Sukiyaki is sometimes prepared tableside in restaurants; chefs stir-fry strips of beef, then add tofu and vegetables. Instead of beef, Grace Parisi opts to cook chicken breast with light tofu, mushrooms and spinach in a minimal amount of canola oil, then serves the dish with a mild soy sauce broth and steamed rice.
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon dashi powder (see Note)
2 teaspoons sugar
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 small onion, sliced lengthwise
4 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded and caps thinly sliced
8 ounces light silken tofu, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
In a medium saucepan, combine the soy sauce with the dashi powder, sugar and 3 cups of water and bring to a simmer. Cover and keep warm off the heat.
In a large nonstick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the onion and mushrooms, season with salt and cook over high heat until lightly browned, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the tofu and cook until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Add the spinach and cook just until wilted, about 30 seconds. Scrape the mixture onto a plate.
Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in the skillet. Add the chicken, season with salt and cook over high heat, stirring twice, until just white throughout, about 3 minutes. Return the vegetables and tofu to the skillet and cook, stirring, just until combined. Spoon the mixture into shallow bowls and add sushi rice. Ladle the broth on top and serve.
Dashi is a clear Japanese stock that's often made with dried bonito (tuna) flakes and water. It is available in powdered form at Asian markets. In place of the dashi and water called for here, you can use 1 1/2 cups of low-sodium chicken broth mixed with 1 1/2 cups of water.
Sake: Soft, creamy Hoyo Genji Shining Prince Junmai.
Pairing by Rick Smith and Hiroko Furukawa of New York City's East Village sake shop Sakaya (sakayanyc.com).
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