Thursday, 30 August 2012


Ever since we first visited our local Japanese restaurant - Samurai Bowl - and had our first taste of katsu curry, Mr Bear and I have been obsessing over the food from the land of the Cherry Blossom. So much so, I've spent hours scouring the internet for authentic recipes (the kind of authentic that just about extends to what a supermarket in NZ has on its shelves!)

Tonight is another of those nights when, after a not so charming day at work, I can't quite muster the right amount of enthusiasm to create a dish of my own, so it's off to Sam's Bowl we go!

In honour of our eminent outting, I thought I'd share with you one of my recent adventures in cooking Japanese inspired cuisine: Sukiyaki. It's a dish that involves cooking each ingredient separately and building up a plate bit by bit. It's all simmered in a broth consisting of dashi (a kind of Japanese style stock), soy sauce, mirin and brown sugar.

Here is said Dashi. Not the traditional ground shitake mushrooms, anchovies ect, but the fish version (it's hard to get the right one when the packet is written in Japanese...just noticed the little fish on the front...oops!)

And the assembled ingredients: very thinly sliced beef, cabbage, mushrooms, brown onion, spring onion and bamboo shoots.

So, let's begin! The first stage is to brown the beef. I took it out of the pan (using a splotted spoon to save the juices) just before it was completely brown as you need to put it back into the broth in the final stage to be heated through.

Next, cook your 'aromatic veggies', i.e your onion, in your simmering mixture of 1/2 cup dashi, 1/4 cup mirin, 3 tablespoons soy sauce and 2 tablespoons of brown sugar.

The best way to see when they're done is to just keep tasting them. I like mine with a little bite to it (I don't know whether you can refer to onions as 'al dente' ??) but you could cook them until completely soft if you liked.

Once you've cooked some jasmine rice, place it in a ramekin and turn into onto your plate to create a perfect dome of fluffy white rice...tada!

Take onions out with your slotted spoon and place next to rice.

Then cook your bamboo shoots in the same way and assemble.

Now cook your mushrooms... 

 And your cabbage....

Finally, tip the beef back into the broth and heat for less than a minute before piling onto the plate next to your veggies and pouring over the rest of the sauce.

Sorry for the blurry picture, we were so impatient to start eating!

There you have it! I hope I have made these instructions easy enough to follow (you can't really go wrong with this dish once you've got the broth and the beef sorted), but if you have any questions, feel free to comment below.

Happy weekend!

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