What is the most dangerous thing that normally happens at a dinner? Maybe spilling a glass of wine or dropping food down your front. You don’t expect when eating an enjoyable meal out to be splashed by scalding hot broth and almost have an eye taken out!
Apart from minor burns and a near miss, the meal was splendid and perfect for a cold evening. Sukiyaki is a Japanese hot pot which I love to eat during the winter. It’s like fondue in that you dip raw meat into hot salty broth, allowing it to cook and then consuming it with rice and mixed vegetables. This is a dish that you can only eat in winter, because after your first bite you cheeks turn rosy red and a warm cosy feeling spreads throughout your body.
It has become a tradition in my family that we eat Sukiyaki in January. It is normally shared between two people and I often split it with my Dad, but there is one small problem with that. He can’t use chopsticks very well. He did try this time to use chopsticks by not breaking them but that ended suddenly when they snapped apart mid-way through the meal and I had to duck to avoid losing an eye from a flying stick.
Sukiyaki does not just contain meat, which I consider the least important part of the meal. To me it’s the vegetables, tofu and noodles which are the stars of this show. Shiitake mushrooms have a unique taste and cooking them in the salty broth helps to highlight their rich earthy taste. Another favourite of mine is the enoki mushrooms, as when cooked they become like sweet noodles and pair so well with the creaminess of the raw egg.
Now most of you are making sounds of disgust at this but I can assure you that this is safe and is also delicious. I just dip the mushrooms or beef into the mixed egg and then eat it. There is nothing better than the rich creamy taste that you get from egg and it complements the intensely salty hot pot ingredients so well. I say do not discount it until you have tried it (and then fall head over heels in love with it).
I cannot promise you will not be injured while eating this dish, just make sure that the person you are going with can use chopsticks correctly or make sure to bring safety glasses!
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