I like Japanese food in general but Shabu Shabu pork (or sukiyaki) belongs to another level. It’s literally a meat festival (at least in Singapore). Although both Sukiyaki and Shabu shabu pork are different dishes, they tend to have the same concept: Broth + Vegs + Thinly Sliced-Meat. There are many Sukiyaki restaurant chain stores in Singapore usually serving buffets. They can sometimes be a bit pricey but so worth it if you have a huge appetite. Thin slices of meat served to you in square Japanese lacquer boxes caters to the experience of watching that pile of boxes pile up on top of each other as you stuff yourself full with meat, meat and more meat. Just talking about it makes me drool a little.
What makes these slices of meat to delicious has to do with how thinly it is slices. So thin that just lifting it will cause it to sometimes tear under its own weight. Shabu Shabu or Sukiyaki meat usually consists of the pork collar or pork belly. The fat is key to the cuts of pork used, aka – the marbling.
Marbling equates to more fats, hence you want to look at the parts of the pig that gets very little exercise e.g pork belly. As the meat is cooked, the fat melts; keeping the meat tender and moist and infuses it with flavour. (You don’t even have to season it in the case of these thin slices of pork, it has all the flavours you need.) Without the fats, the meat would become dry (that’s why it’s best to have some fats on any meat). This doesn’t mean that you can overcook your meat and expect it to be as good. The key to Sukiyaki and Shabu Shabu is that even more so because it is sliced so thinly, you really just want to leave the meat in the hot pot for a very short period of time. Just a couple more seconds after the meat loses its redness will do.
Therein lies the problem of overeating because of how good these thin slices of meat taste. Yup, we just had to talk about this. Overeating is a serious issue. Once seen as a luxury, meat of all kinds are now consumed on a daily basis in developed countries. So instead of spending money and calories on a sukiyaki meat fest. Try substituting it with this recipe to satisfy any Sukiyaki/Shabu Shabu craving. As long as you get the right kind of meat, it tastes just as good.
Choose pork collar instead of pork belly as a healthier option. You will be saving about 350kcals per 100grams (eeks!)
Recipe: Soba Noodle Soup with Shabu Shabu Pork
|Serves 1||Prep Time: 10 Minutes||Cook Time: 5 Minutes|
90grams (or 1 serving as stated on package) dry zarusoba noodles
100grams shabu shabu pork
100grams bok choy
½ small onion
50ml mentsuyu (soba sauce)
Spring Onion (optional but recommended)
- Boil a pot of hot water while prepping other ingredients.
- Cook soba noodles in boiling water for 4 minutes (or as stated on package).
- Drain water and rinse soba noodles under running tap water to wash away any starch. Place into serving bowl.
- Simmer bok choy in water until soft and transfer to serving bowl.
- With same pot of boiling water, dip Shabu Shabu pork in for 10 seconds until no longer red and transfer into bowl.
- Boil Mentsuyu, water and onions then pour over noodles. (If adding egg, turn down the fire after it starts to boil and crack one egg in. Stop cooking when egg yolk hardens to the consistency you like)
- Serve immediately
- Try to avoid cooking your soba noodles as the noodles will continue to be cooked slightly when you pour in the broth. Soba noodles are not meant to be eaten too soft.
- 90grams is usually the standard serving size but I find that when eaten with other ingredients, it can be quite filling. One serving of dry soba cooks to almost 1 ½ cup of cooked soba noodles.