Beef sukiyaki, fried tofu and Japanese glass noodles with shiitakes

10Wafer thin slices of beef heaven. Sukiyaki is a definite favourite of mine traditionally served as a winter hotpot dish. I have interpreted it here as a small taster course. The key is to choose a nicely marbled beef. I have chosen rib eye. Fine slices are available pre-prepared in oriental supermarkets. To achieve that fine cut, place the meat in the freezer for 2 hours and, using a very sharp chef’s knife, carve the meet against the grain into wafer-thin slices while the meat is semi-frozen and maintains its shape.

1/2 cup (125 mls) mirin

1/2 cup (125 mls) sake

1/3 cup (85 mls) soy sauce

1/4 cup (70 mls) sugar

20 thin slices rib eye beef (see above)

5 spring onions, cut into small lengths

6 Shiitake mushrooms, stalks removed and sliced

A handful of Japanese glass noodles

A handful of fresh bean sprouts

5 inch (10 cms) section of cucumber, julienned or cut into spaghetti using a mandolin

Fresh tofu cut into 3 inch (7-8 cms) lengths

1 tbsp vegetable oil

sesame seeds, sesame oil and chive garnish

Warm the mirin, sake, soy sauce and sugar in a pot until simmering point. Add the beef, spring onions and mushroom slices. As the beef turns brown, add the noodles. In the meantime, carefully sauté the tofu slices in the oil in a separate frying pan until browned on each side. Arrange the dish by draining and layering the beef slices in the centre of the dish. Add the fried tofu. Drain and arrange the noodles, cucumber spaghetti, bean sprouts and mushrooms. Add a small amount of sesame oil to the noodle combination and sprinkle sesame seeds. Add chives as an optional garnish