Introduction: Sukiyaki (Japanese Beef Hot Pot)

My mom is Japanese so we grew up eating a lot of Japanese food! One of my favorite dishes is sukiyaki! Sukiyaki (すき焼き) is a traditional Japanese hot pot dish, often cooked in the center of the dinner table on a tabletop stove. It consists of thinly sliced beef and various vegetables slowly simmered in a sweet and salty soy sauce based broth. The food is usually dipped in raw, beaten eggs and eaten with rice (but if this doesn't appeal to you then you can just have it straight from the pot too). My family loves to make this because it's very easy to prepare and also fun to eat. We all live in different places now, so it's nice when we occasionally gather around the table as a family and share a big pot of delicious food:)

Some of the ingredients might be unfamiliar to you or hard to find in your area, so I have given a little explanation of the things you'll need and the substitutions you can make in step 1! Also, since this is a hot pot dish, you can very easily change up the ingredients to fit your dietary preferences/needs (for example, you can use different types of meat, or if you're vegan or vegetarian you can eliminate the meat altogether and add different kinds of veggies or more tofu instead).

Usually, sukiyaki is cooked at the dining table on a tabletop stove. The pot is initially filled with ingredients, and everyone uses their own chopsticks to get food from the center. As the food gets eaten, more sauce and ingredients are added to the pot. This makes things really easy because all you have to do is chop up all of the ingredients and set up the table. However, if you don't have a tabletop stove like us, you can cook everything on a regular stove and just bring the pot to the dinner table after everything is done cooking.

Enjoy!!! And if you like this recipe and want to see more fun food check out my food insta too! milla_eats_food :)


(Serves 4)


  • 1 tbsp oil (any kind will work; I like sesame oil)
  • 400g thinly sliced beef
  • 1 naganegi (long green onion) or 1 leek
  • 1/2 head napa cabbage
  • 1/2 bunch shungiku (or other leafy green vegetables like bok choy)
  • 1 package enoki mushrooms
  • 6 shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 package shirataki noodles
  • 1 package yakidofu (grilled tofu) or regular firm tofu (350g)
  • 1/2 carrot (optional--for decoration)

For the sauce:

  • 3/4c sake
  • 3/4c mirin
  • 3/4c soy sauce
  • 3/4c dashi (or water)
  • 1/4c sugar or honey

For serving (optional):

  • rice
  • 4 eggs

Kitchen equipment:

  • tabletop stove (if you want to eat it at the table)
  • sukiyaki pot or large frying pan that is deep enough to fill up with all of the ingredients
  • small bowls for serving

Step 1: Gather the Ingredients!

Most of the ingredients above can be purchased at a Japanese grocery store. Here are additional notes on some of the ingredients:

  • Sukiyaki beef: Japanese grocery stores usually sell pre-sliced beef. Shabu-shabu meat works! You can also use other types of meat--pork is a good alternative!
  • Dashi: dashi is a kind of soup stock used in many Japanese recipes. It is made with kombu (dried kelp), katsuo (dried bonito flakes), dried shiitake mushrooms, iriko or niboshi (dried anchovies or sardines), or a combination of these ingredients. You can make dashi from scratch by boiling the ingredients in water and then straining it. Or, you can buy pre-made dashi packs or powder. I use the Kayanoya Dashi Packet (shown on the left of the second picture), which is preservative and MSG-free. It's kind of like a tea bag that you just boil in water (see the third and fourth pictures)! If you don't have dashi, you can always use water but you might want to add less or adjust the seasonings so that the broth doesn't get too diluted.
  • Mirin: mirin is a type or rice wine that gives a lot of Japanese food its sweet flavor. The sweetness comes naturally from the fermentation process. However, a lot of mirin in the U.S. contains high fructose corn syrup, so I always like to check the ingredients beforehand--the brand I like to use is Eden Foods!
  • Other substitutions: some of the vegetables might be hard to find depending on where you live. You can substitute the napa cabbage and shungiku for other greens like regular cabbage, spinach, bok choy, Chinese broccoli, etc. Other mushrooms like portobello will work for the shiitake and enoki. For the shirataki noodles, you can try using sweet potato noodles, vermicelli, or even spiralized veggie noodles!

Step 2: Chop Up the Ingredients

naganegi: cut the end off and slice into 1 inch pieces.

napa cabbage: cut the stem off, and then cut into 2-inch chunks.

shungiku (or other leafy greens): cut into 2-inch pieces (I didn't use any leafy greens this time)

enoki mushroom: cut the end off, and then tear the mushroom apart with your hands

shiitake mushrooms: cut the stems off and decorate the top into star shapes if you want. You can do this by holding the knife sideways and cutting small notches out of the top of the mushrooms.

shirataki noodles: rinse and drain. Then cut it in half.

tofu: cut into 8 pieces

carrot: cut it into 1/2 inch slices, and use cookie cutters if you want to make small star or flower shapes.

Step 3: Cook the Onions and Meat

  1. Set up the tabletop stove if you plan to cook this at the dining table. If not, you can just use a regular stove.
  2. Heat the sukiyaki pot on medium heat and add the oil.
  3. Once the pan is hot, add the naganegi and cook until lightly browned.
  4. Move the naganegi to one side of the pot, and then add the beef. Flip and sear until the meat is fully cooked.

Step 4: Add the Sauce

  1. Add the sauce ingredients (sake, mirin, soy sauce, dashi, and honey/sugar)
  2. Reduce heat to low

Step 5: Add the Rest of the Ingredients

  1. Add the rest of the ingredients (vegetables, mushrooms, shirataki, and tofu) into the pot.
  2. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer.
  3. Simmer until all of the ingredients are cooked through (about 15 minutes).

Note: If your pot isn't big enough and all of the ingredients don't fit, that's ok! As the vegetables cook down they will shrink and you can keep adding more ingredients inside. If you're cooking this at the dinner table, you can keep all of the ingredients on a big plate and continue to add more ingredients as you cook and eat the food.

Step 6: Serve and Enjoy:)

Once the food is cooked, you can start serving and eating! Usually, each person gets a bowl with a raw egg, and the food is dipped into the beaten egg and eaten with rice. If you want to do this, make sure your eggs are farm-fresh or pasteurized! However, if this doesn't appeal to you or your eggs are not safe to eat raw, you can always skip the egg and everything will still be very flavorful! As you eat the food, you can continue to add more ingredients to the pot, reheat and bring to a simmer, and adjust the sauce as needed, adding more dashi if the flavor is too strong, or more mirin, sake, soy sauce, and honey if it's too diluted.


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