0122_1If you’re torn on what to make for dinner, Japanese sukiyaki is one of the easiest options.

This Japanese version of hotpot is very simple and a good choice for people who complain about how Chinese hotpot gives every ingredient the same flavor.

Sukiyaki is traditionally prepared in an iron pan on the stove. Turn on the heat, spread the tallow and pan fry a bit of sliced beef. Add sugar, soy sauce and rice wine.

Move the beef off to one side and add scallions, tofu, konjac noodles, mushrooms and needle mushroom. Top with leafy vegetables and cover with a lid for two minutes to make the vegetables release their flavor.

Empty the pot into a small bowl with a beaten raw egg. The egg helps cool the dish while eating.

When made with good beef, shrimp and fresh vegetables, sukiyaki can be delicious.

Snowflake beef (160 yuan per 500 grams) is a good choice. The beef has fat growing into the muscle, making it tender and soft. Lean beef comes out too dry when cooked in soup stock.

Frozen shrimp from Denmark (25 yuan for 500 grams) add a sweetness to the pot, and fresh mushrooms (15 yuan for 500 grams) and needle mushrooms (4 yuan per bag) are always good additions to sukiyaki.

If you want to add tofu, fry it on each side or pick a crispy version from the market. It may take longer to prepare, but crispy tofu soaks up the sukiyaki broth as it softens.

If you’re dining alone, three small slices of beef, two mushrooms, a bag of needle mushrooms, a half cabbage, a little tofu and five or six small shrimp will be enough.

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