Sukiyaki with Matsutake


•    480 ml (2 cups) beef stock
•    120 ml (1/2 cup) sake
•    60 ml (1/4 cup) soy sauce
•    1 bunch green onions, trimmed
•    1 piece beef suet, about 2 inches long, or 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
•    1/2 small yellow onion, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
•    230 gm (8 oz) green cabbage, cored and shredded
•    230 gm (8 oz) matsutake mushrooms, brushed clean, trimmed and sliced
•    230 gm (8 oz) shirataki (taro noodles), cut into 5-inch pieces
•    1 package [310 gm (about 11 ounces)] firm tofu, cubed
•    680 gm (1 1/2 lbs) very thinly sliced marbled beef, preferably wagyu-style
•    2-3 tablespoons sugar, optional


Combine the stock, sake and soy sauce in a large saucepan and warm over medium heat. Thinly slice enough of the green onion tops to make 1/4 cup; set aside for garnish. Cut the remaining green onions in half crosswise.
Heat a wok or a large heavy skillet, such as cast iron, over medium-high heat. When hot, rub the beef suet over the surface of the pan to evenly coat it with fat, then remove, or simply add the butter and let it melt. Add the green onion pieces, yellow onion, cabbage, and matsutakes and stir-fry until they begin to soften, 3-5 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to the broth mixture, add the noodles and tofu cubes, and keep warm over low heat.
Add 3-4 of the beef slices to the wok and cook quickly, just until nicely browned, 30-60 seconds on each side, drizzling about 2 tablespoons of the warm broth and 1 teaspoon of the sugar over when you turn the meat. Press these pieces to one side of the wok and continue with the remaining meat, which will gently simmer in the collecting liquids. When all of the meat has been cooked, take the wok from the heat.
To serve, ladle the hot broth, mushrooms, tofu and vegetables into individual bowls, top with beef slices and drizzle some of the cooking liquids over. Sprinkle with a final garnish of green onion and serve right away.