Sipping sake with friends and family around a table top cooker, a communal hot pot, is something that really brings joy to our lives, something we have truly missed the past few years.
For this purpose, there is a Japanese dish which provides the perfect opportunity to gather around a family table and that is Sukiyaki.
Sukiyaki is an essential Japanese family-style comfort food that can be easily prepared at home with minimal ingredients.
The key is to source some tasty thinly sliced beef, preferably some Wagyu or just well marbled Ribeye or Chuck do nicely.
In Japan there are two distinct methods of Sukiyaki preparation, Kansai (Osaka) Style and Kanto (Tokyo) Style.
The Kansai method involves first searing the meat with soy sauce, sugar and sake and enjoying that before adding the vegetables and tofu to the pan to simmer in the juices.
The Kanto method involves making a Sukiyaki sauce and adding everything together in the pan to simmer in unison.
Key fresh ingredients for Sukiyaki include:
- Thinly sliced beef
- Napa cabbage
- Tofu- a slightly denser variety works best and holds the flavour of the meat and vegetables well.
- Mushrooms- Shiitake, Enoki and Shimeji are all great choices for flavour and texture.
- Other leafy greens such as Shungiku - Tang Oh or Chrysanthemum
Basic Kanto method: mix together equal parts Sake, Mirin and Soy Sauce + Sugar to taste and pour over the ingredients to simmer.
With this iconic one-dish family meal we recommend a bold and rich style sake.
🍶Pairing #1 - Sawahime Yamahai Junmai Namagenshu
This sake has the perfect flavour-bomb combination of being a Yamahai, a method which tends to develop richer, more robust sake, a Junmai polishing ratio which usually means a heavier body and Namagenshu- unpasteurised and undiluted.
🍶Pairing #2 - Matsuno Tsukasa Junmai Daiginjo Blue Series
This sake maintains a great minerality and richness combined with an elegance in body. It works to match the Sukiyaki richness and then cleans the palate.