the appetizer:

Some Western culinary influences in Japan, including Portugal (tempura) and the Americas (teppanyaki), have been so integrated into Japanese cooking, it is difficult to differentiate them from more traditional Japanese cuisine like sushi and kaiseki. Standard Japanese meals usually include rice, soup, pickles and an entree, like fish or vegetables.

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Shabu Shabu (Boiled Beef)

Shabu-shabu means "swish-swish," referring to the swishing action when you cook a very thin slice of beef in hot water.

On a portable range, place a medium-sized pot (1/2 gallon should do). Place a couple of slices of kombu (a type of kelp) and cover with cold water. Gently bring the water to a boil and remove the kombu just before it actually starts to boil. When the water is boiling very, very gently, you're set.

On your table you should have: (for 4 people)


1 lb very thinly sliced beef (sirloin), preferably grain-fed.
    Beer-fed Kobe beef is the best. And I mean VERY THIN (less than 1/16 inch)
8 shiitake mushrooms
1/2 lb enoki mushrooms
1/2 lb shimeji mushrooms
1/2 lb shirataki
1 lb chinese cabbage
1/2 lb watercress, to substitute for spring chrysanthemum leaves
1 lb tofu, cut in 1 in. cubes, pressed and drained
any other ingredients you want to use

Dipping sauce:

In a small bowl, you should have 2 parts soy sauce and 1 part lemon juice, as a dipping sauce.

Simply take one of the items, swish it around in the hot water from a few seconds for beef to a few minutes for vegetables. Serve with hot steamed rice.

Copyright (c) Ken Iisaka. May be distributed freely provided this copyright notice is not removed.



Japanese Recipes

from Kate's Global Kitchen:

Japanese Cookbooks with Recipes


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This page modified January 2007