Over the weekend, we partook in "shabu-shabu", a Japanese hot-pot, fondu-esque dinner experience like no other. It was awesome. Before moving to San Francisco, Finn & I had never heard of shabu-shabu and since being here, we've heard several people rave about it & have been excited to try it out. Our nice friend Bash invited us along Saturday night and we had such a fun time!
|Bash starting everyone off with hot sake.|
I personally adore how teeny the sake cups are.
1. Two large pots of broth are brought to the table and set on hot plates. We chose spicy miso & ginger chicken for our flavors. It takes about 5 minutes for them to begin boiling.
|Majid awaits, chopsticks drawn.|
2. In the meantime, everyone creates their own concoction of sauce using the different ingredients on the table. You can choose from garlic, chives, chili oil, sweet soy sauce, and sesame sauce. They also bring you rice, udon noodles, and a giant plate of vegetables to add to the broth.
3. Then comes the glorious meat - extremely thinly sliced beef or lamb (sorry people who are grossed out by the thought/sight of this). I, for one, love beef. This is where "shabu-shabu" comes into play...
4. The phrase "shabu-shabu" is the Japanese equivalent of "swish-swish", or the noise of cooking the meat as you dip it in the hot-pot. You basically swish a piece of meat in the boiling broth and because it's so thin, it's cooked in about 10 seconds! Add some udon noodles, rice, a touch of sauce, some vegetables, and ta-da!
|shabu-shabu in action!|
5. Dessert is included (my kind of restaurant)! Green tea or red bean ice cream...both very good.
In addition to being absolutely delicious, dinner was so fun. It's such an involved and tactile experience in which everyone collaborates and shares or, in my case, drops noodles on the ground to the delight of the Japanese family at the neighboring table. We stayed for about 2.5 hours and left full and happy. I can't wait to shabu-shabu again. Not sure if it's meant to be a verb, but it is now.
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