Beef Sukiyaki Nabe

Jimi’s Beef Sukiyaki Nabe (Hot-Pot), or Why Could I Not Have Been Born Japanese?

Serves: 2-4 | Prep-Time: ~45 Min. | Cook Time: 15 Min.

If you don’t have or can’t find some of the ingredients below, don’t let that stop you from making this. Substitute with things you like to eat… the general flavor profile of this meal is sweet and salty with umami undertones.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Beef Strip Loin or Rib Eye, sliced 1/8″ thick
    • Asian markets carry this pre-sliced, it’s worth buying prepared.
  • 3-4 Baby Bok Choy, white stalks trimmed
  • 1 bunch scallions, roots and tops trimmed, bias-sliced ¼”
  • 1 stalk leek, green and root trimmed, whites bias-sliced ¼”
  • 1-2 carrots, julienned
  • 6-8 Shiitake Mushrooms, stems removed, sliced ¼” strips
  • 1 bunch Enoki Mushrooms, bottom 1” trimmed off
  • 1-2 packs/bundles Udon or Shirataki noodles
  • 2 c Junmai Sake (something that you would serve as hot sake)
  • 1/3 c Sugar
  • 1/2 c Japanese Soy Sauce (not Tamari – too strong)
  • ½ c warm water
  • 1 egg for each person, beaten
  • Uni, mashed (optional, see notes)

Directions

  1. These are for a table-top hotpot, but you can apply the same principles to a stovetop pot, then bring the whole thing to the table on a trivet.
  2. Mix and dissolve the sugar in the warm water, then add the soy and sake
  3. Set up your nabe but don’t turn it on yet
  4. Arrange each set of solid ingredients (excluding noodles) in neat groups in the pot
  5. Reserve excess and add later as desired
  6. Turn on hotpot to high setting and wait until you hear sizzling
  7. After ~30sec of sizzling, gently pour the sweet soy & sake liquid
  8. Set nabe to Medium (Simmer) and cover
  9. Cook until meat is done, set nabe to Warm and enjoy
  10. Add excess ingredients as desired
  11. Add some water (or more dashi) and set to boil
  12. Add the noodles and cook according to their instructions
  13. Once done, set Nabe to Warm again and enjoy the noodle course
  14. Optional: Add beaten egg to warm pot for thick and creamy broth, or add while boiling for egg-drop soup (ribbons of cooked egg)
  15. Add uni for many approval and so much wow
  16. If you’re still hungry, you can add the broth to bowls of cooked sushi rice

Notes

  • If your have an Asian market or International market nearby, they should have pre-sliced ‘Shabu’ beef. If not, then ask your grocery’s butcher to slice some well marbled eye-round or top-round as thin as technically possible.
  • For vegetarian option – use firm (marinated) tofu
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment a bit: Northern Japan (ex: Hokkaido, Aomori) use things like cubed potato and daikon (Japanese radish)

If you want to take this from 3-star, to Michelin-Star, take 1-2 uni, mash and stir into pot at the ‘warm’ stage. It’s fucking bananas.

Love, Jimi

Recommendations

  • Hot Pot: Zojirushi model: EP-PBC10 or larger.
  • Sake: Junmai Grade (what is often served ‘hot’) – Ty Ku Gray, Otokoyama, Zen, Koji (No Gekkeikan, it’s harsh crap, even for cooking)
  • Soy Sauce: Kikkoman or higher. Kikkoman Tamari is good for making it stronger, careful though, it can easily overpower the dish.
  • Meat: well-marbled beef or pork (or tofu marinated in soy & mirin for an hr or so)
  • Eggs: if using as a ‘dip’, you can find pasteurized eggs (or ask your grocer to carry them)
    • Yes, you can safely eat these raw.
  • Rice: Tamaki Gold is often noted by expats as the best sushi (rice) you can get in the US.
    • Follow standard rinse & soak preparation.
  • Carrots: Oxo makes a julienne peeler that’s worth its weight in gold. Get one.

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