The 1963 hit “Sukiyaki” is the only Japanese-language song to reach #1 on the Billboard charts. One imagines a bouncy beat with lyrics celebrating the joys of thinly sliced beef with vegetables and noodles in a soy sauce and sake broth. What one actually gets is a dejected singer crooning about walking and whistling while looking up so that his tears will not fall. Apparently, deft marketers chose this absurd title for the international version because it’s catchy, easy to say, and recognized the world over. We also chose Sukiyaki for the name of our latest frozen offering because it’s catchy, easy to say, and recognizable… but mostly because it actually is Sukiyaki!
Trader Joe’s Sukiyaki is thin slices of beef accompanied by an array of veggies, including: onion, napa cabbage, shitake mushrooms, gobo (burdock root), carrot, and spring onions. Instead of udon (wheat), or soba (buckwheat) noodles, we’ve opted for “cellophane” noodles, made from mung bean flour. The sauce incorporates the traditional flavors of Mirin (rice wine vinegar), lite soy sauce, and sake. This fusion of authentic Japanese flavors is slightly sweet, but well balanced by the richness of the beef and the savory umami of the soy sauce, while the Mirin and sake lend a subtle pop. After cooking, the beef is tender and the vegetables remain slightly crisp. The ingredients are frozen in three separate pouches to help maintain the look and flavor of each component. Once defrosted in the fridge, it’ll only takes 7-8 minute heating in a skillet to enjoy restaurant style Sukiyaki for two!
If you must, you can try eating our Sukiyaki while walking and whistling and looking up so your tears don’t fall. However, you’d likely choke on some gobo, or get beef caught in your windpipe. Instead, we simply recommend a stationary chair, a table, and maybe some chopsticks. The 20-ounce bag is available 'for a song' at $6.99.