This Vegan Sukiyaki is full of healthy plant-based goodness and so quick and easy to make – just dump all the ingredients either into a slow cooker or a pot on the stove. It’s great comfort food for the colder months and it’s really easy to make a big batch of it so it’s perfect for sharing with family or friends.
Sukiyaki is generally a winter dish that’s cooked in a big, shallow iron pot on the table. Beef, tofu, various vegetables and udon noodles are cooked in a broth made from dashi (fish stock), soy sauce, mirin (sweetened rice wine), sugar and usually some MSG, and then dipped in a bowl of raw beaten eggs, before being eaten with rice.
Sukiyaki is probably my favourite Japanese dish, and my grandmother always used to make it for me when I went to Japan. I’d always be super excited to eat it as it’s quite hard to make outside Japan because you need quite specific ingredients to make it authentically. For example, you need to use very thinly sliced beef (which you can’t find in the UK apart from in Japanese supermarkets) – it doesn’t taste quite the same made with big chunks of steak.
This version I made here is vegan because of the lack of beef and raw eggs and I’ve also changed some of the other ingredients to get round these problems.
I’ve used tofu, leeks, Chinese cabbage and rice noodles (noodles made from jelly-like plants are also used but these are hard to find in the West, so I use rice noodles as a substitute) all cooked in a tamari and mirin-infused broth. You can also add shiitake/enoki mushrooms and udon noodles.
I used this Cauldron Original Tofu, which is a hard, firm tofu that you can buy in most supermarkets.
And these Thai Taste Folded Rice Noodles that you can buy in most supermarkets.
You can buy udon noodles in most supermarkets, and if you’re after some gluten-free ones, I’d recommend these Clearspring ones.
If you try out this recipe or anything else from my blog, I’d love for you to take a photo and tag it #rhiansrecipes on Instagram! It would really make my day to see what you come up with!
- Hard, firm tofu, cut into cubes
- Leeks, thickly sliced
- Chinese cabbage, roughly chopped
- Shiitake mushrooms
- Enoki mushrooms
- Rice noodles
- Udon noodles (you can get gluten-free ones if necessary)
- Vegetable/sunflower oil (to fry the tofu)
- Soy sauce (tamari if gluten-free), to taste
- Mirin (or sub sugar/agave syrup), to taste
- Sugar (or sub agave syrup), to taste
- Heat a generous glug of oil in a frying pan and fry the tofu until golden brown on both sides (this will take around 10 minutes on each side)
- Add water and all the ingredients to flavour the broth to a large shallow pan
- Add all the vegetables and tofu
- Bring to the boil and cook until vegetables become soft
- Cook the rice noodles/udon noodles separately according to instructions on packet, drain them, and add them to the broth just before serving
- I've just written a list of ingredients here, so that you can use as little or as much of each as you want, depending on how big a crowd you're feeding.
- Alternatively, you could add all the tofu and vegetables to your slow cooker along with the broth ingredients, cover with water and cook on high for 2-4 hours or low for 4-6 (depending on your cooker). Then cook the noodles separately, drain and add to the pot just before serving.
- Though it's a dish that's really easy to make a big batch of, unfortunately you won't be able to freeze it as tofu doesn't freeze well.