What kind of restaurant makes you cook your own food?


 shabu shabu sauces

Shabu Shabu is a Japanese variant of a hot pot. The dish is prepared by simmering thinly sliced meats and vegetables in a pot of stock. The cooked meats and vegetables are then dipped in an assortment of sauces, such as goma (sesame seed) sauce.

I’ve never had shabu shabu so it was quite a surprise when I went to my mom’s house and a dinner in Korean d.i.y. fashion was being prepared. I don’t know what it is with Asians and having people cook their own dinner on the table, but I’m starting to appreciate the communal bonding and interaction it provides.

We first made the stock by boiling dried anchovies in water. I’d show you the picture, but it looks like a couple of your childhood fishies swimming in boiling water.You can also use chicken/vegetable stock or even water.

Our assortment of vegetables included the following:


Other boilables include sliced onions, carrots, kelp, tofu, any thinly sliced meats, seafood, you get the picture.

Shabu Shabu Time!

Shabu shabu set up

simmer simmer now

We also included udon noodles to the mix.

Action shot

After you’ve eaten everything in sight,WAIT! There’s more! By the end of your meal, the water has now amassed all the flavors of your ingredients making for a fantastic broth. But what do you do with it? In typical Asian fashion, you DON’T throw it away.

rice and kimchi added to left over stock

Add some rice and kimchi and cook it down until it has achieved a rich and creamy consistency, much like risotto. Sprinkle some toasted seaweed into the mix and your Secondo is served.

Letting it all come together

Korean risotto

So next time you have a dinner party, skip the fondue pot and set up a shabu shabu station. All you need to provide are a few inexpensive ingredients and a portable gas stove. It’s self serve, it’s interactive, and it’s FUN! yaaaaaay.


One Response to “What kind of restaurant makes you cook your own food?”

  1. 1 Shanna

    I should take some pictures of the shabu shabu places here. They are all you can eat PLUS all you can eat haagen daaz. I know. It’s madness.

    Yours looks yum.

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