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Feb 20, 2012 12:14 PM

Home made Sukiyaki issue

I was trying a Sukiyaki receipt that I found another day and it was pretty decent.

Sauce was good but the meat is a little rough. I bought the hot pot meat at a near by chinese supermarket instead of using sukiyaki or shabu shabu beef. However, when I try again a few days ago, I used a bigger pot, a but more ingredient like vegetable and mushroom and more meat ( Last time I used 1 pack of beef and 1 pack of pork and this time I used 2 beef and 1 pork) but at a slightly lower grade and used low sodium soy sauce; I also used a fire to continue heating during serving. The end result.... meat is VERY rough, sauce is tasteless.

I understand sliced beef is NOT design for long cooking time but almost every sukiyaki receipt I have seen, even the Bobby Flay one, said to brown the beef first and then add sauce and then the rest of the ingredient. What caused my epic taste failure the second time around? Adding more vegetable AND using low sodium soy sauce probably have something to do with the poor taste sauce. I guess the problem lie with the beef.

I think of two solution. Either use the high grade beef I used the first time around and not having a heating element under the pan during serving OR I can just use the soy sauce mixture to cook the vegetable and stuff and add beef during serving like a traditional chinese type hotpot to ensure the beef is tender but without richness taste of the sukiyaki sauce within the beef. Any suggestion?

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  1. Your post is a little confusing.
    Sukiyaki is not a long cooked dish, it is cooked at the table in just a few minuets.
    There are two styles one where the ingredients are browned before the sauce is added the other simmered in the sauce from the start.
    When you say rough do you mean tough?
    Did you increase the amounts of ingredients with out increasing the amount of sauce ingredients? That would definitely make for a bland dish since all the seasoning is in the sauce.
    As for the beef it is thinly sliced that is used traditionally.

    2 Replies
    1. re: chefj

      Yes, I mean the meat is tough. I know it is not meant to be cook a long time but isn't it traditionally in japan to keep iot heated during the serving process?

      Yes, I increased the sauce ingredient by a bit but ,maybe not enough.

      Another question, is it possible to use sugar substitute for Sukiyaki if someone is diabetic or should it taste completely different?

      1. re: Xellosw2099

        Yes, the dish is kept over a flame as it is served but just enough to keep the pan warm.

        Not increasing the sauce by the same could explains why everything was under seasoned.

        You can use any sweetener you like but the Mirin is very sweet and integral to the dish (IMO). I have seen recipes that do not call for Mirin and you could use one of them and sub non-sugar sweetener .

        I like to use Wagu style beef for dishes like this, you really do not use that meat per serving so the added cost (which comes out to just a couple of $ total)is worth the result to me,

    2. What cut of beef are you using? Are you cutting really thin?
      For example, for value cuts, I would use chuck (making sure I cut very thin) or sirloin. I would not use bottom round or brisket since the beef fibers are too coarse giving it a "rough" texture.

      Adding the beef last is a good idea. Also, turning down the heat to prevent overcooking.

      5 Replies
      1. re: dave_c

        and which direction are you slicing the meat? Good questions/pointers for the OP, dave_c

        1. re: wyogal

          I would freeze to firm up the meat (not rock solid) and cut against the grain. :-)

            1. re: wyogal

              Well... I am actually buying the chinese style hotpot beef at my local chinese super market. One of them is regular fat beef sliced paper thin and they actually have veal beef sliced too.

              I know that Wagyu beef would be divine very good for this and perfectly fine for holiday dinner but I felt that Wagyu beef is a bit over price for normal weekend dinner. There is mitsuwa market 40 minute away so if I really want to I can get the beef that are designed for shabu shabu.

              1. re: Xellosw2099

                I don't precook anything in my sukiyaki. (I use scallions, though, and not big onion chunks.) I just simmer. I put the meat in actually when I turn the heat off. It's so thinly sliced it just cooks from the residual heat and stays pink and tender.