When I think about Japanese food I think about sukiyaki, a Japanese style beef hot pot with lots of vegetables, cooked at the table and brings everyone together. I love how everything is cooked freshly in front of you and eaten as soon as it's ready
- 20 g piece wagyu beef fat
- 1 bunch spring onions, cut into 8-cm pieces
- 500 g trimmed middle cut eye fillet beef, thinly sliced
- 5 tbsp white sugar
- 100 ml mirin
- 100 ml sake
- ½ Chinese cabbage, cut into large pieces
- 100 g fresh shiitake mushrooms, stalks discarded
- 100 g enoki mushrooms, trimmed
- 150 g firm tofu, sliced
- 80 g shirataki (thin konnyaku noodles), blanched and drained
- 100 ml soy sauce
- 3 eggs
- 1½ tbsp soy sauce
- 3 tsp mirin
- 3 tsp rice vinegar
- 8-cm piece dried kelp
- 15 g bonito flakes
- 2 tsp lemon juice
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
- For the ponzu sauce, place all the ingredients except the lemon juice in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5 minutes, then remove from the heat and add the lemon juice. Stir to combine, then strain and stand until cool.
- Preheat a wide heavy–based saucepan over medium–high heat. Add the wagyu fat and cook until melted. Add the spring onion, then place a layer of beef on top of the spring onions (no more than ¼ of the beef). Add the sugar, mirin and sake and bring to the boil.
- Place the cabbage, mushrooms, tofu and noodles in separate piles in the pan. Pour the soy sauce over the top and simmer for a couple of minutes.
- Pour about 200 ml water into the sukiyaki and bring to a simmer, then taste and adjust the sauce to taste, adding more water if desired.
- Crack the eggs into individual ramekins and lightly beat. This is your traditional sukiyaki dipping sauce, but I also like to serve the dish with ponzu sauce.
- Lay the remaining beef over the top of the sukiyaki and serve with the beaten egg and ponzu sauce on the side for dipping. The key point is to not overcook the beef - as soon as the beef is cooked you want to pull it out and dunk in your sauce.
Adam Liaw cooks, laughs, and explores culture with some of Australia's most beloved in The Cook Up With Adam Liaw.
Photography by Danielle Abou Karam.