Saturday, April 23, 2011

Nov 2009 - Shabu Shabu, a Homey Japanese Meal

Shabu Shabu is one of my favorite meals! It's traditionally a cold season dish since you cook it in a pot on the table which makes everybody feel nice and cozy, but I can eat it anytime of the year!  Many restaurants in Los Angeles are serving it, but I prefer to have it at home.  It's easy to make, inexpensive compared to eating it at a restaurant and a fun dish to have when you invite friends over.  It is called Shabu Shabu because of the sound the water makes when you swish the beef in it.  It's a pretty healthy dish since you eat very little meat and much of the fat gets boiled away.  I know some Americans think it's a strange dish since it is...boiled meat...

For the hotpot I put Kombu (seaweed)  in it.  You place it in the water when it is cold and then take it out as soon as the water comes to a boil or right before, otherwise the stock will get bitter.  I add a little dashi (bonito fish stock) powder to add flavor.  

You can throw in just about any type of leafy greens.  For this dinner we had: Shungiku (Chrysanthemum Leaves), Napa Cabbage, Komatsu (Japanese Mustard Spinach), Daikon, Tofu & Eryngi Mushrooms.  Again, I don't make it in the traditional would then only have Napa Cabbage, Enoki Mushrooms (Trumpet), Tofu, Naga Negi (long green onions) and maybe some carrots.  I like a lot of greens in mine instead of the beef :o)

We also tried it with thinly sliced mochi (rice cakes), but Hubby thought it was too soft.  I liked it, that's what's in the cartoon package:o)

Rib Eye & Pork

My favorite type of beef to use is Prime Rib Eye or Prime New York.  Like most dishes, the better quality the meat, the better the dish will be! Sometimes I serve it with pork too.  It has a drier texture than the beef, so I prefer the beef.  This pork is Kurobuta (Black Berkshire), it's a little fattier than regular pork. I'm pretty sure that it is the loin of the pork, but since I purchase it labeled Shabu Shabu pork, I'm not positive.  You could ask a regular butcher to cut the meat paper thin, but it would be much easier to go to the Japanese market where it is already pre-sliced.  I usually get a total of 3/4 lbs of meat for two of us and we usually don't eat it all.

The dipping sauce has soy sauce, ponzu (citrus sauce), yuzu (another citrus), chopped green onions, grated daikon radish and Momoji (Red Chili Paste).  You can also buy pre-mixed ponzu/soy sauce and just use that.

It's also normally served with a thin sesame sauce, but I don't care for it.

After the sauce is all mixed up...

The veggies and tofu are thrown into the pot first.  As usual, the harder stuff like daikon and the napa cabbage ends go in first.  When the water comes back up to a boil each individual cooks their own meat to the doneness they like.  It only takes a few seconds for medium rare.

 Prime Rib Eye

You dip the meats & veggies in the sauce and eat it as is or with the rice. At the end of the meal you can take the flavored stock and make Udon Noodles (Fat Flour Noodles) or Rice Porridge.  We are usually too full at the end of the meal, so I save the leftover stock, veggies & meats and make Udon for the next day:o)

Shabu Shabu Udon

This was the udon I made with all the leftovers the next day.  It's a mighty tasty dish for leftovers;o)  It basically has all the ingredients from the night before including the Ponzu Sauce.


  1. I miss this...your making me homesick.

  2. Rob, you need to visit more often! Thanks for commenting :o)