Shabu-Shabu is a dish that is very popular in Japan, especially if eating with friends or family as it can be enjoyed together. The name ‘shabu shabu’ comes from the sound you make when dipping the meat in the broth to cook! It was first introduced in Japan in the early 20th century and is quite similar to the Chinese Hot Pot. Shabu shabu is also quite like Sukiyaki, however, Sukiyaki is usually much sweeter, whereas shabu-shabu is more savoury, and some say more healthy too.
For shabu-shabu there are a few main ingredients to make it a truly Japanese cooking and eating experience. Hee below the list of the ingredient you need to prepare.
Traditionally beef but can be pork, chicken etc. ensure it is thinly sliced for easy cooking
Either a ready made dashi stock or put dried kombu seaweed in water and soak until the water comes to the boil
- Enoki mushrooms
- Shiitake mushrooms
- Sesame sauce
- Ponzu sauce
The best aspect of shabu-shabu is the cooking, as the chef doesn’t have to cook anything at all! Set up a tabletop gas burner with either a metal or earthen wear and heat up the stock. Set each place on the table with a bowl for cooked food and some cooked rice and you are set! Each person can then add, with chopsticks, what vegetables and meat they want to eat to the broth. When their food is cooked they can take it out and place it in their own bowl. Before eating is it especially good to dip the meat or vegetables into one of the sauces to really enjoy this meal. This can be a really great way to get a group of friends and family together for an interactive meal. It is also great for the chef as you only need to chop some vegetables to be ready.
As it is currently very hot outside you might not want to sit around a boiling pot of stock while cooking and eating. Luckily there is also a summer version of shabu-shabu which is eaten cold Rei-Shabu.
- Meat (Thinly sliced pork, beef etc.)
- Daikon radish
- Sauce: Sesame sauce or Soy sauce
Chop all the vegetables into small strips, cook the meat in a pan of boiling stock or water and then plunge into cold water once it is fully cooked. Simply arrange the meat and vegetables on a plate and voila! You have rei-shabu ready to eat. As the vegetables are raw and the meat is cold it is really refreshing on a hot summers day! You can enjoy shabu-shabu through any season, it is quite simple to make so why not try it at home for some true Japanese cuisine.
Related: Shabu–Shabu: The Japanese Hot Pot
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