It's one of my absolute favorite dishes. Not only does it taste good, but it's also very healthy what with all the tofu and vegetables in it. You can even add some sauteed chicken to it if you want. I usually do, but since I didn't have any this time, I went without. Even without the chicken, it's still very, very good.
I wouldn't exactly call this a "quick" dinner. It's quick once you start cooking everything, but the prep work takes a while.
First, you need to chop your carrots and onions. The carrots should be chopped into small matchsticks and the onions into half rings. This insures that they'll cook up quicker.
Then, take your Chinese cabbage (also called won bok) and slice off the bottom stem part. Discard it. Start slicing the cabbage straight down. You'll get large rings that will break up by themselves.
Grab your bag of bean thread noodles. You'll need to boil them until they turn clear like glass and are no longer hard.
The tofu (on the left) will need to be drained first, then cut into small cubes. You will also need to make the sauce (in the bowl). The sauce is simple, it's just equal parts of soy sauce and sugar. It uses quite a bit of soy sauce, hence the reason why I have a gallon jug of the stuff. I prefer to use the Aloha brand since it's milder than other brands. If you can find it, I recommend using it. However, other brands will work too. If you find that it's too strong for your taste, you can always add a little water to tone it down. Now that all your ingredients are good to go, you can finally start the cooking process. Yay!
First, add your carrots and onions to the pot (you may need to add a little water to help the cooking process along). Cook them until the carrots are just tender.
Once the carrots and onions are done, add the Chinese cabbage and pour in the sauce. My family likes a lot of Chinese cabbage in our sukiyaki, but feel free to add as much or as little as you want. Cover the pot and let it steam until the cabbage cooks down.
After 5 minutes or so, it should look like this. As you can see, it really shrinks.
At this point, you'll add in your bean thread noodles and the tofu. Taste the sauce. If it's too strong, add a little water until it's to your liking. Hang on, it'll only be a little while longer before the dish is finally . . .
But, if you can control your hunger even longer, turn off the heat and let it stand for about 30 min. and it'll look like this. The noodles will become thicker and soak up more of the sauce. Trust me, your patience will be rewarded.
The beauty of this dish is that you can adapt it to your liking. Add some chicken or make it vegetarian. Add more of one vegetable if it's your favorite or add more of another. It's totally up to you. I hope you like it as much as I do.
2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs (optional)
3 carrots, sliced into small matchsticks
1-2 round yellow onions, sliced into half rings
green onions, chopped
mushrooms, sliced (optional)
1 large Chinese cabbage
1 pkg. bean thread noodles
1 (14 oz.) block medium-firm tofu
2 1/2 c. soy sauce
2 1/2 c. sugar
Cut the carrots into small matchsticks. Cut the onions into half rings. Discard the bottom stem portion of the Chinese cabbage and start slicing the cabbage width-wise. Boil the bean thread noodles until they turn clear and are no longer hard. Drain and set aside. Drain the tofu, pat it down with paper towels, and cut into small cubes. Combine the ingredients for the sauce in a bowl and whisk till sugar is dissolved.
If using chicken, cut into small pieces and saute in the large pot you're going to use for the sukiyaki. After the chicken is done cooking, add the carrots, onions, and green onions to the chicken in the pot. Add a little water if necessary to keep everything from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Cook until the carrots are just tender, about 5 min.
Add the Chinese cabbage and mushrooms and pour in your sauce. Cook until the Chinese cabbage has wilted and cooked down, about 5-10 min. Add the tofu and bean thread noodles. Taste the sauce. If it's too strong, add a little water until the taste is to your liking. Cook for a few minutes just until everything is heated through. Serve over rice.
This recipe is linked to: Hope Studios' Tutorial Tuesday