Saturday, January 17, 2009

A Perfect Way to Stay Warm this Winter

It's been really cold these past couple of days in NY, and I've got a perfect way to stay warm. Shabu shabu! It is not only the perfect way to stay warm, but also a fun way to enjoy a meal with your friends & family (without all the stress of cooking for your loved ones).

With shabu shabu, you basically cook anything you want in a pot of simmering broth. The pot is shared, so it's a great way to entertain your guests and have fun while you're doing it. The last time we had shabu shabu, we used our cousin's electric pot, but traditionally, portable gas stove is used. Utensil wise, you'll need what they call spiders for scooping up your cooked food, chopsticks and soup spoons.

What you usually need in a shabu shabu are a variety of greens, meat (make sure your meat is thinly sliced so it would cook faster), seafood, mushroom and vermicelli. We had some tasty wontons there as well when we had it months ago. You'll also need a sauce to dip what you've cooked - we mixed some soy sauce and sesame seed oil with a raw egg from Japan. I know the raw egg part sounds weird, but my cousin swore that it was good. Just take a look at the color of the yolk!

To start a shabu shabu, bring a pot of broth to a boil (we like to add tofu with the broth). Turn it down to a simmer. Add anything you like! Scoop them up with a spider when they're done and dip in sauce.

Oh, take a look the delicious pork we had that night. This is Japan Yamagata Pork. Isn't the marbling beautiful. Yes, I'm speaking like a pork eater. It was sweet and had just the right amount of fat and porkiness (pork taste).

If I need warm thoughts, I usually think of shabu shabu. Stay warm every one!

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