Are you health conscious? Do you enjoy finding new, interesting restaurants? If so you’re sure to love Shabu Shabu.
Shabu Shabu is a unique Japanese dish that is cooked in a hot pot. The ingredients can vary and generally include everything from thinly sliced meat coupled with cabbage, udon noodles, carrots, tofu and a bowl of rice. Typically you can choose beef, chicken, or salmon as the meat you’d like served with your dish. All these items are served to you uncooked. If you’re not sure what to do next, rest assured that a server will be nearby to help instruct you what to do. Simply, pick up vegetable and meat pieces and drop them into the hot pot. Within seconds to a couple of minutes you’ll see how quickly it cooks; a way of preparing food that offers you an extremely healthy meal, free from fried oils.
After the food is cooked, you’re given two dipping sauces. One is called ponzu and the other is a sesame sauce. Traditionally, ponzu sauce is meant for dipping the vegetables in and the sesame sauce for the meat however, it is truly what you like the most! In addition, you are asked whether you’d like to add garlic, sliced green onion and chili pepper to each sauce as well. Keep in mind that part of the unique experience of visiting a Shabu Shabu restaurant is that the servers will help cook the food in front of you, adding these extras to your sauce if you’d like, etc. in a Korean Barbeque/Benihana-type experience.
Another unique feature of dining on Shabu Shabu is that often the seat arrangements are atypical of your standard restaurant where your party has an individual table. Often you will find a circular bar-like arrangement where the servers are found inside the circle waiting patiently the whole time you’re eating to answer any questions you may have, re-fill your rice bowl and more. This gives you the nurturing feeling that you’re being taken care of.
After you’ve enjoyed dipping your vegetables and meat into the sauces enjoying the great taste a server will come by with a soup bowl. Add your udon noodles to the hot pot to warm them up and then place all the rest of your food items into it to make a tasty soup. To season, add ponzu and/or sesame sauce and enjoy!
Dessert is typically a scoop of ice cream or some delicious mochi.
(My dear friend just recently opened a restaurant in Costa Mesa called “California Shabu Shabu” located at 801 Baker Street. Check it out if you get the chance, you’ll love it!)
Joie Schmidt © Copyright 2010 All Rights Reserved.
Dreams of the Heart – volume II is available:
———> Stay tuned . . . vol. II will soon be available on iTunes, iPod, iPhone, iPad and iBooks!
(*In memoriam of the tragedy in Japan all proceeds from – volume I – sales will go to the relief efforts until 3/11/12)
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Published in: Cooking