Shabu-shabu is considered as winter dish; however, since it became popular to everyone, it can be eaten all-year round. The dish can be compared to sukiyaki because they are both served with thin slices of meat and vegetables, and use a variety of dipping sauces. However, Shabu-shabu is more sumptuous and not-so sweet compared to sukiyaki.
Shabu-shabu For You
2 lbs prime-quality beef or lamb
12 pcs shiitake mushrooms, trimmed and wiped
6 long onions, green onions or naganegi
6 leaves Chinese cabbage
1 bunch edible chrysanthemum leaves, shungiku or kikuna; trimmed and washed
2 cakes tofu
6 – 10 pcs wheat gluten or fu
8 oz bamboo shoot
1 cup giant white radish or daikon-oroshi; grated
½ cup green onion; finely chopped
4 inch giant kelp or kombu
Meats – Purchase sirloin part for your beef shabu-shabu or lamb loin rib. Either case, the meat must be marbled well enough so that when cooked in boiling water, it will be so tender. Ask your butcher to slice the meat into paper-thin pieces, even thinner than the sukiyaki slices. You might find it hard to do at home so just ask your butcher to do it for you.
Shiitake Mushrooms – the caps must be notched into decorative crosses. If it is too large, just cut the cap into two
Long onions or green onions – must be diagonally cut with 1 ½ inch length
Chinese cabbage – trim the Chinese cabbage then get 6 whole leaves. Wash, then let it parboil until tender, which is approximately 2 to 4 minutes in a pot with hot water. Drain it then salt it lightly and let it dry. By using a bamboo mat, roll the cabbage and cut it into rounds or you may opt to just use the cabbage without rolling
Edible Chrysanthemum – if the sprigs are too long, cut it into half for a much easier handling
Tofu – slice the tofu in 1 ½ inch squares and arrange in a platter
Wheat gluten – soak for 5 minutes in water. Squeeze the excess water and when dry enough, you can start using it already
Bamboo shoot – if canned bamboo, wash it thoroughly and make sure to remove the limelike, bitter deposit in between the interior ridges, boil it and cut into half-moon slices
Prepare sauces and many spicy condiments. Both ready-made sauces must be kept in the refrigerator for days in case they were made in advance.
To arrange now the platter – arrange all the meat ingredients in a way that they can be easily picked up even with chopsticks or fondue fork. In a separate platter, arrange the vegetables the same way as the meat ingredients.
Cooking at the serving table – put the giant kelp in a huge Donabe casserole or hook-nabe. Fill the Donabe with 2/3 water. Bring it to a boil; remove kelp just before the water boils then simmer for 4 minutes.
The diner may now choose which sauce they would like to use and put some in the boiling broth. They may add now the meat or they may just swishes the meat back and forth (shabu-shabuing) until it becomes pink.
Occasionally, the broth must be skimmed with foam. When all vegetables and meat are now cooked according to your desire, you may now sprinkle chopped onion on top.