Grandma Kay’s Sukiyaki Recipe

Grandma Kay's Sukiyaki Recipe

Seeing as how sukiyaki is considered a wintertime meal, it seems fitting that I would share my Grandma’s recipe on the last day before spring. Sukiyaki is a Japanese hot pot dish that consists of meat and vegetables that are slowly simmered in a mirin, soy sauce, and sugar mixture. Along with the meat and vegetables, my Grandma would also add sliced water chestnuts, potatoes, mushrooms and a package of Ichiban noodles. The whole pan would be brought to the center of the dining room table and we would eat everything over a bed of hot rice. My Grandpa enjoyed his in a more traditional sense by cracking a raw egg into a bowl before adding his hot ingredients.

I had emailed myself the measurements and instructions to this sukiyaki recipe a couple Christmases ago when I was made it alongside my Grandma, and I recently discovered the email while doing a massive inbox cleanup. After cooking and posting the end results on Instagram, I received a few comments and requests for the recipe. I get it, nothing is more comforting than a hot pot meal.

Grandma Kay's Sukiyaki Recipe

My Grandma used to make her sukiyaki recipe all the time when our family visited and it’s a great way to feed a crowd of people without having to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. As a child, I always had a preference for the broccoli, mushrooms and the crunchy water chestnuts. Often it would turn into a family battle on who would get the last broccoli floret or hidden piece of water chestnut (the fastest pair of chopsticks always won). Now that I make sukiyaki myself, I make a point to load up on these favourite items so I don’t have to fight over the last piece of broccoli with my husband.

On the topic of this recipe, I also have a funny story to share about making sukiyaki, one that my Mom still likes to bring up to this day. I was helping her prep supper in the kitchen and she asked me to watch over the sukiyaki while it simmered over the stove. Being the distracted early 20-something that I was at the time, I mindlessly starting stirring everything in the pot, which if you can tell from the photos is a big no-no. We had to spend the remaining cooking time trying to separate all the ingredients again. You live and learn, but of course, I’ve never been able to live that down. 🙂

Grandma Kay's Sukiyaki Recipe

Thanks to the quick cooking time, Trevor and I have made and eaten sukiyaki a couple times this month for weekday supper. While the photos in this post don’t show meat (I’m not a big meat eater, so I substituted tofu instead), I’ve included the instructions for adding sliced beef in the recipe below.

While this recipe may look like a lot of work, the only hands-on prep involves chopping all the ingredients and then letting everything simmer. One good tip is to chop the potatoes into small bite-sized pieces so that it can cook alongside the broccoli and then everything is ready at the same time.

Grandma Kay's Sukiyaki Recipe


  • Thinly sliced beef
  • Mushrooms
  • Firm tofu
  • Potatoes
  • Broccoli florets
  • 1 small can of sliced water chestnuts (drained)
  • 1 package Ichiban noodles


  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce*
  • 2-3 tbsp mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine)
  • 2 cups water


  1. Slice beef and mushrooms into bite-sized pieces and cut tofu and potatoes into small cubes. Arrange the beef, mushrooms, tofu, potatoes, broccoli florets and water chestnuts on a platter and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl or measuring cup, whisk together sugar, soy sauce, mirin, and water. Set aside.
  3. Add 1 tbsp of oil to a large pan and bring to medium heat. Add the sliced beef and gently sear until about 60% cooked. One by one, add the ingredients from the platter to the pan and pour in the sauce. Cover with a lid and let cook for 10-15 minutes until the ingredients are soft and thoroughly cooked.
  4. While the main pan is cooking, bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a small pot and add the Ichiban noodles (discharge the soup mixture). Let cook for 5 minutes, drain the water and add the noodles to the center of the sukiyaki pan during the last 5 minutes of cooking. Once everything is cooked, bring the hot pan to the center of the table to enjoy family-style over a bed of hot rice.

Grandma Kay's Sukiyaki Recipe