Sono would have to be one of, if not our favourite restaurant. We celebrated our 1st anniversary (of dating) there 7 years go and visit for special occasions regularly. Lately we’ve been a bit naughty. It seems ‘the end of summer,’ ‘2 weeks before Christmas’ and other equally as un-special occasions have been deemed special enough to warrant a trip to Sono solely for the sukiyaki.
On Friday, I met with a lovely lady about work-related business and as most conversations I’m involved in usually do, it turned to food which turned to Sono which turned to sukiyaki and my fellow Sono-lover remarked that you can make sukiyaki at home. Now I knew this because mum has been making it for years (at least 10 maybe even 15) but Will and I haven’t. By strange coincidence, after a tough morning at golf the next day, Will suggested we head out and buy a camping stove and make DIY sukiyaki (as opposed to paying $49 a head at Sono) that night.
I took that as a sign – it was sukiyaki time!
Part of the reason we wanted to make it at home was to save money. Unfortunately that plan wasn’t all that successful because I went overboard with buying fancy mushrooms, we had to buy our stove (for the bargain price of $12.90 – thanks Bunnings) and I insisted we buy organic eye fillet (I didn’t have any Bonnie Beef eye filled in the freezer).
Thankfully the very kind butcher used his super sharp knife and sliced up the meat for us. If you have to do it yourself, It’s best to freeze it and then cut it when it’s partially defrosted.
At Sono we always order a serve of edamame so Japanese at home could be no different. You can find frozen edamame at Asian grocery stores. All you do is throw it in a pot of boiling water with some salt, let it simmer for 5 minutes then drain and serve it up with a generous sprinkling of salt.
At Sono the trainees are usually in charge of starting up the sukiyaki. Seeing as we were lacking any waitstaff Will took on the job. Having witnessed the process more times than I care to disclose, he was pretty well-trained. First up is the onions. The key is to making sure that all the slices are separated and starting to brown a little before you add the rest of the ingredients. You must use chopsticks for all steps to make it authentic.
Sometimes I get really OCD and ask the waiter to stop adding things to the pot because it gets too full. Luckily waiter Will knows my tendencies so he stopped after the first layer.
Once everything is in the pot it’s sauce time. We added about three quarters and saved the rest for later. Keep it on high heat until it starts to bubble and then turn the heat down to a simmer.
Then it’s time to enjoy it. I guarantee the first time you make this will not be the last. One point to remember – it’s not true sukiyaki unless you dip the meat in a beaten egg. Make sure the egg is nice and fresh though. You don’t want to poison yourself. Serve your sukiyaki with a little bowl of Japanese rice and miso for each person for the full authentic experience. Enjoy!
What about you? Do you have a place you like to go to for special occasions or do you like to try somewhere new every time?