BEEF SUKIYAKI (for four)
8 ounces mai fun (thin rice stick noodles, also called rice vermicelli), soaked in cold water until pliable (about 30 minutes)
4 large dried mushrooms, soaked in boiling water (about 20 minutes), stems removed, sliced
2 tablespoons grapeseed or canola oil
3 large onions, halved and thinly sliced
3 celery stalks, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon peeled and minced fresh ginger
1 bunch scallions, cut into 2 inch lengths
½ cup mirin
2 quarts dashi broth
1/3 cup naturally brewed soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
one ( ½ pound) pad soft bean curd, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 pound prime rib, halved lengthwise, or beef tenderloin, sliced paper thin (have your butcher do this, or put the meat into the freezer until it is slightly hard, about 30 to 45 minutes, depending on meat thickness. Remove and slice using a cleaver or a very sharp, thin-bladed knife)
- Bring a pot of water to a boil over high heat and cook the noodles until tender yet firm, about 10 seconds. Drain well in a colander.
- Heat a large, heavy cast iron skillet over high heat. Add the oil and swirl to coat the pan. Add the onions, celery, ginger, mushrooms and scallions and saute, stirring, until the onions have caramelized, 5 to 10 minutes. Add the mirin, stir, and cook until the mirin has reduced by half, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the broth, reduce the heat and bring to a simmer. Cook until the mixture is reduced slightly, about 10 minutes. Add the soy sauce, sugar, bean curd and noodles and season with salt and pepper.
- “Float” the beef on the surface of the broth and allow it to cook through, turning once, about 1 minute. Transfer broth, beef and noodles to heated bowls and serve with boiled rice.
adapted from Craig Claiborne, The New York Times Cookbook