A Thai dish with a Japanese name
Sukiyaki is obviously a Japanese dish, but this particular recipe is very much unique to Thai cuisine. Here's the story. Sukiyaki is a Japanese hot pot, and Thai people took the inspiration and started making our own hot pot served with a spicy, flavourful red sauce that's more suited to the Thai palate. We still call this hot pot sukiyaki, or more commonly just "suki" for short.
Then the hot pot evolved into a noodle soup, using that same sauce to flavour the broth, and we call that "suki nam", the word "nam" referring to the broth (get suki nam recipe here). And THEN suki nam evolved into "suki hang" or "dry suki" which is simply the stir-fried version of the dish. The common thread among these versions is the red sauce.
What is Red Bean Curd?
Red bean curd is called "taohu yee" in Thai, but it is originally a Chinese ingredient. You can think of it as a type of fermented tofu, and the red colour comes from the specific fungus that's responsible for the fermentation. It's got a very unique, funky flavour unlike any other ingredients.
Advanced Prep Tip
The sauce can be made in advanced and kept in the fridge for a few weeks. For longer term storage, cook the sauce first and bring it to a boil, then store it in a well-sealed jar in the fridge. This should last at least a few months.
Watch The Full Video Tutorial!
- 250g marinated chicken (recipe below), or another protein of your choice (see note)
- 2 cups napa cabbage, bite-sized pieces
- 1 cups water spinach or another leafy greens, 2-inch pieces
- 2 stalks Chinese celery or 1 stalk regular celery, cut into thin sticks
- 40g glass noodles, soaked in room temp water for 10 minutes and cut a couple of times to shorten
- 4 Tbsp suki sauce (recipe below)
- 2 eggs
- Green onions and/or cilantro for garnish
- 250g chicken thigh or breast, boneless, skinless, bite-sized pieces
- 1½ tsp soy sauce
- 1½ tsp oyster sauce
- 1 tsp sesame oil
Suki Sauce "Nam Jim Suki"
This makes 1 cup, enough for about 4 servings. Any leftovers will keep for a few weeks in the fridge, and longer if you bring the sauce to a boil before storing. If possible, make it a day in advance for best flavour.
- Thai chilies, to taste (I put 2)
- 5 cloves garlic
- 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 Tbsp white sesame seeds, toasted
- 4 Red bean curd cubes (see video for more info on this item)
- 2 Tbsp red bean curd juice
- ¼ cup white vinegar (*In the video I made a mistake and said 1 Tbsp vinegar; ¼ cup is the correct amount)
- 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
Note: Other typical protein options are pork, shrimp, and squid. A seafood mix is also popular. You can use beef although it isn't commonly done.
For Suki Sauce:
- In a mortar and pestle, pound garlic and chilies into a rough paste.
- Add sugar and grind until fine.
- Add sesame seeds and crush briefly just to break them up and release aroma.
- Add bean curd cubes and mash with pestle until there are no more lumps.
- Add all remaining liquid ingredients and stir to mix.
For the Chicken:
- Combine all ingredients and mix well; marinate for at least 20 minutes.
To Make the Stir-Fry:
- In a wok heat just enough oil to coat the bottom over medium high heat. Once hot add chicken and sear without stirring until about halfway done. Flip the chicken then toss until completely done. Remove and set aside.
- Add a little more oil to wok if needed. On medium high heat add napa cabbage, water spinach, and celery and toss a couple of times just to coat in oil. Add noodles and sauce and keep tossing until noodles are cooked and all the sauce has been absorbed. If noodles dry out before it is cooked, add a splash of water.
- Add chicken back into the wok and toss to mix, then push noodles to one side to make room for eggs. Add a little more oil to the empty space, add eggs, then break the yolks. Put the noodles over the eggs and let sit for about 30 seconds so the eggs can cook.
- Toss everything to mix the eggs, then turn off the heat.
- Stir in green onions and/or cilantro.
- Serve immediately with extra sauce if desired. Enjoy!