Japanese architectural style developed in the Azuchi-Momoyama (1574–1600) and Tokugawa (1603–1867) periods, originally used for teahouses and later also for private residences and restaurants. Based on an aesthetic of naturalness and rustic simplicity, buildings in this style are intended to harmonize with their surroundings. Timber construction is employed, with wood left in a natural state, sometimes with the bark still attached. Walls are typically made of clay. Great attention is paid to detail and proportions, and the effect is one of refined simplicity. The architect Yoshida Isoya (1894–1974) pioneered a modern sukiya style using contemporary materials.
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It consists of meat (usually thinly sliced beef), or a vegetarian version made only with firm tofu, slowly cooked or simmered at the table, alongside vegetables and other ingredients, in a shallow iron pot in a mixture of soy sauce, sugar, and mirin. Before being eaten, the ingredients are usually dipped in a small bowl of raw, beaten eggs.
Generally sukiyaki is a single dish for the colder days of the year and it is commonly found at bōnenkai, Japanese year-end parties. A common theme in Japanese comedy is that one can make passable sukiyaki even on a very tight budget.
Popular ingredients cooked with the beef are:
In the 1890s when Japan was opened to foreigners, new cooking styles also introduced. Cows, milk, meat, and egg became widely used, and sukiyaki was the most popular way to serve them. The first sukiyaki restaurant, Isekuma, opened in Yokohama in 1862.
Beef is the primary ingredient in today's sukiyaki. There were two main ways of cooking sukiyaki: a Kantō (Tokyo area) and a Kansai (Osaka area) style. In the Kantō way, the special cooking sauce's ingredients are already mixed. In the Kansai way, the sauce is mixed at the time of eating. But after the great Kanto earthquake of 1923, the people of Kantō, temporarily moved to the Osaka area. While the people of Kantō were in Osaka, they got accustomed to the Kansai style of sukiyaki, and when they returned to Kantō, they introduced the Kansai sukiyaki style, where it has since become popular.
In Thailand, the term "sukiyaki", or simply "suki" refers to Thai Sukiyaki, a steamboat dish where diners dip meat, seafood, noodles, dumplings and vegetables into a pot of broth cooking at the table and dip it into a spicy "sukiyaki sauce" before eating. The dish only barely resembles Japanese sukiyaki, having a lot more in common with shabu shabu and Chinese hot pot.
Thai sukiyaki evolved from Chinese hot pot served in restaurants catering to members of Thailand's sizeable ethnic Chinese clientele, in which an aluminum pot was heated on a charcoal fire at the table and the raw ingredients presented on one big plate.
In the 1960s a restaurant chain called Coca opened its first branch in Siam Square, Bangkok, offering a modified version of the Chinese hot pot under the Japanese name of Sukiyaki. (Although it only vaguely resembled Japanese sukiyaki, it was a catchy name for it because of a Japanese pop song called "Sukiyaki" which was a big worldwide hit at the time.) This modified Thai version proved to be a massive hit, and it wasn't long before other chains started opening "suki" restaurants across Bangkok and other cities, each with its own special dipping sauce as the selling point.
In Thai sukiyaki, diners had more options of ingredients to choose from, each portion being considerably smaller in order to enable diners to order many more varieties. The spicy dipping sauce was catered for Thai tastes too, with a lot of chili sauce, chili, lime and coriander leaves added. The raw ingredients are presented on small plates and are cooked at the table in a gas- or electrically-heated stainless steel pot containing broth. Usually, an egg is added to the broth at the start of the meal.
Today the MK Restaurant chain is the most popular in Thailand with around 200 restaurants across the country and 20 in Japan. Coca is making a rapid spread abroad too, already serving Thai suki in 24 outlets across Asia and Australia and further outlets planned in the US and Europe. Coca's strategy abroad is focusing on the high-income customers. Other popular chains include Texas and Lailai.
More than sukiyaki is on the menu as some 1,500 volunteers and guests gather today at Wapato Buddhist Hall to savor a 45-year tradition
Mar 05, 2006; For 45 years, they've given the Valley a taste of their culture, achievements, family cohesion and heritage. (Not to mention a...