Monday, August 2, 2010

Sunday Dinner: Shabu Shabu

Shabu shabu is a Japanese version of the Chinese hot pot where thinly sliced meat and vegetables are swished into a pot of boiling broth. The pot is placed on the table with the raw ingredients and diners just cook their own ingredients in a common pot by swishing the pieces in the pot. The word shabu shabu, then is to "swish swish."

The ideal meat to use is wagyu, (commonly known as Kobe beef), but not only is that expensive, but I'm not even sure where to buy that in Hilo. The broth is just water and konbu (dried seaweed), and the sauce is either a ponzu (shoyu and citrus) or a goma (sesame) sauce.

Like many Japanese dishes the urusai (irritating) part is in the preparation. The sample of veggies we used were mustard cabbage, Chinese cabbage, green onions, round onions, enoki mushrooms and slivers of takenoko (bamboo shoots).
The other urusai part is that there needs to be all these little dishes on the plate. Chawan for rice, small plate for your cooked goodies, and a dipping bowl for your sauce. We used thin slices of beef, pork and shrimp for our protein.
With six people around the dining room table, and one electric deep fryer, it's easier to just have one or two people cooking items, then having the cooked pieces available for others to grab, so that's how we changed it up. It's a great Sunday dinner sit down meal because everyone has to be totally involved in the journey. It's a slow way to eat dinner, so everyone is present for talking while waiting. 

This has nothing to do with shabu shabu, but this is a great pupu idea. Take the chikuwa (it's in the kamaboko section), and stuff it with kim chee, cut and serve. Rubber slipper style simple.

Thanks for joining the erratic Sunday dinner putt putt. I'm currently away from my family and totally homesick, so I'll be posting on living in the big city of Honolulu, rubber slipper style.

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