Sukiyaki | Japanese Food Guide
Sukiyaki is a typical wintertime dish in Japan featuring beef, tofu, scallions, cabbage, and mushrooms. They are all put together in a pot, seasoned with soy sauce and sugar, heated, and then dipped in raw egg and eaten. It is cooked using a ‘nabe’, which is a Japanese hot pot usually made of clay or iron. It is one of home-cooks’ favorite dishes to make because it doesn’t require too much preparation and you can easily feed 4 or more people. The traditional year-end parties at work are also often celebrated with sukiyaki.
From Vegetarian to Carnivore
Sukiyaki’s history is not as long as some other Japanese foods. This is because eating meat has long been forbidden in Japan because of Buddhist traditions. But when Japan opened up to Western influences in the late 19th century, eating meat was no longer a taboo. And that is when sukiyaki became popular.
As with many dishes, sukiyaki also has varieties when it comes to ingredients depending on the region where you eat it. But since the Kanto earthquake in 1923, the Kansai style became standard, as many people from Kanto moved to Kansai temporarily after the earthquake. And then they became used to eating sukiyaki in the Kansai style. Sukiyaki Kansai-style means that the meat is heated up first. Then the condiments are added, and lastly, the vegetables are added.
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