Kyoto, Wednesday, Jan 29th 2020.

You may be wondering what you’re looking at, and why there’s a raw egg.

This is sukiyaki, a dish you, or a waitress, cooks at your table. In this case it was DIY. The dish comes all laid out in a pot on a gas stove, and takes a few minutes to cook. The picture doesn’t show the big blob of stock (sweet and miso flavoured) under all those vegetables, which will shortly melt and boil and start cooking everything else.

Then you get the fun bit. Once you make sure the meat has cooked in the stock, it becomes very fragile and easy to pull apart with chopsticks.

Having beaten the raw egg, you use it as a dip for the meat, and it’s delicious. The egg combines nicely with the flavour of the stock. They nicely provided some extra meat so I could repeat the process several times. The stock pervaded everything else in the pot, and whiskey turned out to be a good choice to offset the sweet taste of the meal. All in all, it was quite fun watching my meal cook itself.

As to the egg, a local told me recently that raw eggs feature frequently in Japanese cooking, and that she would quite happily eat a raw egg with soy sauce. I’m not convinced yet, but enough sukiyaki and I might come around.