Monday, February 14, 2011

Sukiyaki


I didn't grow up eating Sukiyaki at home.

When I was growing up, Sukiyaki was a song.

A song that everyone knew.


But we did have okazu that tasted just like sukiyaki.



I didn't eat Sukiyaki cooked at the table until I had it at the Fujimoto's.


I know two Sukiyaki lovers.

Today's post is especially for Carie and Kelly.



Start out with some simple ingredients.

Thinly sliced rib eye beef

Shimeji mushrooms

Sweet onion

Tofu

Long green onion

Napa cabbage


I also used harusame and udon noodles. 

I like shiitake mushrooms in sukiyaki, but we ate the last of them the night before in our 'what can we make at home so we don't have to go out' dinner and forgot to save some for the sukiyaki.

Shingiku is also really good in here.

(Note to Carie--Have you tried shingiku? The flavor is similar to arugula, I think you'll like it!)

Carie doesn't eat many vegetables.



These are harusame noodles.

I knew they were the right thing because, although I was a Japanese school dunce in my youth, I can read the hiragana on the package!

Ha-ru-sa-me!

This brand is made from potato starch and corn starch. 

I didn't read that in Japanese, it's printed on a label in English on the back. Harusame is typically gluten free, other brands are made from sweet potato or rice starch.

Try them!

They're not scary.



Add a handful of harusame noodles to boiling water, you don't need to cook them long, they'll do their cooking in the sukiyaki, so just a few minutes until they're al dente.



Drain the harusame and set aside.



Cut the tofu into rather large blocks.

I remember my Uncle Roy saying that tofu for sukiyaki should be big.

I remember him making it at my grandmother's house when I was little.

And I remember him saying the sauce is good with a lot of sake.

I do!



The preparations for sukiyaki are similar to the prep for shabu shabu

Cut everything up and arrange it on a platter or tray.



I like it with udon noodles too.


Frozen ones are really good, they've got a nice bite to them and a wonderful chewiness! I've tried several brands and they've all been good.

It comes in serving-sized packages, about five to a package.

The package is empty because, although I saved one for the sukiyaki, we ate the rest for our 'what to make so we don't have to go out' dinner. Twice.



Sukiyaki sauce:

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup mirin

1/4 cup shoyu

3 tablespoons sugar

1/2 cup sake


Boil the sauce mixture until the sugar dissolves and put it in a bowl ready for when you start cooking the sukiyaki.

My crafter friend Kim's mother-in-law is famous in Hawaii for her sukiyaki. She said the secret for making a good sauce--it's all in the sauce--is to use Kikkoman shoyu and taste the sauce after you make it and adjust the seasonings.



Start cooking with the meat and adding a little sauce after putting the thin slices of meat in a hot pan.

I got this package of meat at Marukai when they were having a sale on shabu shabu meat. They have sukiyaki meat, too, that's cut a tiny bit thicker than shabu shabu meat.



Then add the other ingredients, keeping each ingredient in it's own space, and spoon the sauce over the meat & veggies.

When each thing is heated through, it's done.

It's very simple!

The harusame noodles, if they've gotten a little stiff while you've been preparing the other ingredients, just rinse them in water and they will soften up.

They're done when they get soft and clear and have absorbed the sauce.



Sukiyaki is usually eaten by dipping the meat and vegetables in a raw, beaten egg. It adds a lovely smooth, creamy, mouth-feel to the dish.

Here in the US, we're cautioned about improperly handled eggs and salmonella. At Nijiya Market, they used to have specially handled eggs for sukiyaki, but they don't have them anymore, so they might be hard to find. I asked my sister-in-law, who is from Japan and in-the-know.







Hope you enjoy the sukiyaki!







This is my niece, Kelly.

She loves sukiyaki and orders it at restaurants whenever she can.

I love this picture of her, it's one of my favorites. I took it on a day she consented to be a model for my crafts a few years ago. She looks a little different now, more grown up, after all, this was a few years ago.

Kelly, now you can make sukiyaki at home!






And this is Carie.

This photo was taken when she was a little girl, when my son Rick was born. We spent a lot of time with her when she was growing up, so she's very special to us.

We lost touch with her for awhile. The day we reconnected, and she and her husband Mike were coming for dinner, my husband said he was sure he would tear-up when he saw her.

He did.

She's that special.

Carie was always so much fun. 

And FUNNY! 

When she was little, we took her to see one of The Love Bug sequels, Herbie Goes Bananas. When Herbie came on the screen, she was so excited, she started to shake. Literally! 

Then, she jumped to her feet, pumped her fist in the air several times yelling, "LOVE BUG! LOVE BUG! LOVE BUG!"

It was the cutest thing I'd ever seen.

She was only about four years old.

At that time, her dream car was a pink Volkswagen.

We have lots of Carie stories just like that.



Carie's the one that asked for a post on Sukiyaki.

So of course, I am happy to oblige. 



Here she is with her husband, Mike, on their wedding day.

We love him, too.

Now Carie's all grown up, married to a great guy, and has four dogs.

(Yup, four!)


See the little girl's face in the beautiful woman?

We do.

Love you, Carie!






No printable recipe for Sukiyaki yet.

8 comments:

  1. I just reconnected with Carie, too! Facebook is wonderful! And so are all your recipes, Karolyn!

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  2. OMG! LOL! So embarrassed but so thankful for those childhood memories with you and Gary. So excited to try this recipe, I'm dying just looking at the pics! Love you guys.

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  3. Thanks Karolyn! It seems awfully easy when you post it. The recipe I had before was not this easy.

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  4. Oh Sukiyaki is my favorite! Yummy wish they had what I needed to make it out here! :(

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  5. Definitely one of my favorites!!! I think I think that about most of your posts... what can I say, I love food (yours especially!)

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  6. Thank you for providing another delicious recipe. I made your sukiyaki tonight! The aji is perfect! We'll use the leftovers tomorrow to make sukiyaki donburi -- topped with an over-easy egg! :)

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  7. I heard that the salmonella is on the outside of the shell, and washing the egg before cracking it greatly reduces the risk of salmonella. That's what I heard...hopefully it's true! I haven't gotten sick so far. :)

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