Beef Sukiyaki

  • 4 ounce Beef suet; or steak trimmings
  • 2 pound Beef tenderloin; sliced very thin
  • Dry mustard; for dip sauce
  • 12 Scallions; cut in 2 inch lengths
  • 1/2 pound Chinese cabbage;in 2 inch chunks 1/2 pound Spinach;chopped in 1 inch lengths
  • 2 cup Shirataki
  • 12 large Mushrooms
  • 12 1 inch cubes of tofu
  • 1 can Bamboo shoots
  • 4 Bowls of hot rice
  • 2 Eggs; beaten with a little water

Recipe Info
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Contributor: admin



1/2 cup Shoyu
1/4 cup Sake
1/3 cup Sugar

Yield: 4 servings

Definitions: Chinese cabbage is also known as Napa cabbage. Shirataki are translucent threads of gelatinous starch similar to Chinese glass noodles and available canned. Thin egg noodles cooked and cooled may be substituted. Shoyu is Japanese soy sauce. Sake is Japanese rice wine. Sherry or whiskey can be substituted.

Background: To most Americans Sukiyaki is the tastiest of Japanese dishes; it has familiar ingredients and the sauced beef appeals to hearty appetites. This version of Sukiyaki may be slightly westernized; it was used by a chef at the Japanese embassy in Washington. In Japan, it is prepared in a heavy iron skillet over a hibachi [charcoal brazier]- an electric skillet works fine. Diners, using chopsticks, transfer the morsels of food directly from the skillet while the food is cooking to their individual rice bowls. They can select ingredients cooked to the degree they prefer.

Cook the rice and arrange all the main ingredients on a large platter and bring to the table where the skillet is ready. To prepare the mustard dipping sauce make a thin paste of mustard and water [not vinegar]. Coleman's hot English mustard can be substituted but it does have a vinegar base. Set out in 4 small containers. To prepare the egg dipping sauce, beat two eggs in a little water and set out in 4 small cups. To make the soy dipping and cooking sauce, combine the shoyu, sake and sugar; stir until the sugar is dissolved. Pour into a small pitcher and set aside having 4 small bowls ready to fill as the meal progresses.

The first step both primes the skillet and takes the edge off the appetites of the waiting guests. Cut the suet into small pieces and fry in the skillet to make melted beef fat for frying in. If you use the fat trimmed from T-bone or sirloin steaks, you will have some cracklings left which make a small tasty first course.

The next course is beef slices dipped in the soy sauce and fried in the beef fat [this is tastiest when the beef is rare- just a few seconds per side]. When cooked dip in the mustard sauce and eat. Optionally dip the cooked beef in the egg wash; this will add an extra sauce and cool the beef slightly to maximize taste and the egg film will cook enough from the heat of the meat to be safe. Each guest prepares and cooks his own beef. About a third of the beef is consumed in this fashion.

For the next course thin some of the prepared soy sauce with a little water [about 3 parts sauce to 1 part water] and cover the bottom of the skillet. Add the rest of the beef and cook lightly just until the beef turns color. Place all the other ingredients on the beef and cook briefly. With tongs or chop sticks transfer the beef to top the vegetables. Do not stir. Continue cooking over medium heat until the vegetables are just barely tender. Start eating with bowls of rice. Keep the skillet on low heat until the meal is completed. This can be done all at once or in small batches so the ingredients don't overcook. Again the guest selects his own morsels when they are cooked to his taste and transfers the food to his own rice bowl.

The last course is a small bowl of broth served as a thin soup in small cups or spooned over the last of the rice to flavor it. [Shrimp and other vegetables can be added; mild Spanish onion is especially nice; celery and green bell pepper strips are good too]

Recipe by Tatsuji Tada, one time chef at the Japanese embassy in Washington, D.C.

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