Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Sukiyaki - The Simple way

Sometimes, late in the day, I just don't feel like doing anything more than grilling a chop...which would be fine, if I hadn't already committed myself to something a little more exotic. Like Saturday, when I suggested sukiyaki for dinner, because I was feeling inspired in the mid-morning. My family loves anything that involves noodles and asian flavours, so it seemed like a good idea. At least until I ran out of puff mid-afternoon, and decided that anything needing a sauce and two pans was too hard (yes I know, v. lazy). However, long faces + mother guilt = making the sukiyaki. No regrets - it was easy, fast and yummy. A definite recommendation for anyone wanting a noodle meal for the whole family. (And sorry the pic isn't better, I was stirring a bit enthusiastically for the noodles!)

The recipe derives from Jill Dupleix's Beef Sukiyaki recipe from her book "Simple Food". Jill is an Australian chef / writer who was The Times Cook in London from 2000-2006, and now freelances and writes cookbooks. I like Jill's recipes, and not just because the quote from her on the back of this book says "I love to cook but not when I could be eating or drinking." Incidentally, in future, I will follow dearest husband's advice re advertising in advance what I will be cooking for the family - "just under-promise, and over-deliver".
Beef Sukiyaki
adapted from "Simple Food" by Jill Dupleix
200g rice noodles
4 spring onions
1 onion, peeled
400g beef fillet
250 ml water
10g instant dashi powder (aka bonito powder - try an Asian supermarket)
3 tbl soy sauce
3 tbls mirin
1 tbl sugar
2 tbl peanut oil
200g green beans, blanched
Pour boiling water over the noodles to cover them and let them stand for 3 minutes to soften. Chop spring onions and onion and slice beef as thinly as possible.
Combine water, dashi powder, soy sauce and mirin in a pot over medium heat. Add sugar and stir gently until dissolved. Rinse the soaked noodles in cold water and leave to drain in a colander.
Heat half the oil and cook all onions until soft (in a wok if you have one, or a large pan). Scrape into sauce pot. Heat the remaining oil and sear the beef slices for about 30 seconds on each side until just cooked, but still pink inside. Remove from heat. Tip sauce, noodles and beans into the wok and simmer for a minute or two. Toss through the beef and serve into warmed bowls or a warmed platter.

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