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Sukiyaki

By , from the Matthew Amster-Burton collection
Serves 4

Introduction

Asian supermarkets sell presliced beef, but it’s easy to make your own hot-pot slices at home: Trim a tender steak such as strip or rib eye, freeze it for an hour, then slice thinly with a sharp knife.

Many vegetables are good in sukiyaki; those below are just what I had on hand. Try any kind of fresh or dried mushrooms, daikon, chard or other greens, celery, or peppers.

Cooking the beef at the table is optional. If you want to skip it, just add all the beef in step 3, turn the heat off once it’s cooked, and omit the egg.

If you want more broth, simply double the amounts of dashi, soy sauce, mirin, and sugar.

This recipe was adapted from Noodle, by Terry Durack.

Ingredients

¾ cup dashi (see Note)
¾ cup soy sauce
¾ cup mirin
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 bunch baby turnips, trimmed and halved
8 oz. shirataki noodles, drained and rinsed
1 tsp. peanut oil
4 very fresh eggs
2 Tbsp. lard or beef suet
1 small onion, thinly sliced
8 oz. Napa cabbage, cut into large dice
4 scallions
7 oz. (half a 14-ounce package) soft tofu, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 lb. tender beef, thinly sliced (see Introduction)

Steps

  1. Combine the dashi, soy sauce, mirin, and sugar in a small saucepan and heat, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Set aside.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the turnips and cook 2 minutes or until crisp-tender. Remove with a skimmer. Add the noodles and cook 2 minutes. Drain, rinse under cold water, and toss with the peanut oil.
  3. Crack the eggs into four small bowls, beat gently, and place on the dining table.
  4. In an electric skillet, heat the lard over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onion and cook until beginning to brown, about 4 minutes. Add the cabbage and scallions and cook, stirring, until the cabbage is beginning to wilt, about 1 minute. Add the noodles, tofu, turnips, and sauce, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer.
  5. Diners can ladle noodles and vegetables into their soup bowls and cook pieces of beef hot-pot style in the center of the table, dipping each slice of beef into the raw egg before eating.

Notes

Dashi is a basic Japanese soup stock made from dried kombu seaweed and flakes of dried bonito fish. You can buy it ready-made at Asian markets or make it yourself by soaking kombu and bonito in water.

Read more about Asian noodles in Matthew Amster-Burton’s “Use your noodle.”

This content is from the Matthew Amster-Burton collection.

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1. by Jay Friedman on Mar 25, 2009 at 9:27 PM PDT

Good version of the recipe. I’m intrigued by the idea of using baby turnips. But the Japanese half of my household says that home cooks she knows in Japan never use mirin, as it’s too sweet. Instead, use sake and the additional sugar already indicated in the recipe.

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