Sukiyaki (soo-kee-yah-kee) is a delicious example of Japanese-style ‘cook-it-yourself food. The ingredients for the dish are prepared, decoratively arranged on a platter and then cooked at the table in a casserole set over a burner. A fondue dish would be ideal for this. Traditionally, each diner selects and cooks his oion food, which is then dipped into lightly beaten egg before being eaten. If Japanese shirataki noodles are not available, cooked and cooled fine vermicelli may be substituted.
2 lb. fillet steak, cut across the grain into very thin slices
8 oz. canned shirataki noodles, drained
4 oz. small spinach leaves, prepared and blanched
1 lb. fiat mushrooms, peeled, stalks removed and discarded, and halved
1 large carrot, scraped and cut into
12 spring onions , trimmed and cut into
1 canned bamboo shoot, drained, halved and thinly sliced
8 fl. oz. dashi stock
4 fl. oz. sake or dry sherry
1 oz. beef suet or chilled vegetable fat
6 fl. oz. soy sauce
2 oz. soft brown sugar
On a large serving platter, arrange the steak, shirataki, spinach, mushrooms, carrot, spring onions and bamboo shoot.
Pour the dashi stock and the sake or sherry into a small bowl. Break each egg into individual serving bowls and lightly beat each egg with a fork. Set aside.
Set a large, shallow flameproof cas- serole over a burner or moderate heat until it is hot. Spear the suet or fat on a fork and rub the base of the casserole with the suet or fat until it is lightly coated. Discard the suet or fat.
Place about one-quarter of the meat and vegetables in the casserole and add about a quarter of the dashi mixture and soy sauce. Sprinkle over one-quarter of the sugar. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes, turning and stirring frequently, or until the meat and vegetables are tender.
With a slotted spoon, transfer the meat and vegetables to individual serving plates and serve with the beaten eggs while the remaining food is cooked in the same way. The liquid should always be simmering. If the food begins to stick to the casserole add
1 teaspoon of cold water to cool it or reduce the heat to moderately low.
The sauce becomes stronger as more liquid and sugar are added at each cooking stage so it may be necessary to reduce these amounts according to your taste.