How do you shabu-shabu?

On Friday, I found myself at Mizu 212 on Sawtelle in West Los Angeles with my friend. This place touts their organic shabu-shabu. Shabu-shabu is a Japanese hotpot dish sort of like sukiyaki – but less sweet. Instead of cooking thinly sliced meat and vegetables in the hotpot WITH spices and sauces like sukiyaki, shabu-shabu is made by cooking the meat and veggies in water to make a natural broth then dipped in a sauce when you’re done. It’s a great comfort food dish! Enough background, let’s get to the food!

I love walking by Mizu 212 because I love seeing patrons of this place hovering over their hotpot from the window. Steam rises from their bowls straight into the air and you see people looking down into their bowl of comfort. Above is a photo of my shabu-shabu after I put in all the ingredients. So, what’s in my shabu-shabu?

Everyone has their way of making their shabu-shabu. Here’s what I do when presented with a bowling hotpot of water, veggies and some good fixings…

  1. Add veggies. Choose the harder ones that take more time to cook first – squash, broccolli, carrots… etc.
  2. Add tofu. Believe it or not, tofu takes some time to cook so it’s best to add this early on.
  3. Add the softer veggies next (i.e. cabbage, asparagus…)
  4. Add udon noodles. You don’t want to add the boodles too early because the noodles will get too mushy.
  5. Lastly, add the meat. This won’t take long to cook because it’s cut very thin. For my shabu-shabu, I choose a plate of the rib-eye and also black pork to split with my friend.

While your shabu-shabu is cooking, take this time to make your dipping sauce. My friend and I were lucky to have Peter be our waiter. He came by and asked us what flavors we liked and concocted a little something for each of us. It was a combination of garlic, scallions, grated daikon, ponzu, togarishi, and Thai chili oil (I opted out of this one since I’m not a big fan of the spice). It’s a light dipping sauce that I could eat by the spoonful!

And here’s the shabu-shabu before I devoured it all for dinner. I love this dish because it’s not heavy but it’s filling – no salt or processed sugar (unless you add it yourself) but in all honesty, I didn’t put any of that stuff in my shabu-shabu. Enjoy!

By the way, how do you shabu-shabu?

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