S'ki - of the yaki variety

A good winter dish

Many people overseas have heard the "Sukiyaki Song" which of course, had a very different title in Japanese. But the real sukiyaki is a tasty dish.

Many have heard of, or may have tried some version of, sukiyaki. It's a popular and well known dish consisting of beef (usually), mushrooms, other vegetables and tofu all cooked in a hot broth.

By the way, the proper way to say it is skee-yahkee. The first "u" is silent. So, it's not "soo key yea key."

There are restaurants that offer "tabe hodai" (tahbay hohdie) - or, "all you can eat" sukiyaki at very reasonable prices. I've seen it advertised for as little as 2,000 yen. Of course, the better quality beef places will cost you at least double that and won't be all you can eat.

The proper way to eat it is to use the spoon provide to dip out the items for the nabe (nahbay) - the cooking pot - you want to eat and placing them into a bowl where you have already mixed up a raw egg. Then use your chopsticks to eat the food and bowl of rice that comes with your meal. If the idea of eating a raw eff turns you off you can skip the egg.

If you are among friends and family it's not unknown to just use your chopsticks to take food from the nabe rather than using the spoon.

Although the ingredients are similar don't confuse sukiyaki with Shabu Shabu. The ingredients in sukiyaki are put in the nabe and cooked all at the same time whereas in Shabu Shabu you dip the raw meat into the boiling water and swish it back and forth a few times to cook it.

Give it a try. It's a great dish!

by Joe Peters

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