Ito Konnyaku is a noodle form of Konnyaku.
Kikuna leaves Edible chrysanthemum greens which have a distinct herbal flavor.
Enoki mushrooms Long and thin white mushrooms that have a mild flavor. They are often used for different hot pot dishes in Japan.
Naganegi onions Long onions that are mostly white and thicker than green onions, but thinner than leaks.
If some of the ingredients are not available to you, you could substitute with any vegetables you like such as button mushrooms and onions.
In Japan, we dip cooked Sukiyaki beef and vegetable in raw eggs. Sounds gross? But it is not! (well, may be a little) The relatively strong Sukiyaki flavor gets mild with egg, and at the same time, the egg flavor enhances Sukiyaki taste. While it can be risky to eat raw eggs in the US, we don’t usually have problems with salmonella in eggs in Japan. (I don’t blame you if you want to skip raw eggs because you don’t want to take a chance in the US.)
If you don’t have a Sukiyaki pan nor portable gas stove, don’t worry. You can just cook in a frying pan on stove top, and take it to your dinner table like we did in our video. Either way you’ll enjoy this delicious food.
- 1 Tbsp oil
- 1 lb beef, thinly sliced
- 4 Tbsp sugar
- 4 Tbsp soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp Sake
- 1/2 Nappa cabbage, cut 2" width
- 2 long onions, cut diagonally
- 1 bunch Kikuna, cut 2" long
- 1 package tofu, cut 1" width
- 8 shiitake mushrooms
- 1 package enoki mushrooms
- 1 package itokonnyaku
- Heat a pan at medium high and add oil.
- Sear beef slices in the pan, and add sugar, soy sauce, and Sake when the color of meat has started turning.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and cook about 10-15 minutes.
- Adjust seasonings if you like by adding more soy sauce and/or sugar.