When the Japanese bug bites, there’s no way to steer away. Japanese food is something I have every week at least once or twice a week, sometimes even everyday! It’s really just that good. One of my favorite out of the library of delicacies is the Japanese hot pot, or what is called Shabu Shabu! It’s healthy, simple, and so tasty! Japanese hot pot is usually enjoyed with a group of people or at least two people, where the raw ingredients are prepared and set aside alongside a hot pot for everyone to cook in. There’s typically two different dipping sauces: a sesame based sauce and a ponzu sauce (which is a vinegar sauce made of yuzu lemon and soy sauce). I prefer the ponzu sauce, so you’ll notice I’ll only be using one type of sauce for my dish.
I didn’t have a hot pot set, nor did I need to cook for more than one, so I decided to satisfy my cravings by making a bowl of shabu shabu udon noodles. There’s not much difference to the cooking process, but my take on Japanese shabu shabu eliminates the shared experience of cooking as you eat. Instead I combined everything into a delicious bowl of unparalleled yumminess!
Tip: It would be easier to find these ingredients in a Japanese food store.
What you need:
What goes in:
thinly sliced raw meat
japanese fish cake
shabu shabu ponzu sauce
two cloves of garlic
one stem of spring onion
Japanese dried kelp
What to do:
Pour some ponzu sauce in a small bowl. Grate the radish into small pieces then finely dice along with the garlic and spring onion. Add the diced ingredients into the ponzu sauce and set aside.
Boil water in the pot at high heat and add the kelp into the water.
Once the water starts to boil, lower the heat to medium to high heat.
Now it’s time to start cooking the meat. My preference is to cook the meat one by one to avoid overcooking it. Use chopsticks to pick up the meat and dip it into the boiling water several times until the meat is fully cooked. Set aside all the cooked meat in a large empty bowl. Note: Remember to cook the part the chopsticks was holding on to. Tongs work well here as well.
Once all the meat is cooked, you’ll notice a broth that’s left. Cook all the all the leftover ingredients in the broth for a few minutes.
Once everything is cooked, turn off the stove and pour the contents of the pot into the bowl with the meat. Note: If your bowl isn’t big enough, empty the contents and pour some of the broth into the bowl.
And, it’s ready to eat!
There are two ways of eating this dish. You can either dip each food item in the ponzu sauce as you go along or pour all of the ponzu mixture into the bowl. It wasn’t very Japanese of me to do so, but I prefered the latter.