Sukiyaki, Japanese big dinner

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As Christmas is approaching, I wish you a nice holiday season. So let’s have a sukiyaki party !
It’s a party meal designed to showcase delicious premium Japanese beef and season produce. A hot pot to cook and share on the table.

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The ingredients are cut, cleaned, prepared and presented on big trays on the table.
First tray : fungi, konnyaku noodles and grilled tofu.
There were 4 types of mushrooms : shimeji, enoki, dry and soaked maitake and fresh kikurage.

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Second tray : negi leeks, onions, soaked yakifu (gluten croutons) and kikuna (chrysanthemum greens).

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Third tray : the beef. Wagyu, Japanese traditionally raised cows. Beside you can see cubes of beef fat.

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Each eater is given a bowl with a good fresh egg. Whisk your egg with the chopsticks and get ready to dip you ingredients in this sauce.

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First step : greasing the pot with fat and roasting the first slices. They can be enjoyed this way as the beef is delicious, just on its own.

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That’s the technique : melt some fat, add some meat, pour a little sugar, then a little shoyu (sauce sauce), a little sake. Mix and cook.

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All the other ingredients are added in small batches…

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For dessert… well, there are no desserts for Japanese meal. So that’s a French tarte Tatin, made with Japanese apples.

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Pot au feu or pot luck ? Seafood veggie red stew.

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A long time ago, a very cheerful lady asked if I liked French pot au feu and I said that was not my favorite dish. She was very disappointed as she had just discovered the dish in a “traditional French restaurant” here in Osaka, and she said : “Really I love everything spicy with tomato sauce, chick peas, seafood and hot dog sausages…”. It seems, she ate an original variation for sure that drifts far away from what most call pot au feu in France.
Well, I’ve made it today without the knackies. I don’t know if that has a name. Maybe the Spanish “cocido de pulpo con patatas”, but I don’t see it with sausages. Well, they are not here.
I have the pulpo (octopus) :

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Hokkaido octopus.

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Into a broth (onion with cloves, chick peas, bouquet garni, mushrooms).

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Boiled.

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Added potatoes. Later tomato sauce and a little red wine. a little hot chili.

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Kyoto red kabu turnip.

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I first added pieces of the root, then stalks, then at the end leaves.

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Put it in a pottery.

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Cover and announce “pot au feu” or whatever name…

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Gifu squash and fondue-pa’

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A little early Autumn party around cheese fondue ! There is a special guest, here is :

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宿儺かぼちゃ suguna kabocha. , from Gifu Prefecture. This monster makes about 3 kg. Inside, it’s kabocha pumpkin, a potimarron and it does taste very chestnutty.

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We are far away from the fondue savoyarde with mountain cheeses. Today : pumpkin, red wine and… processed cheese.

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The result is incredibly yummy…

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Dip in bread. Or toasted bread.

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Or veggies.

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Butakimchi nabe, spicy Japanese steamboat

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A meaty nabe today. As previously, I only show the preparation for the night time hot pot. Buta is pork, and kimchi well, there is some in it :

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That spice pickle will flavor the broth. I add miso and raw ginger too. That will even be too spicy and salty, so some more neutral ingredients are necessary for balance.

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Konnyaku, made from some kind of root veggie. It has nearly no calories, and no flavor but the texture in the hot soup is very pleasant.

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Enoki are not full of flavor either. They soak the soup and bring some texture.

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Chrysanthemum greens, they have some sourness like aragula.

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The meat. It’s pork sliced very thinly. The amount seems important, but that’s only 100 grams.

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So everything is ready… curtain.

Post-scriptum : miam miam miam…

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Preparing the tonyu nabe (soy milk Japanese hot pot)

The nabe (hot pot) has saved generations of Japanese from freezing in Winter in the chilly houses.

The broth makes the pot. It’s a tonyu nabe, the soup is tonyu (soy milk) that I freshly made.

Flavoring for the soup.

Veggies, many : spinach, bean sprouts, onion, carrot, red kabu turnip, edamame beans, shungiku, negi and nanohana greens.

Seafood : shrimps and cuts of tai fish. So it’s ready for tonight, when it will be too dark for photos.

It’s simple, heat the broth (don’t boil the soy milk), add flavoring… and dip in ingredients.

Gyoza miso nabe (relax hot pot). Step 2 : cook’n eat.

Let’s eat this miso hot pot with ginger chicken gyoza…

You have everything ready (details here).

1. fill 2/3 of the pot with hot water, add the kombu seaweed, let simmer a few minutes. You can put the lid if you want to speed up.
2. add a part of the miso, at your taste. It’s very salty. You want the water drizzle slightly, just enough to poach and cook the ingredients. The “don’t let boil” advice for miso soup can’t apply here.
3. when the level of broth goes down, complete with hot water. When you get near the end of the meal, you can let the broth thicken.
4. add small amounts of the ingredients and pick them out as soon as they are cooked. The cooking time differ slightly. Here, the kabocha is the longest, I put some in first, then gyoza, then mochi and I like my cabbage and sprouts very crunchy so they need only a quick dip.

While the kabocha cooks, you have the time to form a few gyoza dumplings :

Inside the gyoza : meat, ginger and a little miso. Wet the outer circle and fold in 2, try to push out all air from inside and shape in little bags. They cook in about 5 minutes. You can see the change of shape and color.

FINAL ROUND :

At the end, everything that is left, the rest of miso, of veggies, the unused dumpling skins and the big block of mochi. The kombu seaweed has become much softer and it can be eaten. I cut it in ribbon and let it in.
When the mochi melts, serve the soup.

Other nabe hotpots :

Japanese miso hot pot with Winter crab
Nikomi Udon, noodle nabe
Duck and veggie nabe
sukiyaki, beef , sake and soy sauce

Gyoza miso nabe (relax hot pot). Step 1 : display.


A cool… no hot nabe Japanese hotpot with ginger flavored chicken gyoza dumplings. A meal to cook directly on the table and relax longly, and enjoy season food. It’s very popular for parties and all gathering, but you can start at one. Preparing takes less time than reading this post.

gas + donabe

Material :
-a stove you can place on your table. They make convenient and cheap gas ones (in any Chinatown). I also have a small induction one. A brasero is too slow for a big pot, but for one or two, that works.
-a nabe (pot). That can be any thick bottom pot. There are beautiful ones in black cast iron (kuro tetsu), or in pottery (donabe). It’s better to use one that seems too small than too big for the number of guests. The goal is to cook progressively and eat immediately each bite, so you want to cook in many small batches.
-a pot with hot water not far away

A bit of dashi kombu, the seaweed. That’s the base for the broth.

Chunky koji miso. How much ? I’d say a good spoonful per person for a full meal. Then that depends if you like your food salty.
Some mochi. It’s the full season as we are so close to New Year. I had square kiri-mochi. We can buy any size here. They sell thinly cuts ready for hot pots, but slicing yours is not difficult. I slice some, I keep some whole for the final.
Dumpling skins that you can make yourself. I bought them this time. Well, some buy the gyoza ready, but that’s not funny.
DIY gyoza

For the filling : ground chicken meat and diced fresh ginger. That’s all. The ground meat could go bad if it stayed too long unrefrigerated, so take it from the fridge at the last minute. If you are many, bring one a bowl and refill later as you go.

Season veggies that you like.
The greens of hakusai (napa cabbage). Bean sprouts. And yukikesho kabocha, sliced finely, if possible. The rind of kabocha is edible.

That’s ready. Jump to step 2 (here).