Monday, June 15, 2009

JOHN CHUCKMAN'S SUKIYAKI

CHUCKMAN’S SUKIYAKI
I love Japanese food in general, but this dish is one of my favourite meals from any cuisine. It offers a complete, delicious meal from one pot. It’s all preparation and little cooking.


INGREDIENTS:

1 ½ pounds of Beef – decent steak like top sirloin is good – sliced into very thin strips – Tip: slice steak when partially frozen to get best results, or use a good long scissor

Shirataki Mushrooms – about 6 to 8, depending on size – caps sliced thinly, stems not used - fresh or dried – if you use dry, soak in warm water for half an hour before cutting

Bok Choi – 1 large stalk or equivalent Baby Bok Choi – Greens sliced thinly, leave white bottom for a future recipe

1 pound soft Tofu – break up with fingers until little chunks like cottage cheese

Scallions – 4 large – sliced very thinly

Onion – 1 large – sliced very thinly

½ cup Soy Sauce – Kikkoman’s distinctive flavour is best for this

½ cup Sake

1 Tbsp sugar or sugar substitute

Togarashi – Japanese Red Pepper powder – available in any decent Asian grocery and even some supermarkets

Soba (Japanese buckwheat) Noodles – 3 or 4 of the little bundles as they typically come packaged

Oil sufficient for cooking a stir fry


METHOD:

Prepare sauce, combining Soy Sauce, Sake, and Sugar and set aside.

Place Noodles – remove little plastic ties first - into a medium pot of boiling water. Cook just a couple of minutes – they are very thin - and drain. Oil very lightly to keep from clumping and set aside.

Lightly oil large frying pan and cook Onion slices until translucent. Add Beef slices and Mushroom slices, cooking an additional minute or two stirring as you fry. Add Bok Choy and cook briefly until reduced by water loss. Add Tofu and Scallions and Sauce. Simmer briefly.

Add Noodles, stirring into mixture.

This ready to serve as soon as well mixed except for the Togarashi powder. I consider it essential, but some do not use it. By leaving it until last, you can customize plates.


NOTES:

Traditional Japanese people eat Sukiyaki with a raw egg on top.

Soba Noodles are not the noodles traditionally used, but I like them very much, and they are much easier to find than the more exotic noodles made from sweet potato which even many Asian grocers do not carry.

Togarashi is zesty but not hot.

Japanese Ginger (Sushi) Pickles, for me, go with Sukiyaki the way a big dill pickle goes with a corned-beef sandwich. Serve them cold on the side.

You may also make Sukiyaki with chicken.