Recipe by Rinshinomori
Here I am using several authentic ingredients which may be hard to find outside of metro areas. Burdock root looks like a long parsnip but darker. It is known as gobo in Japan. The taste is distinctive and can be found in many Japanese cooking. When using burdock roots or gobo, it is best to soak in water after slicing or cutting with a bit of vinegar to keep from turning dark. For substitution, I would use carrot. Konnyaku is made from konjac potato and is found in the refrigerated section of a Japanese or Asian market in a similar package as tofu. It is normally whitish or brownish color and almost zero calorie and full of fiber. Its texture is jelly like but more firm and needs to be quickly blanched in hot water for about 2 minutes before using. If you cannot find it, just skip it since there is no substitution. Although konnyaku does have flavor its own, it is most often used for texture more than flavor. Mitsuba is an herb often used in soup dishes in Japan. It is sometimes translated as trefoil and looks similar to parsley but the taste is totally different. If you cannot find this, use some baby spinach. Other possibilites to add are anything seasonal vegetables such as asparagus, green beans, etc. That's what makes sukiyaki like this your unique dish. It can contain many things you prefer. Keep all ingredients separate ie in one place when cooking without mixing them all up like stir fry. Although traditional sukiyaki using the very best thinly sliced beef is wonderful, I really enjoy this method as well and it is more economical. The use of gobo and ramen comes Harris Salat, but it's not in his Hotpot cookbook.
For sukiyaki sauce
- 2 cups dashi stock (from dry dashi granules mixed with water is fine)
- 1⁄2 cup soy sauce
- 1⁄2 cup mirin
- 1⁄2 cup sake
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 burdock root (or parsnip) or 2 carrots (or parsnip)
- 2 -3 chicken legs, including thigh (boned and cut into bite size pieces)
- 8 shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and cut in half on angle
- 1 cake tofu, cut into 8 pieces (firm or regular)
- 1 cake Konnyaku, sliced very thinly
- 4 scallions, sliced on an angle into 2 inch pieces
- 1⁄2 napa cabbage, cut into bite size pieces
- 2 bunches mitsuba, cut into 2 inch pieces or 4 cups Baby Spinach
- 1 lb fresh-frozen ramen noodles (save soup packets for other use) or 2 (8 ounce) packages ramen noodles, cooked (save soup packets for other use)
Directions See How It's Made
- To make the sukiyaki sauce:.
- Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook for about 1 minute and remove from heat and set aside.
- To make sukiyaki:.
- Scrape the peel off burdock. Cut the burdock like you are sharpening the end of a pencil to produce thin shavings or use a peeler and shave into 2 inch pieces. Soak the shavings in a bowl of water with a bit of vinegar (about 1-2 tsp) to stop the discoloration. Set aside.
- Heat a large frying pan with at least 2 1/2 inch sides or use donabe (Japanese clay pot already treated previously) and add 2 T oil.
- Add the burdock and chicken in separate and neat bunches and brown for 2 minutes. Add the shiitake, tofu, and konnyaku and cook for 2 minutes more. Again, keep all separate without mixing them together.
- Pour in the sukiyaki soup stock just enough to cover halfway up the ingredients and spoon the sauce over all ingredients. Do not overfill and cover.
- As soon as the liquid boil, reduce the heat to medium and cook for about 4-5 minutes. Uncover and add scallions, napa cabbage, and mitsuba or baby spinach and cook for about 2 minutes. Add more sukiyaki sauce and spoon the sauce over each ingredients often. Do not mix ingredients together and serve.
- After most of the ingredients are consumed, bring the sauce to boil again and add the ramen noodles. Heat the noodles and serve in individual bowls.