A favorite meal on a cold winter night is Asian hot pot dinners, which reign supreme from Japan to Cambodia. The cooking pots and ingredients may vary, but the concept remains consistent. Hot pot dining is communal, and the meal is usually cooked and served table-side. The prep is done ahead of time, so you can enjoy more time with your family while cooking and eating together.
Nabemano, is the Japanese term for hot pot, and one of the most popular Nabemano dishes is called Shabu-shabu, which translates to “swish swish”. Another popular Nabemano dish is Sukiyaki, which we’re making a simple Sukiyaki recipe!
What is Sukiyaki?
Sukiyaki on the other hand, uses a more distinctively flavored broth. It often begins with a dashi broth made of kelp and Bonita flakes, and then soy sauce, sugar, and sake are added for a sweet salty sauce, somewhat like teriyaki. In addition to the beef, other common sukiyaki ingredients are:
- Tofu – while very commonly used in beef sukiyaki, it’s also a key ingredient in vegetarian style sukiyaki. The best kind to use is extra firm tofu, as it’s much easier to dice and holds its shape in the hot broth
- Napa cabbage, (NOT from the wine country) is a Chinese cabbage, that is softer and sweeter than the traditional cabbage familiar to American cooking.
- Kikuna leaves, (a type of chrysanthemum green) add a mild celery like flavor
- Enoki mushrooms, which have a very mild flavor are often used as well as shiitake and other mushrooms.
- Shirataki noodles, are clear, jellylike and made from a Japanese sweet potato powder. Sometimes seaweed powder is added to the shirataki noodles, resulting in a jelly like noodle which is darker in color. Other noodles can also be used such as udon which is chewier and made from wheat flour
- Naganegi onions, which are whiter and thicker than green onions, but smaller than leeks
The best part about most hot pot recipes is that they are very versatile. This sukiyaki recipe can be made with chicken, pork or no meat at all. If you don’t like mushrooms you can leave them out, and you can add almost any veggies you like. I would suggest trying this basic recipe the first time, to get a sense of what it’s like. The next time around, you can adapt to fit your flavor and budget preferences!
- 1 tablespoon grapeseed or olive oil (preference)
- 1 pound rib eye steak thinly sliced
- 14 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/8 cup sake
- 6 cups dashi broth
- 2 cups napa cabbage thinly sliced
- 2 green onions sliced thinly on the diagonal
- 1 cup kikuna roughly chopped
- 2 cups Melissa's Extra Firm Tofu cut in 1/2 inch dice
- 1 package Melissa's Maitake Mushrooms
- 4 shiitake mushrooms stems removed and thinly sliced
- 1 package enoki mushrooms
- heat a cast iron casserole or Dutch oven over medium high heat
- add oil, sear beef slices in the pan
- add sugar, soy sauce and Sake when the color of meat has started turning
- add the rest of the ingredients
- cook about 10-15 minutes
- adjust seasonings as needed, if broth is too sweet or too salty (add more salt or sugar)