- 550g prime boneless beef, rump or sirloin, cut into paper-thin slices
- 8 fresh shitake or other large flat mushrooms, wiped
- 2 thin leeks, washed and trimmed
- 1 onion, peeled
- 1200g tofu
- 120g spinach or Chinese cabbage, washed and trimmed
- Beef suet
- 4 eggs (optional)
- 150ml Mirin
- 150ml Sake
- 150ml soy sauce
- 300ml Dashi
- 25g sugar
- Beef: Semi-freeze beef until it is firm and slice it very finely across the grain. Cut it into 2.5cm strips.
- Mushrooms: Cut off and discard the mushroom stalks; notch a decorative cross in each mushroom cap.
- Leeks: Cut the leeks on the diagonal into 4cm chunks.
- Onion: Cut the onion into chunks.
- Shirataki noodles: Parboil the Shirataki for 1-2 minutes and drain.
- Tofu: Cut the tofu into 4cm cubes.
- Spinach: Leave spinach leaves whole. Cut Chinese cabbage into quarters, then across into slices.
- Lay out the beef slices and vegetables on a large platter.
- Put the Mirin and Sake in a small saucepan and boil for 2 minutes to reduce the alcohol.
- Add the soy sauce, Dashi and sugar and bring the sauce just to the boil to dissolve the sugar.
- Pour the completed sauce into a jug.
- Set up Sukiyaki pan or frying pan on a burner in the centre of the table.
- Over medium heat, thoroughly grease the sides and bottom of the pan with suet.
- Put a few slices of beef in to the pan to start off the cooking and quickly sear both sides, turning them with chopsticks.
- As soon as the meat changes colour, pour in some sauce.
- Provide each person with a small bowl for dipping and an egg, which the break into the bowl.
- When the meat is cooked, remove it, dip it in egg and eat it. The egg cooks on to the hot food and adds to the richness of the flavour.
- Put in some vegetables, adding the harder vegetables - leeks, onion, Chinese cabbage if used - first.
- Then switch back to the meat and follow this with more vegetables - mushrooms, Shirataki and tofu.
- Spinach needs the least cooking time and is always added last.
- Top up the sauce as you go along and continue to cook meat and vegetables alternatively. Be careful not to let the meat or vegetables overcook.