I was trying to figure out what to make that would go along with our Miyazaki night of Howl’s Moving Castle and Ponyo…  There are so many delicious Japanese noms that I could make work.  At first I thought about trying to figure out a gluten friendly version of ramen, since that’s what they eat on that stormy night in Ponyo.  Then I thought about making bacon and eggs, like Sophie does in Howl’s.  But then I thought of the perfect things to make.  One of my absolute favorite Japanese foods… SUKIYAKI.

If you’ve had hot pot of some kind, you’ve essentially had sukiyaki.  The main difference between sukiyaki and shabu shabu from what I can tell is that sukiyaki is a sweet base.  Sukiyaki is generally cooked at the table on portable stove and eaten in stages as you cook the different parts.  However, when I make sukiyaki at home, I do it one-pot style and eat it all at once.  That being said, I can assure you, you’re going to need a bigger pot.



2 pounds of thinly sliced beef
1 cup mirin
2/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup sugar
8 oz. yaki-dofu (grilled or broiled tofu), cut into 1″ pieces
1 head Nappa cabbage, cut into 1″ strips
12 fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and sliced into bite size pieces
2 yellow onions, slick into thin half moons
1 cup dashi, stock, or water
1 bunch enoki mushrooms
2 bunches chrysanthemum leaves or water cress
1 pack of yam noodles (shiratki) drained and rinsed, or substitute bean-noodles

Preheat your big pot and get a little oil going in there.  Place the slices of beef in there to sear them lightly.  Add the onion.  Mix the mirin, soy sauce, and sugar, then add to the pot.  Add the tofu, Nappa cabbage, and shiitakes.  Add the dashi/stock/water if needed.  Then add the enoki mushrooms and chrysanthemum leaves.

Serve on its own or with a bowl of rice.  Traditionally, if cooking at the table, sukiyaki is served with a scrambled raw egg to dip into.

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