My father diseased 19 years ago the day before the Christmas eve. To remember him I made sukiyaki dinner at home last night. My Dad never helped my Mom in the kitchen, who cooked meals for my father’s patients and family, including two nurses who stayed with us, almost entire 365 days. But there was one occasion when he took in charge of cooking our meal. It was the sukiyaki meal which my family enjoyed at the end of every year – December 31st. My father did not know much about cooking but he fed us with gust and smile.
If you own a table top gas burner, you can enjoy sukiyaki meal very easily. In our sukiyaki meal I used vegetables which are available at my nearby supermarkets – Chinese cabbage, mizuna leaf, thick scallions and shiitake mushroom. I did not go to Japanese food store to purchase specially, thinly sliced sukiyaki beef. I bought a pound of skirt steak at a local butcher (I love skirt steak because of its rich flavor) and sliced it thin, slanted. There is no sukiyaki recipe in my family. This is how my father did and I now do;
Add a piece of beef suet (you have to use it) on a heated skillet on a table top gas burner; melt the suet and coat the entire bottom of the skillet with oil; keep the suet in the skillet while cooking beef and vegetables; first add four to six or so thinly sliced beef without overlapping (use medium heat); sprinkle some sugar (I used brown sugar) over the beef; when the bottom is golden, quickly turn over the beef; sprinkle little more sugar, pour in little sake, water and soy sauce and cook the beef to your choice of texture; divide the cooked beef into four or 6 bowls and enjoy (add one egg in each bowl and beat it with chopsticks before putting the cooked beef; wash your egg in vinegar before breaking it just to make it safe); you may cook the beef again in the skillet by following the same instructions (rub the bottom of the entire skillet again with beef suet); after eating the second batch beef, add one batch of vegetables along with some water, sake, sugar and soy sauce. Cook the vegetables until crisp done, turning over the vegetables from time to time; divide the vegetables among your family and enjoy….you may go back to cook more beef, then, vegetables…you repeat it until everything is cooked and eaten by you and your family members. It is delicious and great fun!