Summer Shabu Shabu
This summer has been cool. Our garden tomatoes ripen so slowly, so late; but there are lots of tiny green fruits. We’ve had to be content with a few small bowls of these gorgeous heirloom cherry tomatoes. The long yellows are prolific, and once they grow to size ripen quickly. The dark mahogany cherries seem to maintain adolescence longer, and it’s difficult to know when they are mature—some jump off the vines with the touch of a finger while still half green while others become browner and browner before popping away from the mother plant. The spherical green grape tomatoes are sweet and juicy, just now becoming ripe. The most interesting of the small tomatoes, the bright orange one on top, starts out black and gradually becomes strikingly red and yellow. They’re firm, with distict flavor! Ahhh! Let the bounty begin…
Mr. Tess and Little Tess came home from the Farmers’ Market with a bunch of yellow beans with purple stripes. They were long and the beans in their pods looked large, perhaps more mature than I would have chosen, but none the less intriguing. And in need of cooking as soon as possible.

I had broiled a couple of steaks the evening before, with some miso marinade. We’d eaten only one of them. I’m not very good at cooking steak: somehow it gets more well than rare, and I’d like to learn how to pay attention to one thing at a time so I could enjoy the beef as I like. With this “leftover steak” I knew it would become very tough if it were re-heated. So cold steak would make the meal. I remembered this recipe for a cold summer shabu shabu with an excellent creamy sesame dipping sauce and lots of vegetables. Perfect!
Cold Beef Shabu-Shabu with Creamy Sesame Dressing
adapted from: The Japanese Kitchen
•250 Recipes in a Traditional Spirit•

by Hiroko Shimbo
serves 2 to 3
page 453

The Beef:

  • 1 pound well marbled thin-sliced beef sirloin

If your not using thinly sliced leftover steak, you can buy frozen thinly sliced beef in Japanese and Korean grocery stores.
Below is how to cook the beef:
Bring a large pot of water to a vigorous boil. Have ready, a bowl of ice-water and a colander lined with a cotton cloth. Use chopsticks or tongs to pick up one slice of beef. Plunge it into the boiling water and swish it for about 10 seconds: it turns pinkish white. Pull it out and drop it into ice water to stop the cooking—do not overcook or it will be tough! Transfer to the colander. Cook another piece. and so on…

Creamy Sesame Dressing:

  • 4 Tablespoons sesame paste
  • 6½ Tablespoons dashi
  • 3½ Tablespoons mirin
  • 3½ Tablespoons shoyu (taste, and adjust if necessary)

Put the sesame paste into a suribachi. Little by little, grind or stir in the dashi. This step is fun to watch as the sesame paste turns paler and thinner as soon as the liquid hits it. Add the mirin, then the soy sauce. Taste, and if you like, add more soy sauce—it was fine for me without additional.
The Vegetables:

  • 1 red bell pepper or 2 small sweet Italian peppers
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1 naganegi (Japanese green onion), a young leek, or a small bunch of scallions
  • 12 thin asparagus spears
  • 1 papaya

To Serve:
Mound the beef in the center of a serving platter. Arrange the vegetables and papaya around the meat. Serve with individual small cups of the dipping sauce.


Cooking Wild Rice Using the Oven Method
Wash 1 cup uncooked wild rice thoroughly. Combine with 2 cups water in a covered 2-quart casserole. Cover and bake at 350 F for 1 hour. Check wild rice. Ad more water, if needed, and fluff with a fork. Continue baking for 1/2 hour. wild rice should be moist, not dry. Yield: 3-4 cups cooked wild rice.

Other posts you might find interesting:
Japanese Sesame Sauces, Dips, and Dressings; Japanese Menu for Six Japanese Sesame Beef

3 thoughts on “Summer Shabu Shabu

    • Hi Sally!
      I’ve had a writer’s block sort of summer. Now I’m going back and finishing up posts I started…
      I have several copper colanders but haven’t used them because that copper polish is so toxic. Probably everyone else already knows, but a lemon half dipped in salt really works. And no worries about poisoning the family!
      Hope you also had a good summer—it’s still summer for a few more days. ≥^!^≤

  1. So lovely that we can peek into your kitchen again Tess, dear. And those tiny tomatoes look like jewels. I am imagining them in a copper colander and smiling.
    Your meal makes me hungry for summer.
    Regards to Mr Tess, Little Tess and the cat people.

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