520 Bergen Blvd
Palisdades Park, NJ
Early in the start of this blog I talked a bit about Sukiyaki (1) (2), which is one of my favorite Japanese nabemono dishes. This week Rachel and I stumbled upon a restaurant that specializes in a variant of this dish, Shabu-Shabu.
Shabu-Shabu differs from Sukiyaki in that instead of the meat and vegetables being cooked in a shoyu-based (soy sauce) broth flavored with sweet rice wine, it’s savory, flavored with kombu, and everything is added a little bit at a time to create a savory soup which is eaten at the end with rice, instead of being cooked all together at once and there is a dipping sauce on the side — not unlike a traditional Chinese hot pot dish.
Shaburang is interesting because while Shabu-Shabu is of Japanese origin, the restaurant is under Korean ownership, as Shabu-Shabu has a bit of a following in Korea as well. Thus, there are some interesting Koreanisms about the place, including a condiment bar so you can spice up your broth to your specifications, and Kimchi being served at table.
Shaburang’s main dining room. Please excuse the photo quality as I took these on my Razr phone and not with my Canon.
Each table has 4 inset pots for boiling the kombu broth, which are fired by gas burners. A ginger and wasabi dipping sauce is served on the side for the vegetables and meat.
Shaburang’s condiment bar.
The vegetables which come with each order of Shabu Shabu. These are placed a bit at a time to cook in the boiling broth, and are picked out when cooked and dipped in the sauce on the side. The savory broth created by all the cooked meat and vegetables is eaten at the end with rice.
Thinly sliced meats for cooking in the Shabu Shabu. It only takes about a minute for them to cook in the boiling broth.
Aside from the basic meat and vegetables you can also get “extras” such as mushrooms, shown above. This included shitakke, erinigi, oyster, enoki, black fungus and button mushrooms. You can also get things like tempura flakes as well as Korean mandoo dumplings, Udon noodles, Cut Noodles, and shrimps.
Shabu-Shabu well under way.