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Shabu-shabu can be ready to enjoy with about 30-minutes' work! Plan ahead and start the dashi one day ahead (or keep some in your freezer). You'll find already-sliced beef at Asian markets or ask your butcher to slice it for you. For Beef Shabu-shabu I like to make two dipping sauces: one with sesame & ponzu and the other with sesame oil & salt.
1½ quarts Dashi made with Aimono Rausu Konbu & Katsuobushi
½ cup Suehiro Ponzu Sauce
4 tablespoons Wadaman organic golden sesame paste
6 tablespoons Wadaman organic golden sesame seeds, lightly ground
¼ cup + 2 tablespoons Wadaman dark golden sesame oil
4 teaspoons sea salt
¼ cup shoyu (soy sauce), ideally Suehiro Usukuchi
2 tablespoons sake
2 tablespoons mirin
2 negi or 4 scallions, cut into 2-inch lengths
1¼ lbs strip steak, sliced very thin (⅛-inch or thinner)
½ head Napa cabbage, core removed, cut into 1-inch squares
8 oz firm tofu, cut into 1½-inch cubes
5 oz mushrooms (shimeji and/oyster), trimmed & pulled apart
½ bunch shungiku (chrysanthemum greens), or spinach (not the baby kind)
Yamatsu Tsujita Shichimi Togarashi
Leftover cooked rice
6 eggs, well-beaten
10-12 chives, sliced thin
Pour the dashi into the donabe and bring to a boil over medium-low heat. As the dashi is heating, you can make the 2 dipping sauces.
Distribute the ponzu, sesame paste and seeds evenly into 4 dipping bowls. Set aside.
Evenly divide the dark sesame oil and sea salt into 4 small dipping bowls. Set aside.
Once the dashi comes to a boil, add the shoyu, sake and mirin, and bring back to a simmer. Drop in the negi or scallions, and cook for about 30 seconds, then add a few slices of meat, some vegetables and tofu. As they finish cooking, dip into either sauce & eat. Continue to simmer the broth, cooking & eating for as long as you like. Sprinkle the shichimi if you would like some extra heat. Once you have eaten all the vegetables, tofu and meat, you have a wonderful full-flavored broth which you will use for the Shime “bonus course”:
For the Shime, bring the remaining broth to a boil, add the rice and simmer until the broth starts to thicken like a porridge. Turn off the burner, then stir in the beaten eggs and let stand, covered, for 1-2 minutes. The mixture should be a cross between a custard and egg drop soup (with rice of course). Divide the cooked rice among as the 4 bowls. Top with chives and serve.