Shabu Shabu Dish is a Japanese hot-pot meal where very thin slices of beef are fleetingly cooked in hot broth. It is the savoury cousin of the sweeter sukiyaki. The meat is moderately raw when it is eaten, so if you want to spurge on a meal, this recipe is a great excuse to treat yourself to some premium cut of meat (such as wagyu). If you ever walk into an genuine Shabu Shabu restaurant, don’t be mad if they give you a bland-tasting dashi broth or even plain water as the soup base – for there lies the simplicity and deliciousness of Shabu Shabu. The soup is meant to be enjoyed last, after it sweetened naturally from cooking all the beef and vegetables. Japanese usually add cooked rice to the remaining broth, seasoned with a bit of soy sauce and pouring a beaten egg over the rice. This is a wholesome, simple and healthy dish where you sauver the natural goodness of fresh ingredients.
The great Shabu shabu dish was originally made with thinly sliced beef, but some versions use pork, crab, chicken, lamb, duck, or lobster. Most often, ribeye steak is used, but less tender cuts, such as top sirloin, are also common. A more expensive meat, such as wagyū, may also be used. It is usually served with tofu and vegetables, including Chinese cabbage, chrysanthemum leaves, nori, onions, carrots, shiitake mushrooms and enokitake mushrooms. In some places, udon, mochi or harusame noodles may also be served.
The dish is prepared by submerging a thin slice of meat or a piece of vegetable in a pot of boiling water or dashi (broth) made with konbu (kelp) and stirring it. Cooked meat and vegetables are usually dipped in ponzu or goma (sesame seed) sauce before eating, and served with a bowl of steamed white rice. Once the meat and vegetables have been eaten, leftover broth from the pot is customarily combined with the remaining rice, and the resulting soup is usually eaten last.
The great Shabu shabu dish is endlessly customizable. We skip the bottled sauces and make our own blood orange ponzu sauce, miso-tahini sauce and a spicy chile oil that suggests the dish’s Mongolian hot pot roots. It satisfies. When the platters are scraped clean and the shabu shabu’s still bubbling, dump udon noodles into the enriched, fat-slicked dashi. Split the noodles and soup among your friends and end the night to the sound of happy slurping.