Posted by Lauren
Last night, after work, I went out to dinner with my friend Sophia. We go way back. Before 2gether hit the big time, before Gelly Rolls, before Xtina’s Genie in a Bottle…. Sophia and I battled each other in hula-hoop competitions on the playground :)
Last month we met for Mediterranean food – this time we went across the street (literally!) for Japanese food. Sophia recommended a sushi place and a shabu shabu restaurant. Having never tried shabu shabu, that’s what I picked!
Shabu shabu is the Japanese equivalent of Chinese hot pot, and translates directly to “swish swish.”
We sat along the bar, on the right. As you can see, there are only about 45 seats, so this trendy place can get packed (especially at lunch).
Sophia guided me through the ordering process:
- choose a broth – original seaweed or spicy miso in mild, medium, or extra spicy
- choose your meat – aged prime angus, american kobe beef, lamb, etc…
- rice + veggies come standard – nappa cabbage, carrot, spinach, enoki mushrooms, tofu
- pick your sides, drinks, and extras!
I ordered the 1/2 lamb, 1/2 american kobe beef. All six of the Bay Area Shabuway locations serve kobe style beef (cross between kobe cattle and american angus cattle). The cows eat a vegetarian diet, are raised naturally, and are free of antibiotics and hormones. The lamb comes straight from Niman Ranch. Good stuff!
Sophia warned me not to order the seaweed broth, so I chose the “extra spicy” miso broth – a mixture of six vegetable extracts, three types of chili peppers, and two kinds of miso without MSG.
This is a hands-on cooking experience!
- Prep – let the broth boil
- Cook veggies (they take longer than the meats) for about 2 minutes, remove.
- When broth returns to a boil, put a slice of meat in the hot pot and swish it around for 5-8 seconds (don’t overcook it!)
- Remove the cooked meat from the hot pot, dip into either of the two dipping sauces, eat!
This was all really fun! I struggled to get the beef into bite-sized pieces with the chopsticks, I’ve got to practice!
Here we are, all grown up! Living in a Big Data world…
Thanks for being my dinner date, Sophia! Can’t wait til next time!
When I got home, I bonded for a couple of minutes with this girl…
Question: Have you heard of or tried shabu shabu? Any other hands-on cooking experiences? I can only think of fondue…
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