How to Make Sukiyaki at Home — Kansai Sukiyaki Recipe
Sukiyaki is one of the most popular hotpot dishes in Japan. It consists of thinly sliced beef and vegetables grilled or simmered in a pot with seasonings such as soy sauce, sugar, mirin, and sake. Vegetables often used in sukiyaki are Japanese leek, hakusai (napa cabbage), shungiku (chrysanthemum), shiitake mushrooms, and shirataki (konnyaku noodles).
Sukiyaki actually comes from the Kansai region and was introduced during the Edo period (1603-1867). It later spread to the Kanto region, but was fused with the "beef hot pot" that was already commonly known there. That’s why there are actually two different styles of sukiyaki in Japan; Kansai and Kanto sukiyaki.
In the Kansai version of sukiyaki, the meat is first grilled, seasoned with sugar and soy sauce, and is eaten before cooking the rest of the ingredients. This step leads to a more flavorful sukiyaki. After enjoying the first few pieces of meat, the vegetables are added to the pot, along with the remaining meat and other ingredients and seasonings. The water from the vegetables and the seasonings create enough liquid for a delicious broth. All of these ingredients are cooked together and make a tasty sukiyaki.
The Kanto style of sukiyaki is a bit different. It is made by simmering the meat and vegetables all together with a sauce called warishita. Warishita contains all of the seasonings needed for sukiyaki such as sugar, soy sauce, mirin, sake. These seasonings plus dashi broth create the base for sukiyaki. The ingredients are simmered in the warishita and then the sukiyaki is ready to be enjoyed.
In Kansai sukiyaki, seasoning is done directly after the meat is cooked, so the taste is more rich. Vegetables are only an accompaniment to the meat, and the main attraction is the delicious taste of the meat with a hearty flavor. If you prefer sukiyaki with a strong taste, the Kansai style of sukiyaki is highly recommended!
In Kanto sukiyaki, on the other hand, the meat and vegetables are simmered in the warishita seasoning so the dish has a more mellow flavor.
Although sukiyaki can be eaten at home it is usually only eaten during times of celebration like birthdays or payday because beef, and specially Japanese beef, is quite expensive compared to other meats. There are also many sukiyaki-specialty restaurants in Japan where you can enjoy delicious sukiyaki made with high quality meats and vegetables.
Today, we present to you the original sukiyaki, the Kansai style! We hope you enjoy our recipe, and let us know if you try it out in the comments below.
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 15 mins
Total time: 35 mins
Total servings: 2
- 250g Thinly Sliced Beef
- 80g Japanese Leek (about 1/3 of a leek)
- 200g Napa Cabbage (approx. 2 cabbage leaves)
- 120g Chrysanthemum Leaves (approx. half of a bunch)
- 2 Shiitake Mushrooms
- 1/2 Package of Yakidofu (grilled tofu, regular tofu is OK too)
- 1/2 Package of Shirataki Noodles
- 3 Tbsp + 1 tsp Soy Sauce
- 3 1/2 tsp Sugar
- 6 Tbsp Sake
This is a convenient sauce that can be used for making sukiyaki because it already contains the seasonings needed, premixed. Kikkoman Warishita Sukiyaki sauce contains the essential seasonings of soy sauce, sugar, and mirin, which are crucial for making a delicious sukiyaki hotpot at home. Additionally, you can use this sauce to season other Japanese dishes such as gyudon and buta no kakuni (simmered pork belly).
1) Gathering the Ingredients
Gather all of the ingredients.
2) Prepare the Ingredients for Cooking
Chop the cabbage, chrysanthemum, leek, and tofu into bite-sized pieces. Remove the stems from the shiitake mushrooms. Score the tops of the mushrooms and make an "x" shaped pattern. Drain and thoroughly rinse the shirataki noodles and then cut them in half. Arrange all of the vegetables along with the shirataki noodles in a bowl to prepare them for sukiyaki. Finally, in a separate bowl, beat the egg.
Note: In Japan, it is safe to consume raw eggs and they are commonly consumed this way. If you decide to follow this step, please use pasteurized eggs.
3) Cooking the Sukiyaki
Prepare a table for cooking the sukiyaki. Japanese people often use a portable stove to cook and set it at the dinner table to eat sukiyaki. If you do not have a portable stove, you can use your normal kitchen stove. As for the pot for cooking sukiyaki in, any pot you have on hand can be used. Enamel, stainless steel, aluminum, or iron pots are the best choices. If you do not have a pot, a large frying pan can be also used.
4) Cooking the Beef
Spread oil or beef tallow in the pot and grill one or two slices of the beef per person. Do NOT add all of the meat in at this point. When the beef starts turning brown, season 1/2tsp of sugar and 1tsp of soy sauce. Enjoy these first few pieces of meat by dipping them into the raw egg.
5) Cooking the Rest of the Sukiyaki
Once you enjoyed the first few pieces of beef, add the remaining beef into the pot, along with the vegetables, tofu, and shirataki noodles. Add the remaining seasonings in, and stir well to combine. Allow the mixture to cook together until the vegetables become tender. It should only take a few minutes.
6) Enjoying the Sukiyaki
Now that the vegetables are done, lower the heat of your portable stove (if using one) and enjoy the sukiyaki! You can dip the other vegetables into the raw egg if you desire.