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Japanese Sukiyaki Recipe: A Simple and Delicious Hot Pot Dish

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Sukiyaki is a delicious Japanese hot pot dish that’s perfect for a cozy meal at home. It’s a simple mix of beef, vegetables, tofu, and noodles simmered in a sweet and savory soy sauce broth.

With just a few ingredients and easy steps, you can enjoy this classic dish. All you need is thinly sliced beef, fresh veggies, and a flavorful sukiyaki sauce to make this tasty meal.

Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned cook, you’ll find this recipe easy to follow and incredibly satisfying. So, roll up your sleeves and get ready to make some sukiyaki!

Exact Ingredients (+ Possible Substitutes)

To make Sukiyaki, you’ll need the following ingredients. Here are the essential items along with possible substitutes:

Main Ingredients:

  • Thinly Sliced Beef: Look for well-marbled cuts. Substitute: Thinly sliced pork or chicken.
  • Tofu: Firm tofu works best. Substitute: Grilled tempeh.
  • Shiitake Mushrooms: Adds a rich umami flavor. Substitute: Button mushrooms.
  • Napa Cabbage: This is a staple in Sukiyaki. Substitute: Bok choy or spinach.


  • Leeks: Japanese leeks are ideal. Substitute: Regular leeks or green onions.
  • Scallions: Use both white and green parts. Substitute: Chives.
  • Carrots: Cut into thin slices. Substitute: Daikon radish.

Broth and Seasoning:

  • Kombu Dashi: This gives a rich flavor. Substitute: Chicken or vegetable broth.
  • Sake: Adds a subtle sweetness and depth. Substitute: White wine or a little more mirin.
  • Mirin: A sweet rice wine. Substitute: A mix of sugar and white wine.
  • Soy Sauce: Essential for the sauce. Substitute: Tamari or coconut aminos.
  • Sugar: Typically added to balance flavors. Substitute: Honey or brown sugar.

Optional Ingredients:

  • Udon Noodles: Adds heartiness to the dish. Substitute: Soba or rice noodles.
  • Golden Enoki Mushrooms: For extra texture. Substitute: Shimeji mushrooms.

Having fresh and high-quality ingredients will enhance the flavor of your Sukiyaki. Keep these substitutes in mind if you can’t find some items at your local store. Enjoy the process of making this delicious Japanese hot pot!


Heat a pan over medium-high heat and add a tablespoon of oil. Sear thinly sliced beef for about 10-30 seconds until it starts to brown.

Add 1 tablespoon sugar, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, and 2 tablespoons sake to the beef. Stir well to coat the meat.

Next, add sliced vegetables like onions, carrots, shiitake mushrooms, and bok choy. Cook for about 10 minutes.

To make the sauce, mix ½ cup sake, ½ cup mirin, and ¼ cup soy sauce in a small saucepan. Bring to a gentle simmer.

Pour the sauce mixture over the ingredients in the pan. Let everything cook together for another 5-10 minutes.

Serve each ingredient grouped together on a large plate. Place an egg in a small bowl for each person to dip the sukiyaki into before eating. Enjoy your meal!

Tips, Tricks & Storing

Use Fresh Ingredients: Fresh vegetables, tofu, and high-quality beef will make your sukiyaki taste better.

Thinly Slice the Beef: If you slightly freeze the meat, it becomes easier to slice thinly. This ensures it cooks quickly and evenly.

Sukiyaki Sauce: You can make the sauce ahead of time and store it in the fridge. This saves prep time on the day you plan to cook.

Cooking in Stages: Add ingredients to the hot pot in stages. Start with vegetables that take longer to cook like carrots and mushrooms. Then, add quicker cooking ingredients like beef and tofu.

Keep the Dashi Simple: Kombu dashi (kelp broth) is easy to make and adds a rich flavor. Just steep kombu in water for at least 30 minutes.

Avoid Overcooking Beef: Sukiyaki beef is best when it’s thinly sliced and cooked briefly. Sear each side for just a few seconds to keep it tender.

Storing Leftovers:

  • Refrigerate: Store any leftover sukiyaki in airtight containers. It will keep in the fridge for 2-3 days.
  • Reheat Carefully: When reheating, use low heat to avoid overcooking the beef and vegetables.
  • Freeze: For longer storage, you can freeze portions of sukiyaki. Allow it to cool completely before freezing.

Use a Butane Burner: A portable butane burner is great for cooking sukiyaki at the table. It allows everyone to enjoy the meal together and keeps the food hot.

Recipe Variations & Serving Suggestions

Traditional Ingredients:

  • Sliced beef
  • Tofu
  • Shirataki noodles
  • Napa cabbage
  • Green onions
  • Mushrooms (shiitake, enoki)
  • Warishita sauce: Mirin, soy sauce, sake, brown sugar

Vegetarian Sukiyaki:

Substitute tofu or seitan for beef. Use vegetable broth instead of the traditional sauce.

Seafood Sukiyaki:

Replace beef with seafood like shrimp or fish. Adjust cooking times for the seafood.

Vegetable Add-Ins:

Try adding carrots, bok choy, spinach, or bell peppers for more color and nutrition.

Serving Suggestions:

Individual Dishes:

Serve sukiyaki in individual bowls with a small beaten egg for dipping.

Family Style:

Place a large pot in the center of the table for everyone to enjoy together.


Serve sukiyaki with steamed rice or udon noodles.

Flavor Boosters:

Sprinkle with sesame seeds or fresh herbs like cilantro for extra flavor.

Enjoy experimenting with these variations and discovering your favorites!

Benjamin Happy Muncher

Hi, I'm Benjamin. I love cooking, long walks, and my girlfriend! Here you’ll find simple and delicious recipes that you can make in 30 minutes or less.