Release | Takako Chiba
“Lamb Shabu-Shabu” Hokkaido home cooking recipe series (7)
We say lamb, but this time we are not having Genghis Khan, Shabu-Shabu! As a Hokkaido-born person, I am more familiar to lamb shabu-shabu than beef shabu-shabu.
More than beef, more than pork, I prefer lamb shabu-shabu!Having hotpot dishes when we gather to someone’s house in Christmas seasons or new year seasons is a popular thing to do in Japan. Ishikari Nabe and Kimchi Nabe are both great, but our favorite hotpot dishes here in Hokkaido are “Genghis Khan” and “Lamb Shabu-Shabu.”
I don’t need to explain much about Genghis Khan. It’s an iconic dish in Hokkaido which we have throughout the year on occasions such as cherry blossom viewing and camping. I know many people in Hokkaido can’t stop talking when they talk about Genghis Khan. Which sauce they use, which part of meat they like, etc.
And another favorite dish preferred by the lamb and mutton lover; people in Hokkaido, is “Lamb Shabu-Shabu.”
Usually, people imagine of beef Shabu-Shabu, pork Shabu-Shabu, or crab Shabu-Shabu when they hear the word “Shabu-Shabu.” However, it is a little different in Hokkaido. We first imagine “Lamb Shabu-Shabu.”
▲We don’t have beef Shabu-Shabu normally, and it is too expensive…
* This is a sample image
▲Crab Shabu-Shabu is nice, but it is also expensive…
* This is a sample image
Hokkaido Likers chief editor Takako Chiba grew up in an ordinary family so I have lamb Shabu-Shabu mostly at home.
I can’t imagine having lamb Shabu-Shabu at restaurants.
It begins every time friends and family gather at one house such as Obon holidays and new year holidays. “Shall we have lamb Shabu-Shabu?” Just like this.
Let’s have “Lamb Shabu-Shabu” at home!Finding lamb for Shabu-Shabu outside of Hokkaido may be difficult. In Hokkaido, you can easily find it at the meat corner of any supermarket stores.
▲Lamb for Shabu-Shabu I found at a supermarket. One package contains 300-500g of lamb from New Zealand or Australia. I sometimes find three packs deal, too.
Vegetables to put in the hotpot may vary depending on families; such as Chinese cabbage, cabbage, lettuce, mizuna, daikon radish, bean sprouts, etc.
▲I had mainly lettuce and bean sprouts.
▲You don’t have to prepare a special hotpot for Shabu-Shabu! Also, we put newspapers on the table just like when we have Ghengis Khan.
▲Put on few pieces of kelp for dashi, and vegetable of your liking, and start putting lamb into the hotpot.
Although we begin this to have lamb Shabu-Shabu, we also prepared pork because we like both. This is the biggest attraction of having Shabu-Shabu at home. We can put anything!
▲We prepared pork to change the flavor. The ratio is like this: lamb, lamb, lamb, pork, lamb, pork, pork, lamb, lamb…
I often hear people not liking the flavor of lamb. I don’t understand what they are saying because lambs were too familiar to me since I was a child.
I feel that the unique flavor of fat makes the flavor of meat stand out.
Well, people have different preferences for foods.
It is nice to prepare a few kinds of sauces such as Ponzu, sesame sauce, Shabu-Shabu sauce so that you will not get bored of flavors and compare the tastes.
I feel as if I can eat forever when I cook thinly sliced lamb meat in a boiling hot pot. It makes fat fall out, and refreshing flavor of sauce matches perfectly.
▲I prepared this sauce. Let’s sing together! “Sorachi Shabu-Shabu no Tare”
This dish is not something tricky as we are just having Shabu-Shabu with lamb, but we Hokkaido people consider that lamb Shabu-Shabu tastes much better than beef Shabu-Shabu.
Those who grew up in Hokkaido, how is lamb Shabu-Shabu recipe at your home like?
Hokkaido Likers writer Takako Chiba
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