Sukiyaki (homemade tofu) / すき焼き（自家製豆腐）
2800ml soft water*
15 -20ml nigari (or lemon juice) + 50ml water**
* If you're not sure if your tap water is hard or soft, you can just use distilled water. It might be a bit overkill but it's probably easier than searching specifically for soft water.
** Add more nigari or lemon juice if necessary
100ml soy sauce
30g granulated sugar
You can use any vegetables you like. Here'are the ones I used this time
very thin, marbled beef slices
1. Soak the soybeans in water(1200ml). The soaking time depends on the water temperature.
Summer: 25°C/77°F 10 hours
Spring, Autumn: 15°C/59°F 20 hours
Winter: 5°C/41°F 30 hours
2. Blend the soybeans and water in a mixer to make namago. (Namago is the Japanese word for that specific blended mixture of soybeans and water).
3. Boil 1600ml water in a large pan or pot and add the namago and stir for about 10 minutes. Make sure not to burn the namago at the bottom of the pan.
4. Turn off the heat and strain the namago with a filter cloth to get soy milk. The leftover is called okara and it's very healthy. I normally use it for making cookies.
5. Mix 20ml nigari (or lemon juice) and 50ml water together to make the coagulant for the soy milk.
("Your coagulant is a substance that will curdle the soy milk. You can use acid, like lemon juice or vinegar, or salt. Nigari, which is magnesium chloride, is popular in Japan, and calcium chloride is popular in North America."
6. Heat up the soy milk and keep the temperature at 75°C. Add the nigari-water and stir gently. Do NOT mix too much. Turn off the heat and leave it for about 10 minutes.
7. While resting the soy milk, prepare a container for shaping the tofu. You can make holes in the bottom of a paper drink carton or tupperware, or you can just use your filter cloth and tie it up tighly to shapen the tofu as well.
1. Add 100ml sake and 100ml mirin in a pot and boil it.
2. Add the sugar and soy sauce, and let the sugar melt.
1. Melt the beef fat* (or just some slices of fatty beef) and cook the green onion (if you have it) in the sukiyaki pot to add flavor to the sauce. Green onion tastes so much sweeter and more flavorful when you fry it first.
2. Add the sauce and heat it up. Then add tofu, konjac, mushrooms, and anything that takes longer to cook than your other vegetables.
3. Finally, place everything else.
Sukiyaki is a shared Japanese dish where everyone ladles out some of the broth and food into their own bowls. Traditionally, sukiyaki is eaten with a raw beaten egg added to your own bowl, but that might be difficult for you depending on how safe raw eggs are considered where you live. I normally don't eat it with egg so I can enjoy the flavor of beef and vegetables, but if you get a chance to eat sukiyaki, please give it a try!
*In Japan when you buy beef there is usually a bucket nearby where you can also take a cube of beef fat free of charge. If you want you can buy this separately, or you can use beef that has fat on it as well.