SHABU SHABU - Japanese Fondue
2 cups cold water
3 ounces dried 'kombu' seaweed
1 cup dried bonita flakes, optional
8 ounces sirlion beef (or shabu shabu beef/pork/chicken), sliced thinly
4 ounces shitake mushrooms
4 ounces enoki mushrooms, stalks removed
4 ounces tofu, cut into chunks
1 bunch of watercress, trimmed
2 bunch of green onions, cut into 2 inch lengths
Cooked sticky white rice
1 jar of ponzu-joyu dipping sauce
Put water in a pan and add the dried seaweed. Simmer over a medium heat for about 10 minutes. Pull out the kombu when the water starts to boil. To enchance flavor you can add some dried bonito flakes 5 minutes before taking the kombu out. It is important not to let the water and kombu boil. Strain the broth, discarding the kombu and bonita flakes.
If you are going to slice the meat thinly yourself, place the beef between 2 sheets of cling wrap and bash with the back of a knife until it is very thin. Slice beef into thin strips and place on a serving plate. If you bought raw Shabu Shabu beef/pork/chicken, just arrange it on a plate.
Bring the broth to a boil. Add shitake mushrooms, followed by the enoki mushrooms, then the tofu, watercress, and finally the green onion. Serve this pan of boiling broth at the table immediatly and get your guests to cook their beef by dipping it into the broth with chopsticks for about 1 minute, then dipping it in the ponzu sauce and eating it.
Give each guest a bowl of sticky rice, and a small dish of the ponzu dipping sauce.
Don't forget the sake or Japanese beer.
NOTE: You can easily buy shabu shabu meat at any Japanese grocery store. To do this recipe, you'll need a portable mini-burner that you plunk down on the table to cook your meat. You'll need to ocassionaly skim the fat from the broth with a fat skimmer (or a flat sieve) as it accumulates.
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