Hot Pot/Shabu-shabu - Ouran High School Host Club
Mmmmm, shabu-shabu. Named for the sound as you swish the meat in the broth with your chop sticks, shabu-shabu is probably the best friend-get-together-in-the-cold-winter-and-all-eat food I’ve ever encountered. And anime (especially shows like Ouran) really showcases how it is the friends who you’re eating with that are important. Either way, this is a dinner meant for a group of friends gathered around a table, laughing and goofing off, and enjoying fun, simple food. This recipe in particular is meant for 4 to 6 people, but you can easily adjust the proportions to accommodate more or fewer guests.
- A hot pot or hot plate, with a wide, deep pan (this is rather important, because without it, you can’t really prepare and eat the food at the table. I used an electric wok, because that’s what I had, and while it was a bit too deep in the center, it worked well)
- Thinly sliced beef, preferably well marbled (if there are any big Asian markets around where you live, just look for shabu-shabu beef. If not, then go to a butcher, or the meat department and see if they will slice some top sirloin to about 1/16 of an inch. If you can’t find anywhere that will do that, then just pick up some cheesesteak meat as a last resort)
- 3 packages of udon noodles
- 4 cups chopped napa cabbage
- 20 or so shiitaki mushrooms
- 1 14oz block of tofu
- 1 packet of dashi powder or 1 1/2 liters of dashi stock
- Soy sauce
- Optional/Recommended Ingredients:
- 2 packages of enoki mushrooms, or oyster mushrooms
- 1 leek
- 1/2 pound jumbo shrimp
- 2 cups chopped bok choy
Shunguki chrysanthemum leaves
- 1 daikon radish
- Ponzu sauce
- Prepare all of the ingredients. Cut the base off of the mushrooms (so that the enoki or oyster mushrooms are just barely connected together, and the shiitake are only the caps), and cut X’s on the top of the shiitake, chop the tofu and the radish, shell the shrimp, and slice the leek on the diagonal. Place all the ingredients onto a plate, and move everything to the table you are eating at.
- Mix the dashi powder with water as per the instructions to make dashi stock. If you can’t find any dashi, just use chicken stock. Pour the stock into the pan you are using, add some soy sauce to your taste, and let it just barely come to a boil.
- Once it reaches a boil, you can start adding things into the pot. Let everything cook, then take it out, dip it in some sauce, and eat. Allow everyone around the table add in whatever it is they want to eat.
- Party. (Entirely necessary).