~ by Janet Helm, MS, RD
If you've not heard of Shabu, you will soon. The trend is starting to bubble up. Big time.
Actually, this Japanese dish is called Shabu-Shabu. Not because it's so nice they named it twice. The name comes from the sound you make when swishing your chopstick-held ingredients in this bubbling hot pot. The name is an onomatopoeia, which just adds to the appeal to me. This is a word that phonetically imitates or suggests the sound that it describes. Think snap, crackle, pop.
Instead of crackling or popping, this dish swishes. Shabu-Shabu (or swish-swish) is a made with paper-thin slices of raw meat and vegetables that are combined together in a steaming fondue-style pot for communal cooking at the table. The dish is served with various dipping sauces (which is my favorite part) along with rice or noodles. Liza from Salu Salo Recipes shared this recipe for Shabu-Shabu soup on Healthy Aperture.
Tasting Table says Shabu-Shabu is Japanese for DIY hot pot awesomeness, and offers up great ideas for hosting a dinner your friends cook themselves. You'll find recipes and Shabu-Shabu entertaining essentials, including hot pots and serving bowls.
What's more fun than interactive eating? It's like a maindish fondue party. But if you don't make it at home, there are lots of Shabu-Shabu joints popping up. It's a trend that started on the West Coast, but now you can find Shabu shops in a number of cities, including Japanese neighborhoods and Chinatowns, along with trendy urban areas.
Asian shops will sell pre-cut meats and vegetables to make it easy to make your own Shabu-Shabu at home. You can use beef or pork, and a range of vegetables including bok choy, napa cabbage, seaweed, mushrooms, carrots and scallions. Some versions include tofu.
image courtesy of imissdaisydog on flickr
I recently met Nancy Singleton Hachisu, author of Japanese Farm Cooking, at a food event in Chicago and we talked about Shabu-Shabu. She includes several recipes for this traditional Japanese dish in her beautiful book.
Here are some ideas to get your started:
Shabu-Shabu Bon Appetit
Beef Shabu-Shabu Martha Stewart
Japanese Hot Pot Dinner Live Well Network
Shabu-Shabu Just One Cook Book
Japanese Beef Shabu-Shabu Lovely Lanvin
So are you ready to Shabu-Shabu?