While writing about how to eat Sukiyaki, it becomes imperative that some details of making Sukiyaki is also included since making and eating Sukiyaki is an integrated communal process. Sukiyaki is a one-pot Japanese meal cooked at the table where in people gather around the pot and cook and eat together. Thinly sliced beef is the main ingredient of Sukiyaki. The beef is cooked in a skillet along with many types of vegetables, Sukiyaki sauce, noodles, whole eggs etc. 'Yaki' in Japanese means 'grill or sautee'.
Arrangement of Ingredients Prior to Making and Eating Sukiyaki
Sukiyaki need not be cooked in the kitchen. All the ingredients are cut and arranged in platters around a skillet. The requirements include:
Beef platter with thinly sliced beef.
Vegetable platter with mushrooms, leeks, spring onions, Chinese cabbage etc.
A platter with tofu, whole eggs, blanched Shirataki noodles.
Jug of Japanese Sukiyaki broth.
To make and eat Sukiyaki, specific utensils are required. Utensils are arranged on table for each diner. Each diner taking part in eating Sukiyaki is provided with a small serving bowl, one set of chopsticks and one small bowl for the raw egg.
Cooking and Eating Sukiyaki
In order to eat Sukiyaki, one has to cook it along with other diners in the one single skillet on the table. The skillet is heated up and beef suet is added and melted. Each diner breaks the egg into a bowl and whisks with chopsticks. Sukiyaki broth is added and beef slices are allowed to simmer in them. Diners can turn pieces over to ensure even cooking. Vegetables, mushrooms, tofu, noodles are all added to separate places in the same skillet. All ingredients are allowed to simmer covered until stock reduces. Now the Sukiyaki is ready to be eaten.
Diner has to take individual pieces of vegetables, tofu and beef from the skillet using chopsticks and dip them in the raw egg before consuming. The required pieces of meat and veggies can be first transferred into the bowl for convenience. The Shirataki noodles are to be eaten directly from the pan or skillet. Sometimes, the Sukiyaki can be eaten with a small bowl of rice but this is optional. When the contents in the pan begin to get over, mostly when the beef pieces get completely eaten, the skillet is replenished with remaining ingredients and cooked in the same manner again for second servings.
Sukiyaki is a dish for meat lovers and traditionally common during year end parties in Japan. The cooking and eating of Sukiyaki together with all diners make this truly an enjoyable meal and an unique experience.
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