Shabu Shabu is a nutritious, tasty and delicious Japanese dish.
This cheap and easy-to-prepare meal has beef as the main ingredient.
A wide variety of Japanese dishes use thinly sliced beef as the primary ingredient.
Some of the popular Japanese dishes prepared using delicate pork or beef slices are e.g. Sukiyaki and fried dishes.
So how do you slice the meat thinly for shabu shabu?
The secret behind cutting beef thin is to freeze it for several hours before cutting. Freezing makes it hard enough for paper-thin cuts.
Before placing the meat in the freezer, be sure to chop it into significant pieces for easy cutting.
Avoid chopping it into small sizes as they are difficult to cut.
Use a razor-sharp blade with a thin cutting edge.
The first step when it comes to cutting thin meat is to choose premium meat.
This type of meat is lean and therefore tends to be firm, allowing for easy cutting.
There are two ways to cut meat; manually or with a meat slicer.
Cutting meat by hand is not a difficult task, but perhaps a little complex for beginners.
On the other hand, it is easy and fast to use a cutting equipment.
If you want a practical feel, it will be very satisfying to do it manually.
Here are the steps you need to follow:
- Then wash it cut into large pieces
- Put the chunks in the freezer. You need to put the chunks in freezer bags to prevent loss of flavor, texture and color.
- Freeze it for 2-4 hours until it is firm to thin cutting
- Once firm, use a thin and ultra-sharp blade to make thin slices. Cut against the grain for clean and smooth slices.
Make sure you hold the blade firmly while cutting while attaching the meat with the non-dominant hand.
Be careful to prevent the blade from slipping, as this can cause serious injuries.
Use a meat cutter
Cutting beef or pork using a slice of meat is a straightforward task.
However, you need to be extremely careful as these appliances are quite risky.
As such, they can cause life-threatening injuries when handled incorrectly.
Even when cutting meat with these appliances, it is recommended to freeze the meat for firmness.
Once frozen, place it in the food cart.
Then adjust the knife settings to the thinnest level for ultra-thin meat slices.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when slicing meat for Shabu Shabu:
- Chill the meat for a few hours. This makes it firm for easy and precise cutting. Do not cut it into large pieces as it is difficult to control. When using a meat cutter, chop it into pieces that easily fit into the cart.
- When cutting manually, make sure the blade is ultra-sharp. You can use a whetstone or stainless steel to sharpen the blade when cutting it.
- Cutting against the grain makes it melting and smooth. Cutting along the grain makes it tougher and it will therefore require you to cook longer.
- Wear a pair of protective gloves when using a meat cutter. Also read the manufacturer’s instructions for operating the appliance.
- It is better to place it in freezer bags than to place it on metal trays when it is frozen. This is because the bag retains flavor, texture and color.
Vegetables to use
The vegetables you should include in your recipe for this dish include cabbage, mushrooms (enoki and shiitake varieties), green onions, bok choy and firm tofu.
Cut the vegetables into thin slices and remove the stalks from the cabbage.
This makes it easy to prepare the vegetables for cooking.
You will need a blade to cut vegetables as opposed to a meat cutter.
What other dishes can you cook with sliced meat?
There is a wide variety of meals that you can prepare using slices.
Some of these dishes are such as. Beef & broccoli roast, Philly cheesesteak, bacon wrapped chicken, pork chops, Japchae, Yakisoba and beef udon among other dishes.
Shabu Shabu is a fun and exciting meal to prepare.
You can add spices that are preferred to make the dish more tasty and delicious.
With this dish you can use your creativity to make the meal satisfying.
There are several recipes that you can search for online if you are a beginner.
Asian supermarkets and online markets are the best options to find the best ingredients for this and other Japanese dishes.
If you do not eat beef, you can replace it with other meats such as chicken, pork, seafood or lamb.