Nabemono (鍋物, なべ物 nábé=cooking-pot + mónó=things), or simply nábé, refers to a variety of Japanese hot pot dishes. Most nabemono are served during the colder seasons. The pots are usually placed in the center of dining tables on a portable stove, shared by multiple people. This is considered the most sociable way to eat with friends and family. The pots are traditionally made of clay (土鍋, donabe) or thick cast iron (鉄鍋, tetsunabe). Clay pots can keep warm for a while after being taken off the fire, while cast iron pots evenly distribute heat and are preferable for sukiyaki. There are two types of nabemono in Japan, 1) lightly flavored stock with kombu such as yudōfu (湯豆腐), mizutaki (水炊き), ‘traditional’ shabu-shabu (しゃぶしゃぶ), and of course, chankonabe (ちゃんこ鍋), eaten with dipping sauces/táré to enjoy the taste of the ingredients themselves, and 2) strongly flavored stock, typically with miso, soy sauce, dashi, and/or sweet ingredients such as yosenabe (寄鍋), oden (おでん), and sukiyaki (すき焼き), eaten without further flavoring.
Unlike traditional shabu-shabu, this recipe is considered the type two, it is a modern and non-traditional nabe because it is using soy-milk in the broth, garlic, and spicy Chinese doubanjiagn, none of which are ingredients used in traditional Japanese cuisine. Whoever originated it was brilliant! I do own a clay pot and table top gas stove. However, for ease of reaching (less height), I have been using an electric skillet too.
Shabu-Shabu with Spicy Soy Milk Broth • Tonyu Yakuzen Shabu-Shabu 豆乳薬膳 しゃぶしゃぶ
Recipe by: Fae’s Twist & Tango (fae-magazine.com)
Shabu-shabu pots are usually placed in the center of dining tables, shared by multiple people. This is considered the most sociable way to eat with friends and family. Electric skillet works very well for this “cooking at the table” one-pot dish.
• 900 g/ 2 lb shabu-shabu meat , sliced paper-thin beef strip loin, rib eye or chuck roll -or- pork loin
¹ Skip for vegetarian/vegan
² If thinly sliced meats are not available at your butcher, freeze the meat and slice thinly or use mandoline slicer.
For the vegetables:
• 1 leek, long, thinner with more white part, sliced 1cm/ ½”-thick bias-slices
• 1 big bunch mizuna greens (Japanese/spider mustard) cut in 7cm / 3″
• 1 bunch Chinese garlic chives cut in 7cm / 3″
• Other optional vegetables: enoki, shiitake or shimeji mushrooms, nappa/Chinese cabbage, moyashi/bean-sprouts, shirataki/yam noodles, harusame/rice/starch noodles, …
• 1 package soft/silken tofu, cut into 8 pieces, and let sit in a strainer for 10 minutes to drain well
¹ Shirataki (yam noodles) – before placing on the platter to be cooked again in the seasoned broth, shirataki must be drained from its package in a strainer, rinsed well, boiled in a small saucepan for 5 minutes and drained. This helps to remove excess liquid, and shirataki to absorb the broth flavor.
² Harusame (rice/starch noodle) – before placing on the platter to be cooked again in the seasoned broth, harusame must be reconstituted or boiled according to the instructions on the package.
For the udon noodles:
• 150 g/ 5 oz dried udon noodles, boil-cook slightly less time than the packaging instruction (rinsed very well to wash off the saltiness)
• 4 stems green onions thinly sliced – for topping over noodles (optional)
• ground black pepper (optional)
• ground sansho – Japanese pepper – but there is no peppery taste, it has citrus-like aroma/taste (optional)
For the broth:
• 1 ~ 2 Tbsp sesame oil
• 1 Tbsp finely minced/grated ginger
• 2 cloves minced/grated garlic
• 1 Tbsp doubanjiagn (Chinese chili paste)
• 500 ml (2 cups) unsweetened soy-milk
• 700 ml (3 cups) water
• ½ tsp salt
• 2 Tbsp sugar
• 1 Tbsp soy-sauce
• 1 Tbsp ground sansho, a key flavor for the broth
. . .Sansho is called Japanese pepper, but there is no peppery taste to it. It has citrus-like aroma/taste.
• Have some water available in a pitcher at the table in-case broth evaporates too much and some needs to be added.
◊ Prepare all the ingredients and place them in a large platter. Put the meat slices rolled for easier pick on a platter, noodles on/in platter/bowl, and the sliced green onions in a small bowl.
◊ In a medium-sized sauce pan, add sesame oil, ginger, garlic, doubanjiagn, and stir-fry. When fragrant (~30 seconds), add soy-milk, water, salt, and sugar. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to medium-low and simmer for 5~10 minutes.
◊ Place the skillet or shabu-shabu pot-and-stove in the center of the table setting. Strain the broth made in the saucepan into the skillet. Add soy-sauce and sansho, turn the heat to medium and bring the broth to simmer, at barely boiling point.
◊ Start by placing some of the leek in first, and then a little of each of other ingredients. Now, everyone can participate in cooking for oneself.
◊ How to cook / eat: Lightly swish-swish (shabu-shabu) meat so that it moves around freely in the broth until red/pink turns white but don’t overcook. The mizuna and chives (and most of the vegetables) are safe to eat raw, so they can be dipped in for a few seconds to keep their crisp texture. Vegetables/meats are cooked a little at a time, unless, you are super hungry.
◊ After all of the ingredients have been eaten, add the cooked noodles to the pot and heat. Ladle the remaining broth and noodles into individual bowls and season, sprinkle with green onion and pepper or sansho to taste.
Note: Although noodles (starch) are eaten at the end, I prefer to have my bowl of rice to eat while I am enjoying the vegetables and meats. This is totally optional.
~ どうぞめしあがれ • Douzo Meshiagare ~
So, what’s cooking in your kitchen?