Sukiyaki is a type of nabe or hotpot dish. It is perfect in the winter months as a tasty way to bring friends and family together. Sukiyaki is arguably the best known form of hotpot consumed in Japan today. Surprisingly sukiyaki has a relatively short history in Japan. After the introduction of Buddhism to Japan in the 9th century, meat was not consumed any more. When meat was eaten it was mainly done so by the higher classes who could afford the meat. But sukiyaki brought about a change. During the Meiji period beef hotpot vendors became popular in Kanto and introduced beef to the palates of the everyday people.
Asakusa is a very traditional part of Tokyo, where Senso-ji temple had stood for hundreds of years. Here stands Asakusa Imahan, a business and restaurant on Kokusai Dori which has been running since 1895. Sukiyaki is one of their main dishes that they serve. Their number one principle is the use of good quality ingredients. Before beef became popular it was imported from nearby Korea or China, but now Japan grows some of the most expensive beef in the world; Black or Kobe beef. At Asakusa Imahan they only use the top quality beef, beautifully marbled and perfect for sukiyaki. You will also get to taste beautiful spring onions, chinese cabbage, shiitake mushroom and noodles in your sukiyaki here. Following tradition, once the beef is cooked it is dipped in raw egg which contrasts beautifully with the sweet soy broth the dish is cooked in. Not only do you get great quality sukiyaki here the staff will take you through the process and history either in Japanese or English. You can even visit the gift shop and get some beautiful beef to go!
If you want to cook sukiyaki at home it is actually quite simple, and really enjoyable to cook too. The main ingredient of sukiyaki is obviously the beef, sadly if you live outside of Japan you might not been able to find Kobe beef for your recipe. If you go to an Asian supermarket you may be lucky to find some frozen thinly sliced beef. If you cannot source the beef choose a high-quality steak and pop it in the freezer for about 30 minutes, this will allow you to cut the beef much thinner than if it was at room temperature. Also prepare the vegetables; spring onions, white onion, chinese cabbage, shiitake mushroom, noodles and any other vegetables you wish to add.
To make the soy broth mix:
1.5 cup of dashi stock
1 cup of soy sauce
3/4 cups of mirin
1/4 cup of white sugar
Once your vegetables and meat are sliced you are ready to cook. Simply bring a table top gas cooker and heat the pan. Add a little oil and some of the broth and start cooking! Simply add the ingredients you want bit by bit at a time, and eat once well-cooked.
For an authentic experience dip the meat in raw egg (make sure you live in a country where it is safe to consume raw egg). Serve with rice and share with family and friends!