Sukiyaki is more than the English title of a famous old Japanese song, it’s a hot pot-style dish made with sliced beef, vegetables, tofu, and shiitake mushrooms, cooked in with a broth of soy sauce, sugar and sake. It's a sizable dish served in a big central pot, then dished out to individual bowls, which is why it’s usually ordered for two or more people. Commonly, each diner breaks then mixing a raw egg into their individual bowls with their chopsticks before eating. If eating slightly runny egg sounds horrific you can avoid that part, but it is delicious.
When most of the ingredients are gone from the central pot, udon noodles are often placed inside and cooked as the final delicious stage of the meal.
Sukiyaki prices range from reasonable to quite expensive depending on the restaurant. The portions though tend to be large and satisfying.
Fun fact - “Sukiyaki” became a famous song in the West after a British music executive heard the song “Ue O Muite Arukou” when he was traveling in Japan, and his band’s instrumental version was wildly successful overseas. He named it “Sukiyaki” after a food he enjoyed. Which is like a Japanese musician visiting America, hearing Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway To Heaven” and calling his instrumental remake “Double Whopper With Cheese”.
Price per person:
¥2000 ~ ¥10000
- Where can I eat it? -
Sukiyaki can be ordered in some restaurants, and certainly in specialist stores like “Yawaraka Hozenji”, a convenient, reasonably-priced restaurant just below the Dotonbori in Namba. Click the restaurant guide link for more details.