A Simple Soothing Noodle Bowl!
Sukiyaki is a style of Japanese cooking that requires a pot of broth to be kept hot at the table over an open flame. Sukiyaki is not just a meal, it is a social event. The guest is basically the chef at a sukiyaki table, because the guest selects the ingredients and the guest does the cooking!
A choice of broth is always offered for sukiyaki at a restaurant. Bone marrow broth, dashi broth, chicken broth, gelatinous meat broth and vegetable broth are just a few of the broth options. The noodles for sukiyaki are usually freshly made udon noodles. Extra ingredients and herbs are commonly offered. Meat, tofu or vegetables are dipped in marinade and either cooked in the broth or grilled at the table and then added to the broth in a bowl.
At home or in a standard restaurant, a hot open flame or chargrill in the dining area is not always an option. An electric hot plate that reaches a moderately high temperature can keep the broth hot enough to cook whatever is dipped in it.
Sukiyaki can be prepared in a kitchen, then brought to a table, but this would not be a social way to dine. Sukiyaki that is prepared in a kitchen would be more like a street food style sukiyaki, where customers point at items on a menu that they want cooked in the broth. Today's recipe is done street food style, but it can easily be adapted to a sukiyaki table setting.
Gelatinous Beef Broth:
This recipe yields about 1 quart. (2 portions)
Step 1: Place 16 ounces of beef neck bone pieces in a large sauce pot. (Be sure that the bones have plenty of cartilage and connective tissue attached.)
Add 1 crushed garlic clove.
Add 1 coarsely chopped shallot.
Add a 5" x 5" piece of dried kombu seaweed.
Cover the bones with 1" of extra water. (About 1 1/2 quarts)
Step 2: Place the pot over low heat.
Gently simmer for about 4 hours, till the broth is a golden tan color and full of flavor.
*Add water as necessary to keep the bones covered, but let the broth reduce in volume to about 1 quart.
Step 3: Pour the broth through a fine mesh strainer into a container.
Set the broth aside or chill it for later use.
This recipe yields 1 portion.
Fresh udon noodles are fairly easy to make. They also can be found in Asian food markets.
Step 1: Place 1 portion of fresh udon noodles in a pot of boiling water over medium high heat.
Boil till the noodles are fully cooked. (This only takes about a minute.)
Step 2: Drain the hot water off of the noodles.
Place the hot noodles in a container of ice water.
Stir the noodles till they gain a firm texture.
Step 3: Drain the cold water off of the noodles.
Set the prepared udon noodles aside.
This recipe yields 1 portion.
Step 1: Place 1/2 tablespoon of thin soy sauce into a small bowl.
Add 2 tablespoons of the gelatinous beef broth.
Add 1/2 tablespoon of rice wine.
Add 1/2 teaspoon of vinegar.
Add 1/2 teaspoon of granulated sugar.
Add 1/4 teaspoon of ginger paste.
Step 2: Stir the ingredients together.
Place the marinade in a small shallow ceramic bowl.
Set the bowl aside.
Sukiyaki Style Grilled Marinated Pork Loin, Udon Noodles and Gelatinous Beef Broth:
This recipe yields 1 noodle bowl entrée.
Paper thin slices of pork loin can be found at Asian food market butcher shops. If you slice your own pork loin, then partially freeze the meat before slicing.
Step 1: Place 2 cups of Gelatinous Beef Broth in a sauce pot.
Bring the broth to a gentle simmer over medium low heat.
Step 2: Select 3 ounces of paper thin sliced pork loin.
Separate the slices on a platter.
Step 3: Heat a non-stick griddle over medium/medium low heat.
Season the griddle with just a few drops of vegetable oil.
Sauté a few of the paper thin slices of the pork loin at a time.
When the pork loin slices are fully cooked, place them in the marinade.
*Leave the griddle on the heat!
Step 4: Toss the grilled thin pork loin slices with the marinade.
Let them sit in the marinade for about 30 seconds.
Step 5: The next few steps finish the dish and they have to be done quickly, so everything is hot when served!
Place the prepared Udon Noodles into the pot of hot broth.
Pour the hot gelatinous beef broth and noodles into a large soup bowl.
Step 6: Return the marinated grilled pork loin slices to the hot griddle.
Grill the pork till a few light brown highlights appear.
Step 7: Place the grilled marinated pork loin slices on the surface of the broth an noodles.
Place 1 tablespoon of finely chopped cilantro on the center of the noodles.
Garnish the bowl with 2 perilla leaves.
When alone or if no table hot pot is available, you can still enjoy street food style sukiyaki!