A new dish and way of eating from Japan is launching in London from Friday 6th November 2009 as Whole Foods Market opens London’s first ‘SHABU SHABU’ bar in its Kensington store.
The new venue which has been set up with Whole Foods Market’s exclusive partners, Genji, will be situated on the first floor of the organic and natural market and will be open from 11:00am to 10:00pm.
What is Shabu Shabu?
Shabu Shabu is an authentic form of Japanese cuisine that uses a hot-pot style of cooking and the freshest ingredients to create a fun and interactive dining experience. Whole Foods Market is installing a brand new purpose built Shabu Shabu bar with specialist induction hobs at each of the 12 diner’s places.
The first step of Shabu Shabu involves selecting the type of raw meat, fish and vegetables you want to cook. A small heated pot with the soy milk broth will be provided along with the paper-thin slices of raw sirloin beef, lamb and pork and the freshest Scottish salmon available. When the broth is boiling you pick up the thin slices of raw meat or seafood using tongs or chop sticks and swish them in the liquid to cook the meat.
The name “Shabu Shabu” comes from the “swish swish” noise that is made by the meat being dragged through the bubbling broth. The soy milk based broth in the new Whole Foods Market Shabu Shabu Bar will offer a unique flavour and be available with a variety of dipping sauces including a traditional Ume plum, sesame or an Asian inspired chilli sauce.
Ingredients that may take longer to cook such as shiitake mushrooms and other vegetables can also be dropped into the broth and left to cook while the meat or fish is eaten. As all the meats, vegetables and ingredients are cooked in the broth; its flavour becomes more intense and delicious. Traditionally, Udon rice noodles can be added to the pot of broth at the end to absorb the appetising liquid.
Shabu Shabu uses the freshest high quality ingredients and is a healthy way to cook as no cooking oil is used in the preparation of the ingredients. It can also be adapted to particular dietary needs such as vegan, vegetarian or gluten-free dietary regimes. Also available at the new Shabu Shabu bar will be the first Shabu Shabu salad. It will offer the same choices of toppings as in the Shabu Shabu broth, but they will be available on a bed of baby leaves, topped with ginger miso dressing.
History of Shabu Shabu
Shabu Shabu is one of Japan’s favourite dishes. It is inspired by the 13th century hero Genghis Khan who fed his warriors with thinly sliced lamb meat served in a hot pot. The name Shabu Shabu was coined by Suehiro, a popular restaurant in Osaka, in 1952. Suehiro greatly refined the tastes by introducing unique shaped pots and a series of healthy sauces.
The Chef Shabu Shabu at Whole Foods Market will be cooked by a Japanese chef Tsutomu Shimomura who has over 10 years experience of working in restaurants in Japan. Nicknamed Shimo, he has a passion for Shabu Shabu, sushi and other Japanese cuisines. He travelled across Japan and learned traditional and contemporary cooking styles. Over past 5 years, Shimo has worked with Whole Foods Market in London as a chef and he is excited to introduce Shabu Shabu to his adopted favourite city.
Shabu Shabu is cooked without any oil or butter. Also, by being cooked in a hot broth, any extra fat is removed from of meat. Served with many vegetables and noodles and using a soy milk broth, Shabu Shabu offers a wide range of nutrition in one dish. As customers can choose ingredients to their own tastes, it is a perfect dish for vegetarians, vegans and gluten sensitive customers. Calories vary between 400 and 700 per dish, depending on ingredients chosen.