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Cozy Winter Dinners – Hearty Sukiyaki

Finally – a crisp autumn chill has settled over Hong Kong!!  I’ve been looking forward to the changing of seasons a) because I can stop getting completely drenched with sweat when walking from Mid-levels to Central b) so that my hair will de-frizz a bit and c) I can whip up some delicious cozy chilly weather-inspired meals!

One of my favourite cozy winter dinners is sukiyaki – I call this my “one pot wonder”.  Sitting around a table with cushy pillows, heaping this piping hot broth-like meal onto a bowl of rice is absolute comforting sustenance, and reminds me of our many apre-ski dinners huddled around similar meals in Niseko.  

Again, I love improvisation and the following ingredients are solely from my own imagination – feel free to add whatever ingredients you want.  Cooking should be about freedom to use whatever ingredients you want to eat, and not about confinement to a traditional recipe, so go ahead, be creative!

What you’ll need (serves 2-4, depending on greediness):

  • 1/2 cup mirin
  • 1/4 cup sake
  • 3/4 cup light soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup sweet soy sauce
  • 3 cups chicken broth or water
  • 1 onion, sliced horizontally
  • 1 medium size white cabbage
  • 1 block of hard tofu
  • 1 package of beancurd skin
  • a handful of enoki mushrooms
  • 200g of sliced beef
  • 2-4 eggs

First of all, make the sukiyaki sauce by combining mirin, sake, light and sweet soy sauce as well as chicken broth (or water) in a large heavy-based pot – I love my 3L Le Creuset for this.  

Cut onion and cabbage as shown below.  I like to save the green cabbage leaves to throw in the pot at the end of cooking, as they are very tender.

Place the onion and white stalks of cabbage in the sukiyaki pot.  Bring to a boil over medium heat.

While the cabbage / onion are cooking, slice up the tofu and beancurd.  Rinse the enoki.

 By now, the pot should have come to a boil.  Scoop out a few spoonfuls of sauce into a skillet.

Now, add the beancurd, tofu, mushroom, and the green tender cabbage leaves to the pot.  Clamp lid back on and bring to a boil.

While that is cooking, heat up the skillet (with the reserved sukiyaki sauce) and sizzle the thin slices of beef until medium rare.

Add the beef slices to the bubbling pot.  

And crack a few eggs in so they poach to a medium gooeyness in the broth (takes around 2-3 minutes).

Now serve with rice and indulge in sukiyaki awesomeness.  

Bon Appetit!

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