Guide to sukiyaki steak: recipe, cutting technique, and flavors

by Joost Nusselder | Updated:  August 2, 2021

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If you love Asian cooking,then sukiyaki steak is a meal you’ll definitely want on your bucket list. It’s so popular in Japan, there was even a hit song named after it!

In this post, I’ll let you in on the best steak sukiyaki recipe you’ll ever taste, along with some info on the dish.

Woman in a kimono making sukiyaki steak
How to make sukiyaki steak

Sukiyaki steak hot pot recipe

Joost Nusselder
You can travel to Japan to get a true sukiyaki experience. But you can save a lot of money on traveling and eating out by making it in the comfort of your own home. Here's my sukiyaki recipe!
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Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Japanese
Servings 4 people
Calories 468 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

  • ½ block firm tofu cut into ½” thick slices
  • 5 dried shiitake mushrooms rehydrated
  • 1 package enoki mushrooms ends trimmed and rinsed
  • 2 cups napa cabbage cut into 2” pieces cut into 2” pieces
  • 2 cups tong ho (chrysanthemum greens) washed
  • 2 scallions white and green parts separated
  • 1 bundle dried mung bean vermicelli noodles
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 12 oz thinly sliced fatty beef
  • 2 cups dashi stock or mushroom soaking liquid or chicken stock
  • 2 cups steamed rice
  • 2 egg yolks

Instructions
 

  • Prepare all sukiayaki ingredients, including tofu slices, shiitake mushrooms, enoki mushrooms, napa cabbage, tong ho, and scallions. Set aside on a plate.
  • Soak dried vermicelli noodles in water for 10 minutes.
  • Heat vegetable oil in a pan. Fry white parts of the scallion in the oil for 10 minutes. Chop green parts of scallions finely and set aside.
  • Add sliced beef to the pan with the scallions. Sear the beef for 10 seconds and add a drizzle of sukiyaki sauce. Fry the meat until it begins to brown; it should still be slightly pink. Remove from pot and set aside.
  • Add more sukiyaki sauce and stock. Bring to a boil.
  • Add tofu, mushrooms, napa cabbage, and tong ho to the pot in sections. Drain vermicelli noodles and add them to the pot..
  • Cover pot and bring to a boil. Simmer until the ingredients are cooked through (5-7 minutes).
  • Remove the cover and add the beef back to the pot. Sprinkle with chopped scallions, and enjoy with rice and egg yolk (if desired).

Nutrition

Calories: 468kcalCarbohydrates: 38gProtein: 30gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 10gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 150mgSodium: 1373mgPotassium: 568mgFiber: 2gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 555IUVitamin C: 16mgCalcium: 166mgIron: 3mg
Keyword Beef, Hot pot, Steak
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Aden Films has this nice short film about high-end sukiyaki dining:

Nutritional information

Favorite Asian Recipes
Favorite Asian Recipes

Sukiyaki is full of healthy ingredients. The meat and egg are rich in protein, and the vegetables and mushrooms are full of antioxidants.

When considering the nutritional information, here’s the breakdown:

  • Calories: 750
  • Carbohydrates: 68g
  • Protein: 37g
  • Fat: 35g
  • Saturated fat: 14g
  • Cholesterol: 211 mg
  • Sodium: 1178mg
  • Potassium: 859mg
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Sugar: 11g
  • Vitamin A: 2289IU
  • Vitamin C: 21mg
  • Calcium: 262mg
  • Iron: 5mg

Check out this post on teriyaki vs sukiyaki

Cooking tips

Before you go off and create this Japanese dish, I want to talk to you about this special sukiyaki pan they use in Japan.

It’s a large cast iron sukiyaki pan with a wooden lid and a long thin handle, like a basket handle.

The pan has high edges to make room for lots of liquid. It’s designed specifically for sukiyaki, but you can use it for most hot pot dishes.

The wooden lid helps absorb the steam and liquids much better than a metal or iron lid. Since the pan is large, it’s ideal for cooking for a family of up to 5 people.

If you like to cook hot pot meals, I highly recommend grabbing an original sukiyaki pan:

Tikusan original sukiyaki pan

(view more images)

If you don’t have one, you can use a regular cast iron pan or any pan with a thick bottom and high edges.

Substitutions and variations

Beef is a must-have ingredient if you want authentic sukiyaki. And it should be a fatty and marbled beef that’s going to add juiciness.

Of course, you can use very thin slices of pork or chicken if you don’t like beef.

Some of the Japanese ingredients, like napa cabbage, are harder to find in the West. But the good news is that you can use the leafy greens you can find at the supermarket, and the dish will have a very similar flavor!

Shungiku (crown daisy, chrysanthemum leaves), or tong ho in Chinese, is the traditional vegetable used in Japanese and Chinese hot pot dishes. It has a slightly bitter taste.

However, it’s hard to find outside of Japan. You can use parsley and cilantro as a substitute.

The best vegetables to use are white cabbage, red cabbage, bok choy, spinach, and shiitake mushrooms.

The traditional recipe contains a type of green onion called Tokyo Negi. If you can’t find it, use scallions, spring onions, or leeks for a similar sweet and savory flavor.

As for noodles, the recipe calls for shirataki noodles, or yam noodles. These are long white noodles made from the konjac plant.

Shirataki noodles are popular because they’re considered to be a “zero-calorie” noodle.

A great substitute for these noodles is vermicelli, which has a similar glass noodle appearance and texture.

Check out this guide to sukiyaki steak | recipe, cutting technique and flavors

Read more about Japanese beef: Incredibly Easy Way to Cook Beef Misono Tokyo Style

How to serve and eat

The sukiyaki is cooked on a tabletop stove in a cast-iron pot.

Traditionally, you’ll receive an individual bowl and chopsticks to eat sukiyaki. Each person can add ingredients to the pot using chopsticks.

There will also be a bigger chopstick called tori-bashi to move things from the sukiyaki pot to your bowl. Using your own chopsticks for this purpose would be seen as disgusting and rude because you also put them in your mouth.

As soon as the ingredients start to run out, people add more to cook. It’s a great dining style for groups of people because you can simultaneously cook, eat, and socialize.

In Japan, it’s common to dip sukiyaki ingredients in raw eggs.

But the combination of sukiyaki sauce and raw egg will be less tasty as they turn colder. So I’d recommend not having too many ingredients in your bowl because they’ll get cold quickly.

In the West, it’s prohibited to consume raw eggs at restaurants. So an alternative is to purchase pasteurized eggs from the supermarket.

But you can also just dip into poached eggs.

Broccoli and sukiyaki beef go wonderfully together because the broccoli florets cook through when cooked in a pot for 2 ½ to 3 minutes. You can cook it right in the hot broth.

Also read: check the most delicious sukiyaki recipe right here

Side dishes for sukiyaki

The most common side dish for sukiyaki is white rice. A bowl of white rice goes well with this saucy beef and veggie mixture and also helps keep you fuller for longer.

But there’s a Japanese tradition where people have a bowl of udon noodles along with sukiyaki or right after they finish it.

If you’re a huge noodle fan, then go for it! But since sukiyaki already contains shirataki or vermicelli noodles, you might already feel full.

The general sukiyaki etiquette is that you finish off the dish with more carbohydrates like noodles.

As I’ve mentioned, Japanese people love to dip sukiyaki ingredients into raw eggs, but if you do so, the egg must be fresh and preferably pasteurized.

Read more about this: Why do the Japanese put raw egg on rice? Is it safe?

Similar dishes to sukiyaki

There are few dishes that compare to sukiyaki steak, but if you can’t get the real thing, here are some similar recipes you can try:

  • Shabu-shabu: Shabu-shabu is similar to sukiyaki but its taste is savory, whereas sukiyaki’s taste is sweeter. In shabu-shabu, meat is cooked in a simmering liquid while sukiyaki is cooked casserole style.
  • Thai sukiyaki: Although the name is similar, Thai sukiyaki has almost no resemblance to its Japanese counterpart. It’s a communal dish where diners dip vegetables and meat into a shallow iron pot of broth that’s sitting at the table.
  • Sukiyaki in Laos: In Laos, the dish features a bowl of bean thread noodles, various vegetables, thin slices of meat, seafood, sukiyaki sauce, and a raw egg in beef broth. The sukiyaki sauce is made of fermented tofu, coconut, peanut butter, garlic, sugar, spices, and lime.

FAQs

How do you get thinly sliced sukiyaki meat?

One secret to getting the sukiyaki perfect is to start out with very thinly sliced meat.

In order to do that, put the meat in the freezer until it starts getting hard, but don’t let it get anywhere near frozen.

Start with the parts of the meat that are partially defrosted, as this will be much easier to slice neatly and thinly. Do your best to slice evenly as well, as this will make for a nicer presentation.

What does beef sukiyaki taste like?

Sukiyaki can be described as having a sweet and salty flavor. This is due to flavorings like shoyu, sugar, and mirin.

Other ingredients that contribute to its flavor profile include nagenegi (Japanese leek), shungiku green, shiitake, tofu, and shirataki noodles.

What cut of meat should you use for sukiyaki steak?

The best cut of meat to use for sukiyaki steak is top sirloin. Tenderloin or other sirloin cuts will work as well.

These cuts will be tender and tasty. They won’t have a lot of fat, which can take away from the appearance of the dish.

Round beef is another possibility, but it tends to be not as flavorful.

For the ultimate sukiyaki experience, try Wagyu beef, which is extremely expensive but very tasty.

Is beef sukiyaki healthy?

If you’re on a diet, I wouldn’t recommend eating sukiyaki, as it can be very high in calories and fat content.

But if you know what to order and add more vegetables than beef, sukiyaki can actually be one of the healthiest dishes around!

Sukiyaki steak vs teppanyaki hibachi steak: what’s the difference?

Hibachi steak is usually thinly sliced beef that’s slowly cooked or simmered at the table.

On the other hand, sukiyaki steak is grilled in advance and then you dip it into boiling broth at the table.

Enjoy some sukiyaki steak

Sukiyaki is a unique dish that everyone should try at least once in their lives. But it’s so delicious that I’m sure most will want to try it again!

Hopefully, this article has inspired you to seek out the taste, whether you travel to Japan or make it in your own kitchen.

Bon appetit!

Also read: shabu-shabu vs sukiyaki, are they (almost) the same?!?

If you want to find out more about sukiyaki, then read this article.

Check out our new cookbook

Bitemybun's family recipes with complete meal planner and recipe guide.

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Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.