Sukiyaki is a popular Japanese-style hotpot where paper-thin slices of beef is slowly simmered in Sukiyaki sauce (a mixture of soy, mirin and sugar) in a shallow iron pot together with some vegetables, mushrooms, tofu or noodles. Sukiyaki is cooked at the table over a portable stove or electric frying pan, and each person helps him/herself to the food as it cooks. The hot food can be dipped into beaten raw egg if desired and is served with steamed rice. Based on what I've gathered, there are two styles of Sukiyaki. One is the Osaka style where the sugar, mirin, soy sauce and dashi are added during cooking. Then there is the Tokyo style where the Sukiyaki sauce mixture is made in advance and served with the cooked food.
As I did not have a sukiyaki pot, I just cooked it in a frying pan over the kitchen stove instead. It was delicious, of course, minus the fun of cooking at the table in the comfort of your seat. There isn't much preparation involved except for cutting the vegetables. I used frozen pre-sliced beef that is really convenient to use, and you can find this in the frozen food section of most Asian supermarkets. I used fresh shirataki noodles (low-carb low-calorie Japanese glass noodles made from Konjac yam or konyaku), which can be cooked straight in the pan without boiling them first. Easy! You can prepare all these ingredients (including the sauce) ahead of time, and it's ready to be cooked when you get home from work. And everyone helps with the cooking!
Adapted from Japanese Cooking at Home by Hideo Dekura
500g (1 pound) well-marbled beef, very thinly sliced (easier to slice when the beef is half-frozen)
1 large packet firm tofu, sliced into rectangles
1 carrot, julienned
1 onion, thinly sliced
8 fresh or dried and soaked shiitake mushrooms
A handful of enoki or shimeji mushrooms
1 bunch edible chrysanthemum leaves (I omitted this)
4 scallions, white part only, sliced on the diagonal
1 packet shirataki noodles or udon noodles, cooked and drained
Steamed rice, to serve
1/3 cup caster sugar
3 tbsp mirin
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 cups dashi (or 2 tsp dashi stock powder mixed with 2 cups water)
Prepare meat, vegetables and noodles and arrange on a plate.
Break eggs into individual bowls and beat lightly.
Make sauce by combining all ingredients in a bowl.
Set a portable cooking plate on the table and heat up. Oil the pan and sautee some onions, tofu, then add some beef, followed by small portions of the other ingredients. Pour over some of the sukiyaki sauce a little at a time and simmer for a few minutes until cooked. Each person helps him/herself to the cooked food. If desired, the food can be dipped in the raw beaten egg and eaten with a bowl of steamed rice.
When the pot has been cooking for some time, the taste will become quite concentrated. You can add a little water or sake to thin it down if desired.