~ "By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; Through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures." ~ "Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing" ~ "But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy." ~ "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths."~

Friday, June 18, 2010

Product Review Shabu Shabu Pot ...and a Japanese Hot Pot Recipe

Product Review Shabu Shabu Pot ...Introduction to Japanese Cooking(Part 2)... I LOVE "family-style" meals....the type of meal that involves everyone at the table to participate. It just brings everyone together and makes eating so much more fun!

Most of us are familiar with the Fondue method of cooking... dipping pieces of meat/vegetables in either broth or oil, dipping vegetables or crusty bread in melted cheese, or dipping fruits or pieces of cake in melted chocolate. Some of us may even be familiar with the Raclette method of cooking.... where slices of Raclette cheese are melted in individual trays that are part of a portable raclette grill. The melted cheese is then served over sliced, cooked red potatoes and accompanied by Cornichons and various other vegetables/meats. All this is done at the table. But there is yet another tabletop meal that involves everyone at the table to join in.... a Japanese hot-pot called Shabu Shabu. This post introduces a form of Japanese cooking... that is prepared in many Japanese homes/restaurants.

The wonderful and really nice folks at Korin sent me a stainless steel Shabu Shabu Pot to try out... as well as to demonstrate some Japanese home cooking. I am by no means an expert in Japanese cooking, but I do LOVE trying out new recipes.

I have been fascinated with Japanese cooking/culture ever since I was in high school. I used to walk to school(yes, walk!) and often passed by this really nice Japanese restaurant. I thought it was the neatest building... it looked different than all the other restaurants. And it sort of stood apart. For some reason, I noticed the majority of the clientele were Japanese... or, at least it seemed that way. Anyway, in my last year of high school, I was awarded a college scholarship and was selected to give a speech at a luncheon meeting. Can you guess, where that luncheon meeting was being held? Yes, none other than the Japanese restaurant I walked by on my way to school! I was so nervous/excited, not only because I had to give a speech, but because I would finally get the chance to eat there. I remember walking in and sitting down to enjoy the beautiful plate presentation.... the aesthetics of something created purely to showcase artful creations. Then there was the Teppanyaki... were the chefs prepared the food with artistic flair... right in front of you. My fascination with the Japanese culture continues.... One day, I would love to visit Japan. Until then, I will settle for Japanese home cooking:).
Update: I finally got the chance to visit Japan... what a beautiful place... see my post.

My review:
For this post, I tested the stainless steel Shabu Shabu Pot. In order to use the the shabu shabu pot, a portable tabletop hot plate(gas or electric) is needed. The broth (dashi) needs to be kept at the simmering point. This allows the meat and vegetables to be cooked gently. You don't want the broth boiling...

The shabu shabu pot is nicely detailed and not heavy at all. It has a lid with 2 handles that allows you to pick it up without burning yourself. The main pot also has 2 handles, making it ideal for transferring the pot from place to place. The pot has a central "chimney" reminiscent of pots that were heated on coals. The stainless steel material allows the heat in the broth to be maintained at a simmering level while you shabu shabu. Ever wonder what shabu shabu means?...it literally translates as "swish, swish".
I thought it would be nice to share with you a Japanese recipe that you can make at home. In case you too would like to shabu shabu at home:)... here is the recipe I used. It is important to find quality beef with lots of marbling. The marbling allows the beef to be flavorful as well as tender. You can use sirloin, ribeye and ideally wagyu beef...if you can find it:). The meat needs to be sliced very thin...so that it gets cooked in a matter of seconds.

Vegetables can vary...so use what you like, ideally some leafy vegetables, mushrooms, tofu, etc. The leftover soup can be eaten plain....or you can add some rice or noodles. The dipping sauces are very important to the meal...do taste and adjust amounts to your preference. My favorite was the sesame sauce...it went beautifully with the beef. If you are interested in making your own homemade udon noodles, check out my previous post...Homemade Udon Noodles. Hope you enjoy...

Shabu-Shabu Ingredients:
beef, well marbled and thinly sliced(sirloin,ribeye, or if you can find wagyu beef:)...)

Chinese cabbage
green onion(or negi)

udon noodles

1. Arrange Platter: Remember the Japanese take pride in artistic presentations so arrange the slices of meat attractively on a platter. Make sure that each slice can be easily picked up with chopsticks or fork.

2. Arrange vegetables on a second platter in the same way.
Making the Dashi Broth: Place a piece of kelp (kombu) in a large donabe/shabu shabu pot/mongolian pot/electric skillet. Fill the pot 2/3 full of water. Add the kombu...if the kelp(kombu) is not available, use a light vegetable broth. Remove kelp just before boiling point is reached. Simmer the broth gently for 3 to 4 min.
3. Each person should have chopsticks or a fondu fork, two kinds of dipping sauce(the Ponzu and Sesame sauce).
4. Each person takes a piece of meat from the serving platter and swishes it to and fro ...called shabu-shabuing. They swish it in the simmering broth till desired doneness. You can also alternate between the meat and vegetable.
5. You can skim the foam from the broth as it accumulates...to keep it clear.
6. Ladle the broth into bowls and serve with rice or noodles. If need be, add some Ponzu sauce(or soy sauce) and a bit of chopped green onion.

Sesame Sauce:

Ingredients: the amounts are approximate...I found it best to taste and adjust according to preference.
2-3 TBS white sesame seed paste
1/3 cup dashi (Japanese broth)
3TBS dark soy sauce
1 tsp mirin
2 tsps sugar
1 TBS sake
1/4-1/2 tsp garlic,grated
chopped green onions(optional)

1. Toast the white sesame seeds over medium heat. Be careful not to burn.
2. Grind toasted seeds with a pestle/mortal, coffee grinder, or blender.
3. Add the remaining ingredients( to taste), and dilute with cool dashi broth. Stir well..

Ponzu Sauce:

Ingredients:the amounts are approximate...taste and adjust according to preference. You can add some grated daikon, if you like.
1/4 cup lemon juice or combination of lemon and lime juice.
1/3 cup dark soy sauce
1/3 cup dashi broth
2-3 TBS mirin
chopped green onion(optional)

Mix all ingredients together. Taste to adjust the proportion of ingredients according to taste.

I had a ton of fun shabu-shabuing at home...The shabu shabu pot did an excellent job of keeping the broth hot while we cooked our meat and vegetables. Shabu shabu cooking makes it really fun to get together around the table with family or friends....a great way to enjoy good food.

1 comment:

Speranta said...

Felicitari pentru indemanarea si rabdarea ...arata super!!!