Shredded white part of a leek and/or edamame (for garnish)
Cut the onion in half lengthwise, then cut into 6 pieces crosswise into six pieces. Cut the half block of tofu into 6 pieces. If the beef slices are too big, cut into bite-sized pieces.
Combine the soy sauce, sake, mirin and sugar into a frying pan with 100 ml of water, and put in the onion and tofu in one layer. Cook over medium heat until boiling, lower the heat to low and cover with a lid.
This is the star of this dish, the meat. Inexpensive Aussie beef.
When the onion turns translucent, add the beef. I just threw it in all together, but you should wave each slice around shabu-shabu style in the cooking liquid as you add it, or you may get one big clump of meat stuck together.
If it bothers you, skim off the scum. Add the green onion to finish, turn off the heat, then add a little sashimi soy sauce (I think about 1 teaspoon).
I garnished it with edamame. If you don't have any sashimi soy sauce, just use more regular soy sauce. That last addition of soy sauce makes the dish more fragrant and brings the flavors together.
If you increase the seasoning ingredients by 1 and a half times and add some shirataki noodles, the dish becomes a lot more substantial! It's even better the next day after the flavors have soaked in.
Story Behind this Recipe
I bought delicious tofu, and beef was cheap. It's a standard dish that's quite easy; I always eyeball the ingredients. When I measured them, the ratios of ingredients turned out to be quite easy to remember.
You don't have to add dashi stock granules. I wanted to give this a Japanese flavor, so that's why I used it. If you don't like the smell of beef, put in a little grated ginger juice to mask it. You could also simmer with scallions cut into 3 cm pieces.