Sukiyaki Beef Udon
Sukiyaki Beef Udon is a homestyle Japanese Hot Pot (nabemono) recipe with delicious beef, mushrooms, udon noodles and vegetables in a rich soy mirin dashi broth cooked at the table family style.
- ½ cup mirin
(Mirin is Japanese sweet wine. Aji-mirin is what we used. As a substitute, you can just use dry sherry or sweet marsala. Or you can dissolve a small amount of sugar in a little white wine or sherry)
- ½ cup sake
- ⅓ cup soy sauce
- 2 cups dashi broth
(we used dried hon-dashi and added water to the granules as directed)
- 2 teaspoon granulated sugar or low glycemic sugar alternative
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 12 ox sukiyaki beef
sliced paper thin (chuck ribs, sirloin steak, shaved beef with slight marbling or wagyu beef)
- 2 teaspoon granulated sugar or low glycemic sugar alternative
- 8 oz tofu firm- diced (optional)
- 2 cup napa cabbage cut into 2-inch slices (or other fresh greens of choice)
- 8-12 shiitake mushrooms fresh whole or sliced
- 3 green onions cut in slices
- 1 carrot
peeled and sliced
- 1 pack udon noodles per person frozen (soaked in hot water and drained and set in individual bowls just before serving)
Prepare your portable burner and iron skillet, hot pot device or all in one cooker in the center of the kitchen table. (If you do not have a portable burner or all in one cooker, you can make on the stovetop.)
Make your sukiyaki sauce.
In a bowl combine the following items; mirin, sake, soy sauce, dashi broth and sugar or sugar alternative of choice. Give it a taste. If you like your broth a little sweeter, add a little more sugar. On the other hand, if you want it saltier, add a little more soy sauce. The flavors of the broth will intensify while they are cooking. Our preferred method is to wait and taste the broth after you add the other ingredients and reassess. Stir well and set aside.
Prepare the components for your Sukiyaki Beef Tofu.
Dice your tofu into 1-inch cubes. Set Aside.
Slice your napa cabbage into 2-inch sections. Set aside.
Prepare your mushrooms by either slicing or keep whole and removing the stem. If you desire, you can take a moment to make a flower design on top of each whole mushroom. Take the edge of a sharp paring knife at a 45-degree angle and slice both sides to create a small crevice on the top of the mushroom. Criss cross the process 3 times to make a flower design. Totally optional but super cute. (See post above for step by step tutorial). Set aside.
Chop green onions and set aside. If you can find negi (Japanese leeks) this is preferred. However, green onions or western leeks work fine as well.
Wash other green vegetable of choice. Traditional sukiyaki is usually made with chrysanthemum leaves. However, this can be very difficult to find outside of Japan so other green vegetables are welcome. Clean out your crisper. Any green vegetable would be delicious in this recipe. Set aside.
Slice carrots and set aside. We used a cute little flower stamp for our carrots but you can just slice as desired.
Set your frozen udon noodles in a large bowl. Pour boiling water over the noodles and allow them to unthaw for just 1-2 minutes. Drain, rinse with cool water and drain again. Set aside.
Cook your Sukiyaki Beef Udon
Heat oil in iron skillet on your portable burner or other hot pot all in one device. Add thin beef slices and 2 teaspoons of sugar (Until lightly golden brown) (A shabu shabu or hotpot type of pan works great as this is usually served and cooked at the dining room table and cooked in front of your guests)
Pour prepared Sukiyaki sauce pour over beef. Turn up your heat to high to bring to a light boil.
Add the prepared tofu, mushrooms, carrots and udon noodles first. Then add napa cabbage and green onions to the sukiyaki broth pot. Taste the broth after you add the other ingredients and reassess. If you want it sweeter, add a little more sugar. On the other hand, if you want it savorier, add more soy sauce. If it is too salty for your palate, add a little more dashi or water. The sauce flavors intensify with cooking. We like to check on it about 5-8 minutes into the cooking process. Cooking time is about 10-15 minutes.
Ladle beef and vegetables and broth over the udon noodles and serve at table. Add more of the vegetables and mushrooms a little at a time and cook to serve as people help themselves to the sukiyaki. (Purpose of cooking just a little at time is to keep the items fresh and not overcooked)
Enjoy Sukiyaki Beef Udon with family and friends around your kitchen table. If you desire, you can dip sukiyaki components into a pasteurized beaten egg. (This is the traditional method in Japan)
Eat sukiyaki with chop sticks and make sure you slurp your noodles. In Japan, slurping your noodles is a complement to the chef. (To really enjoy noodles while they are hot, one must slurp them in while take a cooling intake of breath. Go ahead and give it a try).
The best beef to use in this recipe is sukiyaki style cuts of beef. In Japan, this very expensive beautifully marbled Wagyu beef can be used. However, if you are living outside of Japan or just can’t afford wagyu beef, you can use super paper-thin sliced chuck rib or sirloin steak. If you can get your butcher to slice or shave your cuts of beef super thin, that is fantastic.
If you want to slice your own beef, put your beef in a freezer baggie. Then, freeze for a few hours or just until it gets midway firm but not frozen solid. It will then be easy to cut your beef paper thin. Another option is to buy raw shaved beef that is used to make beef and cheese dip sandwiches. We used shaved beef from Kroger to make this recipe. It is super thin with a little fat marbling.
Traditionally Sukiyaki Beef Udon will also have negi (Japanese leek) and chrysanthemum leaves which are both very difficult to find outside of Japan. We substituted green onions for the negi or you can use western leeks. In addition, we used bok choy instead of chrysanthemum leaves. If you can find chrysanthemum leaves, they impart a delicious slight bitter note to the broth that is quite addictive. Only plunge the leaves in the sukiyaki broth a moment or two to cook.
Mirin is a type of Japanese rice wine that is sweet and is used for cooking. In the US, it is difficult to find the REAL mirin but you can find Aji-mirin (tastes like mirin) which is rice wine with added sugars.
REAL mirin is the best choice. 2nd choice is aji-mirin. If you cannot find either, you can use a sweet marsala wine with a little additional sugar to mimic mirin. We used aji-mirin for this recipe. Please note that Aji-mirin in our opinion is sweeter and savorier that the real mirin, so you will have to adjust the seasonings to your own personal preference.
It is also optional to use both sake (Japanese Rice Wine) and mirin/ashi-mirin both in the recipe. However, using ½ cup of each gives this recipe a lovely flavor profile. If you wish, you can just use 1 cup of mirin or ajui-mirin in this recipe. If you cannot have alcohol, we have heard that if you mix white grape juice and lemon together it can be close to a “mirin-like” flavor. We have never tried this so if you do, please let us know your results.
There are 3 different types of Sake. We used "cooking sake" for this recipe. If you can find the low sodium version of cooking sake that would be best. If you use a good drinking sake, you may have to increase the amount of sugar in this recipe so it is sweetened to your desired level.
In order to make this recipe gluten-free, it is more of a challenge. Tamari sauce is super salty compared to regular soy in this recipe. If using tamari instead of soy sauce, reduce the amount to 3 tablespoons and adjust to your preferred taste level. In addition, you will need to swap out the wheat based udon noodles with rice noodles. Hon-dashi is not gluten free so you will need to make your own homemade dashi broth with kombu (seaweed) and bonito flakes (type of dried fish).
Hon-dashi comes in granules and you just add water to make the dashi broth. You can find hon-dashi online and at many supermarkets around the world. If you have kombu and bonito flakes, you can make your own dashi at home. It’s all about the umami.
Serving: 1g | Calories: 617kcal | Carbohydrates: 103g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 2mg | Sodium: 3157mg | Potassium: 290mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 25g | Vitamin A: 3009IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 116mg | Iron: 2mg