PASADENA — In 1969, when Rev. Sadamaro Ouchi was transferred from Tacoma Buddhist Church to Pasadena Buddhist Temple, his wife also brought with her a secret recipe for beef sukiyaki sauce.

Volunteers Lani Masumoto (left) and Lorie show off an individual sukiyaki pan.
Volunteers Lani Masumoto (left) and Lorie show off an individual sukiyaki pan.

Shortly thereafter, Rev. Ouchi started a sukiyaki dinner fundraiser that continues to this day using that famous secret sauce. When you think back to the 1960s, Japanese restaurants were not so common in the San Gabriel Valley. “Sukiyaki” was a popular song that hit the Top 40 charts.

Today, beef sukiyaki is on menus throughout the Southland. But this one is special. Diners continue to look forward to this annual event for that home-style taste. Chow down this weekend, March 22-23, from 4 to 7:30 p.m. at the temple, 1993 Glen Ave. Take out or dine in.

Rest assured that the temple uses the freshest ingredients and time-honored recipes to prepare the one entrée menu featuring clear fish-based soup; cucumber tsukemono pickles; daikon and carrot sunomono salad; steamed white rice; and beef sukiyaki with green and white onions, bamboo shoots, shirataki yam noodles, tofu, nappa and celery. Each meal is prepared in individual pans.

Dinners are $15 each. Tickets are available at the door. For more information, visit or go to the temple’s Facebook page.

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