Sukiyaki

Winter is here and it’s the perfect opportunity to tell you about one of the main flavor profiles that got me hooked on Japanese cuisine. The following is not really a recipe as such; you can really customize this whichever you way you want.

Sukiyaki to me is the king of all hot-pots. The ultimate live-cooking experience! It’s perfect for festive seasons and gatherings around the center of the dining table. All you need is ultra-thinly sliced beef, tofu, konjac noodles, some mushrooms, vegetables and steamed rice. The sauce is the simplest and purest form of any Japanese flavor profile; consisting solely of sugar, soy sauce and the occasional splash of wine or stock if you intent on going Halal.

The authentic Sukiyaki is dipped in raw beaten egg right before consumption of each beef bite. But because I don’t really trust raw eggs in Egypt, I choose to add the egg in the hot-pot at the very end before switching off the heat so as to give it just enough time to cook over the residual warmth emitting from the pan.

  • The ingredients (I used):
    • 2 x 1-inch cubes of lamb fat
    • Ultra-thinly sliced sirloin beef (you can use ribeye if you prefer a richer flavor)
    • spring onion (or leek)
    • carrot
    • tofu (preferably firm, seared)
    • Shimeji and Shiitake mushrooms
    • Kuzukiri noodles from ZUMRA
  • For the seasoning sauce:
    • brown sugar
    • soy sauce
    • dashi stock (or chicken or wine)
  • Method:
    1. The idea here is to use the fat from the meat and the caramelization of the sugar to build flavor. First, melt some of the lamb fat on the pan. Then add a couple of beef slices to get things started.
    2. Sprinkle a tiny bit of sugar (about a teaspoon) all over the beef and hot pan and then add a splash of soy sauce to help it melt into a sauce.
    3. Move the beef slices to the side of the pan or even better; just eat them immediately with some steamed rice before you cook the rest of the meal.
    4. Now you can start layering the rest of the ingredients and repeat the sprinkling of sugar and soy sauce. If the pan get too dry, add a splash of your choice of flavoring liquid (stock or wine) and be careful not to burn the bottom of the pan.
    5. Enjoy the ingredients as they cook in the sauce at the table.

Check out my video on Instagram for a calming walkthrough of the recipe.

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