Sukiyaki_finished 2

Sukiyaki_veggie close up

Quick and hearty one-pot meals are ideal this time of year. Sukiyaki is a type of Japanese hot pot that is comforting, great for entertaining, and very simple to make. Traditional sukiyaki is cooked at the table, in a shallow cast iron pot over a portable stove. Thin slices of beef are sprinkled with brown sugar and seared. A sweet and savory broth of soy sauce, sake, and sugar are added to the pot along with hearty vegetables, thin yam noodles, and broiled tofu. A quick simmer and then it’s time to eat. Sukiyaki is served family style with heaping bowls of steaming rice. Welcome 2016 with this beautiful and nourishing dish.

The how to… 
Recipe slightly adapted from Just One Cookbook
Serves 4



 1/2 head napa cabbage, sliced into 2 inch wide pieces
6 stalks scallions, cut into 2 inch long pieces 
1 handful fresh spinach, rinsed & drained 
1 package enoki mushrooms, trimmed & torn into bundles
8 fresh shiitake mushrooms, wiped w/a damp cloth & stemmed
9 oz package broiled tofu, cut into 1 inch cubes
1/2 carrot, peeled, cut into coins, & stamped into floral shapes 
7 oz package shirataki (yam noodle), rinsed & drained
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 lb thinly sliced beef, such as sukiyaki beef
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 cup dashi (or water), for diluting sukiyaki sauce (recipe below)
cooked short-grain Japanese rice, for serving

Sukiyaki sauce
1 cup cooking sake
1 cup mirin
1 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup granulated sugar


  1. Cook sukiyaki sauce. Combine sake, mirin, soy sauce, & sugar in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn off the heat and set aside.
  2. Arrange prepared ingredients. Arrange meat, vegetables, noodles, & tofu on large platters. Set aside.
  3. Sear beef. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat and add vegetable oil. When hot, add sliced beef, sprinkle with brown sugar, & cook. When well browned, move the meat to the corner of the skillet.
  4. Add sukiyaki sauce. Pour 1 cup of prepared sukiyaki sauce and ⅓ cup dashi (or water) to the skillet.
  5. Add other ingredients. Add cabbage, scallions, spinach, mushrooms, tofu, carrots, & shirataki noodles to the skillet and arrange in clusters. Cover with lid, bring to a boil, and simmer for 2 minutes until vegetables are cooked. Adjust seasonings to taste, add more dashi (or water) if broth is too salty, add more sukiyaki sauce if broth is too diluted.
  6. Serve. Bring skillet to the table and serve with steaming bowls of rice.

Some extras…
*My go-to Japanese supermarkets in NYC : Dainobu (in Manhattan), Sunrise Mart (in Manhattan), Sakura Ya (in Queens),  Mitsuwa (in New Jersey)
* If you don’t own traditional cookware, use a large skillet.
*Can’t find pre-sliced sukiyaki beef? Slice your own, ask your butcher, or use cheesesteak beef.
* Alternative ingredient ideas : bean sprouts, bok choy, sliced onions, kale, broccoli etc.
*Create carving decoration on shiitake caps: Holding knife at a slight diagonal, make two incisions along the top of the cap to create a 3d V-shape. Repeat to  create the X shape. 

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