With all the hot pot restaurants gaining popularity these days, Hubby and I had the sudden urge to get back to basics. We wanted to taste the simple flavors of Japanese style shabu shabu, where the ingredients are boiled in water, not flavored broth. We headed to Shabu Shabu House on Kapiolani, which has been around from before Ichiriki, and all the newer Taiwanese and Thai hot pot places. I remember when they first opened many years ago, a meal set was under $10. The current price of a meal sets starts at $15.95, but if you look at all the food that’s included, it’s still a fantastic value.
Included in the meal set is sliced meat (I chose beef & pork), a plate of assorted veggies, tofu, gyoza, udon noodles, and rice. First, put the piece of konbu in the water for added flavor. Then, enjoy cooking the veggies and meats then dipping it in your choice of three dipping sauces: sesame, ponzu, and ginger. (I save the udon noodles for last). The meat is perfectly shaved to paper thin, so all you have to do is let it swim in the boiling water for a few seconds.
My favorite part of shabu shabu, udon noodles! What is left in the pot at the end of a shabu shabu meal is a beautiful beef based broth. No extra flavors to get in the way, no MSG. All it needs for seasoning is a little salt and pepper and some green onions, and it’s the most gratifying finale to a perfect meal.
All meals at Shabu Shabu House come complete with a pore-cleansing steam facial. 😉
1221 Kapiolani Blvd.
Honolulu, HI 96814
Mon-Sat: 11:00a-2:00p, 5:00p-10:00p