Cold, dark winter nights require a little bit of shaping up. We would recommend Shabu Shabu – it is a Japanese one pot dinner cooked at the dinner table using a portable gas stove (or revive the fondue burner!) with a pot called a Donabe (a wok would also work beautifully).  Coming together with friends and a very few simple ingredients, you can create a banquet with minimum fuss. There are a lot of Shabu Shabu speciality restaurants in Japan and it’s really simple to recreate at home.  The origin is said to be a restaurant in Osaka which served it back in the 1950s. You dip very thin slices of beef or sashimi cuts of fish and swirl them around in broth for a few seconds.

Served with udon noodles or rice…

Firstly combine the following ingredients & cook at the table

  • 10cm Kombu (dried kelp)
  • 1500ml water
  • 3 tbsp sake
  • A dash of lemon or vinegar
  • A dash of rice vinegar
  • Soy sauce

When this broth is bubbling add:

  • 6 leaves of Chinese cabbage
  • 2 leaks sliced
  • Shiitake mushrooms
  • A few leaves of spinach

Then using chopsticks, swirl briefly the tofu and either the fish option or the meat option into the hot broth

  • Tofu
  • Either white fish, prawns, scallops
  • Or with wafer thin sliced beef

Then dip before eating into the Ponzu Sauce

  • Ponzu Sauce (which you can buy at Waitrose)

Of course you finish the meal by drinking the delicious broth and serve with Sake!

Illustrated and demonstrated by the talented Eiichi Kono

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