The first time I tried Beef Sukiyaki at a Japanese restaurant years ago, the waitress asked me if I would like it cooked in the kitchen or at my table. I chose the latter. I just wanted to see how it was done. She brought the gas stove, a shallow pan, a large plate of raw ingredients to my table. I saw her cooked the whole dish. My mouth was watery just watching it. It was delicious. I got hooked on Sukiyaki since then. So whenever I tried out any new Japanese restaurants, I would order Sukiyaki, and I could tell if they serve authentic Japanese food or not. You know, a lot Japanese restaurants are opened by Chinese, and they put fake stuff in it. LOL. For example, instead of putting good cut of beef, they have London broil. Instead of thinly sliced beef, the meat is like half an inch thick. Instead of thick Japanese cellophane noodles, they put the skinny Chinese cellophane noodles. Instead of using Japanese fresh shaiitaki mushrooms, they use Chinese dried shaiitaki mushrooms…. Ya, you can tell I have tried a lot of bad sukiyaki. These days, I don’t go out to eat often, I started to make my own sukiyaki. It probably costs me $25 or so to get all the good ingredients from a Japanese grocery store, but it’s all worth it. I got the thinly sliced ribeye, tofu, mushrooms, veggies and Konnyaku noodles. Konnyaku noodles are also called Shirataki noodles or miracle noodles. It has zero calories. I highly recommend Konnyaku noodles to anyone like me who craves noodles, and yet worry about the calories.
Ingredients (Serves 2-3):
- Thinly sliced ribeye, 1 pound
- Tofu, 1 pack
- Fresh Shaiitaki Mushrooms, 1 pack
- Enoki Mushrooms, 1 pack
- Chinese Bok Choy, 3 leaves
- Carrots, 3 sticks
- Onion, 1
- Garlic, 1 clove
- Scallion, 3 stems
- Konnyaku noodles (aka Shirataki noodles, or miracle noodles)
- Soy sauce, 1/2 cup
- Mirin, 1 Tbsp
- Sugar, 2 Tbsp
- Saki or Chinese Cooking wine, or white wine, 1 Tbsp
- Chicken Stock or water, 1 cup (chicken stock would make it tastier)
Note: If you don’t like beef, you can use other kind of meat like pork, or chicken. You can also use all sort of other kinds of leafy veggies.
- Cut carrots, Chinese bok choy into bite size pieces. Put it aside.
- Cut onion into thin strips. Put it aside.
- Cut the root part of the enoki mushrooms, then break them into small chunks. Put them aside.
- Cut tofu into big cubes (like 2 inches). Put them aside.
- Cut scallion into strips. Put it aside.
- Finely chopped the garlic. Put it aside.
- Use a large shallow pan, or a frying pan. Use high heat. Spray cooking oil on the pan. Lay beef slices in the pan. Let it cooked for a minute or so on each side. They cook fast since they are so thin. Take it out from the pan when it is cooked. Put it aside.
- Note that from this point onwards, you can put everything into the pan and cook them all at equal amount of time, or put them in at separate time like I did.
- Put onion and garlic in the pan. Stir fry it for couple of minutes.
- Add carrots to the pan. Add soy sauce, cooking wine and chicken stock to the pot. Lower the heat to medium low. Put a lid on. Let it cook for 10 minutes. If you don’t have a big lid, just cover it with a piece of aluminum foil. That would work too.
- Add shaiitaki mushrooms, tofu and sugar to the pan. Cover it and let it cook for 5 minutes.
- Add noodles, and Chinese bok choy, mirin to the pan. Add the beef on the top. Cover it and let it cook for another 2-3 minutes.
- If the sauce gets too dry, you can add more water. Taste it. Add more soy sauce if needed.