In Japan, the sukiyaki ingredients are dipped into a beaten raw egg before eating, but here, we use hot-spring eggs instead.
Sukiyaki a popular meal for gatherings, as the dish is typically cooked over a portable stove in the centre of the table and everyone can take part.
- 1 packet shirataki (konjac) noodles (optional)
- neutral oil or beef fat, for frying
- 2 leeks, white part only, cut into 4-cm (1½ in) lengths
- 1 carrot, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
- 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) beef fillet, thinly sliced (see Note)
- 250 ml (8½ fl oz/1 cup) katsuo dashi (see Steps 1-3 here)
- 1 500-g (1 lb 2 oz) block momen (firm) tofu, cubed
- ½ Chinese cabbage (wombok), cut into bite-sized pieces
- 6–8 fresh whole shiitake mushrooms
- rice, to serve
- 4 eggs, in their shells
- 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) sake
- 75 ml (2½ fl oz) mirin
- 160 ml (5½ fl oz) soy sauce
- 1 tbsp caster (superfine) sugar
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.
- To make the sukiyaki sauce, place the sake and mirin in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook until reduced by half. Add the soy sauce and sugar and cook until the sugar dissolves. Set aside.
- For the hot-spring eggs, heat a large stockpot of water over low heat until it reaches 63°C (145°F) on a kitchen thermometer. Using a ladle or a slotted spoon, carefully lower the eggs into the water. Turn off the heat, cover and leave for 63 minutes, checking the temperature every 10–15 minutes. Using a larger cooking vessel will help keep the temperature stable, but if it drops below 60°C (140°F), you will need to heat the water back up to 63°C (145°F). Fill a large bowl with iced water. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the eggs from the stockpot to the iced water and set aside for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with iced water. Bring a saucepan of water to the boil over high heat and blanch the shirataki noodles in the boiling water for 30 seconds. Drain the noodles, then transfer them to the iced water to refresh. Drain again and set aside.
- Heat the oil or melt the beef fat in a large, shallow frying pan over medium heat. Add the leek and carrot and cook until coloured on all sides. Add the sliced beef and cook until browned.
- Pour the sukiyaki sauce and katsuo dashi over the beef and vegetables, then arrange the tofu, cabbage and mushrooms on top. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10–15 minutes, regularly skimming away any impurities that rise to the surface.
- Bring the pan to the dining table to allow everyone to share, and serve with a bowl of rice and a hot-spring egg for each person, cracked over the dish.
• To easily slice beef for sukiyaki, place it in the freezer for ½–1 hour, or until just firm but not frozen solid. Using a gentle back-and-forth motion, cut thin slices across the grain for the most tender results. Thinly sliced beef can also be found in Asian, Japanese or Korean supermarkets in the freezer section.
Recipe from Tokyo Local by Caryn Liew and Brendan Liew, Smith Street Books, RRP $39.99