Beef Sukiyaki

I fell in love with this dish at a Japanese restaurant way back in college, and I love making it at home because its fairly quick and easy but also super satisfying and filling. The broth is meaty and savory and a little sweet, topped with noodles, tofu, steak and veggies. I used Korean sweet potato noodles in this, which isn’t traditional, but they have been easier to find at my favorite Asian market than the Japanese noodles the recipe calls for. This is a great winter time recipe, but we eat in the summer too!


  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 3 tbsp sugar (I usually reduce this to 1 tbsp because I prefer a less sweet broth)
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 3 cups sake (or my preference is 1/2 cup sake and 2 1/2 cups beef broth for more meaty flavor)
  • 1 onion sliced thin
  • 1/2 lb napa cabbage or bok choy sliced into 2 inch pieces
  • 1 package firm tofu or broiled tofu, cut into cubes
  • a package of mushrooms (shitake, or cremini), sliced
  • 1 bunch of scallions, cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 7 ounces noodles
  • 1 1/2 boneless ribeye, thin sliced
  • 2 cups fresh spinach, or a package of frozen spinach
  • 1 clove chopped garlic
  • 1 tsp sesame oil

Place the oil in a pan and heat over medium until hot. Add the sugar and cook until it starts to caramelize. Add the soy sauce and sake/broth, and allow to come to a boil. Reduce the heat and let simmer.

Cook the noodles as directed, rinse under cold water and place into bowls.

You can either use the mushrooms raw, or brown them first. Briefly cook the scallions over high heat, not to cook them but to get a little char on them. It brings out so much flavor in them.

In a frying pan, heat a tbsp of oil and get it really hot. Throw in 1/2 of the steak, sprinkle with salt and let it get a nicely browned before moving it around. Cook just enough to get some browning, you don’t want well done steak here. Repeat with the 2nd half.

Wilt your spinach in another pan with a sprinkle of salt and some chopped garlic if you like (I usually do this for extra flavor). Add a little sesame oil to the spinach.

Briefly blanche the bok choy in your broth, until it is crisp/tender and use a slotted spoon to remove it and place in mounds on the noodles in individual bowls. Do the same with the tofu just to get it hot.

Make additional piles of the cooked steak, spinach, tofu, mushrooms, sliced and green onions on the noodles. Bring broth back up to boiling and gently pour some broth over the bowls of noodles and toppings.

If I have it, I also add some korean beef stock powder to pretty much anything beef broth based, because I adds so much depth of flavor. Today, I didn’t have scallions so left them out. I also added a handful of korean rice cakes because they are so great in soup and I had some on had. That is one of the things I love about this dish, you can adapt it to whatever you have on hand and it tastes great.

You can serve this with some chili oil or chili crisp on the side if you like, although its traditionally eaten without any additional doctoring. Enjoy!

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