Zojirushi Blog

Sukiyaki: Japan’s Heartwarming Dish That Sings ‘Gutsu Gutsu’

Electric skillet with stew of meat, tofu, carrots, leeks and shirataki noodles

Sukiyaki is a beloved Japanese dish that warms the soul as it fills the stomach. It’s not just a meal; it’s a multisensory experience that starts with the comforting sound of ‘gutsu gutsu’ – an onomatopoeic term that describes the simmering of ingredients in a Japanese hot pot. Join us on a culinary adventure as we explore the fascinating world of sukiyaki and its significance in Japanese food culture.

History of Sukiyaki

Tracing back to the Meiji era (1868-1912), sukiyaki is a historical dish symbolizing Japan’s social and culinary transformation. Originally a celebratory food for gatherings, it evolved into a comforting staple enjoyed across the country.

The name sukiyaki blend combines ‘suki,’ the Japanese word for spade used by laborers to cook, with ‘yaki,’ meaning grilling. The introduction of beef during the Meiji Restoration turned sukiyaki into a beloved method of savoring this once-scarce delicacy, embodying Japan’s ability to harmonize new influences with time-honored traditions.

Sukiyaki: A Symbol of Japanese Culinary Fellowship

Small iron pan over heat cooking up a meat and veggie stew with a small white bowl with a cracked egg

Sukiyaki holds a special place in the heart of Japanese culinary culture, representing more than just a beloved dish—it epitomizes the essence of togetherness and harmony. Sukiyaki is traditionally a shared family style, reflecting the Japanese value of ‘wa‘—social harmony.

Gathered around a single pot, friends and family participate in the cooking process, each person adding and cooking ingredients. This interactive dining experience fosters a sense of community and warmth, making sukiyaki a popular choice for festive occasions and a symbol of unity.

Moreover, sukiyaki’s very evolution—from a luxury dish savored by the few to a comforting meal enjoyed by many—mirrors Japan’s historical journey towards inclusivity and cultural openness. Sukiyaki is a dish that not only serves as food but also as a culinary connection between people. It perfectly represents the spirit of Japanese hospitality and the joy of sharing a meal.

Make Sukiyaki at Home

Spread of various ingredients like meat, shiitake mushrooms, eggs, cabbage, tofu and various sauces

At home, mastering sukiyaki is about embracing simplicity and quality. Creating a harmonious combination of sweet, salty, and savory elements requires patience as each ingredient is carefully simmered.

A classic sukiyaki recipe includes thinly sliced beef, chunks of nappa cabbage, shirataki noodles, fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced onions, and carrots. Leeks and tofu are also added as well. The cooking sauce is a mixture of soy sauce, mirin, sugar, and dashi, although some opt for water.

The preparation starts by heating a shallow pot or electric skillet over medium heat. Once heated, the cooking sauce is added and brought to a gentle simmer. The meat is then added to the pot and cooked until it achieves a savory browned perfection. Then, the vegetables and noodles are added, allowing them to cook until tender and infused with flavor. This culinary masterpiece is completed by serving it promptly, accompanied by dipping sauce or a side of beaten egg.

Electric skillet filled with sukiyaki and a small dish with an egg and a person's hand dipping some meat into it.

Here are some tips to make it even better:

  • For a richer flavor, use Wagyu
  • If using shirataki noodles, rinse them well under running water before cooking.
  • To make your own dashi, simply simmer kombu (kelp) and bonito flakes in water for 30 minutes.
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment. There are many different ways to make sukiyaki. Try adding different vegetables or meats to see what you like best.

Get the full recipe, designed for the Gourmet d’Expert® Electric Skillet (EP-RAC50) here.

 

 

Cook Your Favorite Winter Meals with Zojirushi Electric Skillets

Are you looking for easy winter recipes to warm up to this season? Whether you’re cooking for one or cooking for a few, our Gourmet d’Expert® Electric Skillets are perfect for making all kinds of easy meals and snacks – from hearty soups, grilled meats, hot pot, and even desserts. Today, we’ll be sharing our ultimate recipe guide to our favorite electric skillet dishes for the winter, from sukiyaki, fondue, pasta dishes, and more. Let’s get cooking! 

If you need an introduction to our electric skillet line, make sure to read our product guide here to learn more. 

Gourmet d’Expert® Electric Skillet EP-PBC10 

This single pan, multifunctional electric skillet features a deep dish ideal for soups and stews and a wide 10-½” surface great for grilling and sautéing. If you have a Gourmet d’Expert® Electric Skillet EP-PBC10, bookmark these recipes:  

Vegetarian Miso Nabe 

This nabe, or hot pot, combines carrots, shiitake mushrooms, green chard and vegetable based meatballs cooked in a delightful umami-rich miso broth. It is truly filling and easy to prepare! 

Japanese Curry Nabe 

Serve up this delicious soup with chicken drumsticks and vegetables cooked in curry-based soup with garlic, soy sauce and chicken broth. A nutritious meal that’s subtle yet perfectly aromatic. 

Soothing Chicken Congee

This divine take on a comforting classic is packed with nutrients from antioxidant-rich turmeric and ginger. 

Chocolate Fondue 

For all who have a sweet tooth, enjoy dipping fruits, baked treats, marshmallows, and pretzels dipped in chocolate with this chocolate fondue recipe.  

Gourmet d’Expert® Electric Skillet for Yin Yang Hot Pot EP-PFC20 

The Gourmet d’Expert® Electric Skillet is a multi-functional electric skillet with two cooking pans; a deep pan with a divider for Yin Yang hot pot, and a dual surface griddle pan for grilling meats and vegetables. If you’re in the mood for a comforting hot pot dinner, try these recipes: 

Kimchi Hot Pot and Yosenabe 

Have the best of both worlds and try these two hot pot soups side by side! For the yosenabe (pictured left), we cook a light soup base with different meats, seafoods, and veggies, and enjoy with a ponzu-based dipping sauce. For the kimchi hot pot (pictured right), we cook pork belly and veggies in a kimchi soup base, or make it vegetarian by swapping out the pork with mushrooms. It’s a savory hot pot with a kick! 

Sichuan Hot Pot and Three Delicacies Hot Pot 

If you love Chinese style hot pot, make your own with a Sichuan soup base and your choice of vegetables (pictured left). This one will be spicy and numbing – great for spicy food lovers! For the Tree Delicacies hot pot (pictured right), another traditional Chinese hot pot, gather the main ingredients: meat, veggies, and seafood. You can’t go wrong! 

Gourmet d’Expert® Electric Skillet EP-RAC50 

The EP-RAC50 Electric Skillet is a truly versatile electric skillet that can do it all – with an ultra-deep dish for soups, a flat grilling plate for stir frying and grilling, and a steaming plate that adjusts to two different heights. Here are our top electric griddle recipes: 

Sukiyaki 

Sukiyaki is a popular Japanese recipe that is often cooked and served at-the-table. Common ingredients include beef, tofu, negi (green onion), leafy vegetables, shiitake mushrooms and shirataki noodles. Have fun cooking and eating at-the-table! 

Oden

Oden is a classic Japanese stew with a variety of ingredients cooked in clear soy-flavored dashi broth. Commonly served from fall to winter. Daikon or fishcake are most popular, but there is no strict rule for ingredients.

Self-Serve Cheese Fondue 

The word Fondue comes from the French verb Fondre, meaning “to melt”. You can prepare everything in advance, and let guests serve themselves while you enjoy the fondue yourself! 

Cheesy Grilled Potato

The lightly peppered potato slices are grilled to perfection with an addition of smoked cheese at the end. The more cheese the better! 

Chicken Breast Cacciatore 

Cacciatore in Italian means “hunter”, which refers to a meal prepared “hunter style” with tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, bell pepper and sometimes wine. Buon Appetito! 

Do you have a Zojirushi Electric Skillet at home? What are some of your favorite dishes to make during the colder months? Remember to share your thoughts, comments, and questions with us on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram! #Zojirushi #ZoFan 

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