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A dish of sukiyaki simmers and cooks. In the pot are strips of beef, shitake mushrooms, greens, enoki mushrooms, tofu and broth.

In celebration of the Olympic Games in Tokyo, we are bringing a little Japan to you. Whilst you may immediately think of foods like sushi, and fish-based meals. This is something different. Sukiyaki originated after Japan opened its ports to trade with foreign merchants in the 1860s. These foreigners introduced new cooking styles and the use of meat in more mainstream foods. This dish simmers the meat and vegetables in a light sauce/ soup.

This meal can be cooked in batches at the table as you eat, using an electric frypan, for a beautiful, slow shared meal. The broth is a sweet and salty soy sauce base.


Sauce Ingredients

1 teaspoon dashi granules (or 1 cup dashi stock)
1 cup light soy sauce
1 cup cooking sake (A rice wine, cooking sake is a slightly sour saltier version)
1 cup mirin (A cooking rice wine, sweet and sugary)
1/4 cup of caster sugar

Other ingredients

  • 300g dried rice vermicelli noodles (soak in boiling water for 5 minutes before use) or use drained shirataki noodles or udon.
  • 50g lard or neutral flavoured vegetable oil like canola
  • 5 spring onions cut into 1cm slices on the diagonal 
  • Small carrot cut into thin rounds (or shaved in lengths with a vegetable peeler)
  • 180g fresh shitake mushrooms
  • 1 pack enoki mushrooms
  • 800g rump steak (ask your butcher to slice thinly across the grain) This way, the meat cooks quickly and remains tender.
  • 100g watercress, trimmed
  • 1/2 a Nappa cabbage or another leafy vegetable like Bok Choy
  • 1 packet yaki tofu (broiled tofu)

Tools and Utensils

  • Bowl
  • Frying pan/ Electric frypan
  • Wooden spoon 
  • Measuring cups and spoons 
  • Serving bowls and chopsticks

To make the Sauce

If you are using dashi granules, dissolve them in 125ml of water in a bowl, or if using dashi stock, then stir in the soy sauce, mirin and caster sugar. Set aside.

Soak the noodles in a bowl of hot boiled water if you have not already done so.


Melt the lard in a large frying pan over medium heat. Cook the spring onion, mushroom and beef in batches, stirring continuously until just browned.

Return all meat, spring onion and mushrooms to the pan, then add the sauce, carrot, tofu, Nappa cabbage and watercress. Cook until the watercress and Nappa cabbage are just wilted, about 1 minute.

The sauce should be just enough to cover all the ingredients.

To serve, divide the noodles among 4 serving bowls and spoon the sauce and cooked ingredients over the top.

Note: It is a tradition in Japan to crack an egg into each bowl and break it up through the HOT soup using chopsticks until it partially cooks. But in Australia, this is not recommended due to the risk of salmonella poisoning. In Japan, the process of producing, washing and selecting eggs is highly regulated.

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