Shabu-shabu is simplicity itself. A well-flavoured pot of simmering broth is put over a flame at the table for guests to cook their chosen ingredients as they like. This involves the skilful use of chopsticks, but is great fun – a Japanese variant on the fondue party. The ingredients to be cooked in the broth may be as your fancy and pocket dictate, but consider strips of chicken breast, peeled raw prawns, shiitake mushrooms, beansprouts, tofu, strips of beef fillet and spinach.
Put the stock in a saucepan, add the rice vinegar, soy sauce and dashi powder.
Peel the carrots and cut lengthwise into wafer-thin slices (a potato peeler makes this easy). Cut the ginger into similar slices. Add these and the spring onions to the pan. Bring to the boil, lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
Pour the flavoured broth into the serving pot which will go on the table. After cooking and eating the solid ingredients you drink the broth. Serve steamed rice as well.
© 1998 Alastair Little. All rights reserved.