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beef sukiyaki thumbnail

Japanese Beef Sukiyaki (Traditional Sauce From Scratch)

  • Author: Yuto Omura
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 2 portions


How to make Japanese beef sukiyaki with thinly sliced beef, grilled tofu and a variety of vegetables simmered in a deliciously sweet and rich homemade "warishita" sauce. (Small batch serves two.)


Warishita Sauce

  • 3 tbsp sake
  • 3 tbsp mirin
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 5g kombu (dried kelp)


  • 1 tbsp beef fat or lard
  • 250g (½lb) thinly sliced beef
  • 150g (6oz) extra firm tofu
  • 1-2 leaves hakusai (Chinese leaf / Napa cabbage)
  • 3-4 shiitake mushrooms
  • 60g enoki mushrooms
  • ½ medium carrot
  • 90g Japanese naganegi (spring onion or leek)
  • 1 bunch of shungiku (crown daisy - you can omit if you can't access this ingredient)
  • 2 raw pasteurised eggs (optional)
  • 2 portions of cooked udon noodles (optional)


Sukiyaki Sauce (warishita)

  1. Add the mirin and sake to a small sauce pan and bring to a boil over a medium heat for 1-2 minutes.
  2. Lower the heat to medium-low and add the soy sauce, water and light brown sugar. Stir over the heat until the sugar has dissolved.
  3. Place a piece of kombu in the sauce and leave to soak at room temperature for about 30 minutes (or until the kombu has rehydrated).


  1. While the kombu is soaking, cut your ingredients and arrange them on plates. Cut the vegetables as follows;
    • Tofu - large squares or rectangles
    • Hakusai - rough squares
    • Shitake mushrooms - trim the stalk and make a star pattern on the top using diagonal cuts
    • Enoki mushrooms - cut off the roots
    • Carrot - peel and slice about 1cm thick, use a cutter to make flowers etc (optional)
    • Spring Onion - cut diagonally into 5-6cm pieces
  2. Once the sauce is ready, heat a wide, shallow iron pot over a medium heat and coat evenly with beef fat or lard.
  3. After the fat is melted and the pot is hot, add the spring onion and cook until slightly charred.
  4. When the spring onions are lightly browned, push them to one side and add the sauce, tofu and vegetables (except the crown daisy).
  5. Bring the sauce to a boil and then lower the heat to a simmer. 
  6. Make some space between the ingredients and add the beef so that it's in contact with the sauce.
  7. Turn the tofu and add the crown daisy to the pot.
  8. Simmer without a lid until the beef and vegetables are cooked to your liking. (Approximately 5-15 minutes depending on the ingredient.)
  9. As each ingredient cooks, remove it from the pot and distribute between each person. Top up with more ingredients as you go.
  10. Give each person a bowl and a raw pasteurised egg. Each person should crack the egg into the bowl and whisk thoroughly before using it to dip the cooked sukiyaki ingredients. (optional)
  11. Once all of the ingredients are eaten, enjoy the last of the sauce  by adding some cooked udon noodles.
  12. Enjoy!


Sukiyaki can be served with rice or cooked noodles can be added to the sauce. Popular options include konnyaku noodles such as shirataki and ito konnyaku.

  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Soaking Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Category: Beef
  • Method: Simmering
  • Cuisine: Japanese

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