In Japan there are more than a few dishes that utilize very finely sliced pork and beef. Made to be easily eaten with chopsticks, and rendering knives unnecessary, especially when it’s boiled, it gives a unique flavor and texture. It is more tender and juicy than ham, and as it loses its oil content, it’s even low-calorie.
This meat gets its name from the shabu shabu onomatopoeia of it bubbling away in the boiling water. Though it is often served as-is such as at hot pot, this meat can also be used to top salad for a holiday dish.
We asked Yamamoto-san, a chef of Japanese cuisine, the secret to boiling delicious thinly-sliced pork.
Add 1/4 cup of cooking sake to 1 litre (1 quart) of water, and boil over a low heat.
Add 1-2 cups of cold water, and lower the temperature of the water to 80℃ (170℉). By not having the water at boiling temperature, it will help to keep the meat juicy and tender.
Boil the meat slice-by-slice by dipping it into the water with chopsticks. If you take it out of the water while the meat still has a hint of pink, the residual heat will cook the pork to perfection.
When serving this meat on salad, try chilling it in the refrigerator for a while first before serving.
To continue the cooking, we have many handy shabu shabu recipes in our recipe corner.
You may find hard to find this thinly sliced meat outside of Japan. In NYC, there is a Japanese butcher’s called Japan Premium Beef in Manhattan.
If you are in the UK, a well-loved Japan Centre Food Hall has just started to offer this most frequently used cuts of beef and pork both in-store and online.
Why not try this specialty meat in the coming holiday season!