In Japan a small bird says “pii pii”
a chicken clucks “ku-ku-ku-ku”
a dog barks “wan wan”
a frog groaks “kero kero”
a horse’s hoof beat is “paka paka”
(See what animals around the world say!)
and meat swooshed through simmering water says “shabu shabu!”
This is a dish in which thin slices of meat (usually beef) are cooked
in simmering water by holding a slice with chopsticks. This is a meal
usually cooked by the diners themselves at the table. Ms. Shimbo
presents this version, made with pork and
cooked in the kitchen. The contrasts of fresh fruit, spicy sauce, meat, and grilled vegetables are just perfect.
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons toban jiang (Japanese chile-bean sauce)
- 1/4 cup shoyu (soy sauce)
- 2 Tablespoons dashi
- 2 to 3 Tablespoons sugar
- 2 Tablespoons komezu (rice vinegar)
- 2 Tablespoons minced naganegi (Japanese long onion), or scallion
- 1 Tablespoon minced cilantro (coriander leaves)
In a small saucepan, heat the sesame oil until fragrant. Stir in the toban jiang. Add the soy sauce, dashi, and sugar. Cook, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. You’ll serve this sauce in small individual dishes, garnished with the onion and cilantro.
- 2 red bell peppers
- 2 zucchini
- 12 spears of asparagus
- vegetable oil and salt, for grilling
Broil, grill, or toast on a gas burner the red peppers. Place them in a paper bag to cool. Rub off the burnt skin. Cut open, remove stems, seeds, and ribs. Cut into strips.
Cut off the ends of the zucchini, slice in half lengthwise, the cut each half into strips.
Trim the ends of the asparagus and if needed, peel away tough skin.
Brush the zuke and asparagus with oil and sprinkle with a bit of salt. Broil until they begin to brown, turning once. When we ate this with chopsticks, I found the strips too long to eat, so next time I’ll cut them in half.
- 1 grapefruit, peeled and sectioned (remove the white rind and all of the membranes)
- 1 mango, peeled and sliced
- 2 kiwis, peeled and cut into disks (I didn’t read the instructions so mine were cut into wedges)
- 10 ounces boneless pork loin, sliced paper-thin (my knife skills reached to rather thick paper slices, but it was fine)
- a large pot of boiling water
- a large bowl of ice water
- a colander
With cooking chopsticks or tongs, cook each slice of meat individually until done. Plunge each slice into ice water, the drain in a colander.
Arrange the vegetables, the fruit, and the pork attractively on a platter. Provide a small plate and a small dish of the dipping sauce for each diner. Diners should use the blunt end of their own chopsticks to serve themselves. Or use a serving fork (or chopsticks) to take goodies from the platter.
This recipe would be nice to eat in the summer because you can cook it early in the day when it’s cooler, then refrigerate, and eat when you like. The leftovers were nice for lunch, and for a part of another meal. The combination of fruits, vegetables, spicy dip, and meat was very refreshing.
If you liked this shabu shabu, look at a version made with beef.
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