Shabu-Shabu Soup with Rice and Green Onion
This soup might sound very unusual to you, if you are unfamiliar with Japanese soups, but it is well worth making, because it is an authentic Japanese favorite. What makes this soup extra-special is the beef. You will need to buy wafer-thin slices of steak for this, because if you cut steak that finely you will find any cut tender, even one of the tougher kinds like flank or skirt. Get the meat in 1/8 or even 1/16 inch slices.
Simply ask your butcher to cut a couple of ounces for you and that will be plenty, or look out for shabu-shabu or sukiyaki-style steak in the store which is already cut to the right thickness (or it might be labeled braciole steak or carpaccio, which are the Italian terms instead of the Japanese). Although some Japanese soup recipes come with raw beef and you are supposed to add them to hot soup to cook them (and they will cook in seconds!) you can also serve the meat raw to contrast with the hot soup.
Either one is fine, so if you are not keen on the idea of raw meat, just add it to the hot soup and cook until the steak turns brown. This will take a few minutes in the crockpot. This is a colorful soup and it makes a nice lunch or appetizer. If you are not keen on the steak idea, and you do not want to use cooked steak either, consider adding cooked chopped chicken breast to the soup when you add the rice, then you will have a Japanese style chicken soup instead of a beef soup. No fat is added to this soup, only the fat in the beef, making this a dish which is low in fat but high in flavor.
- 1 pint chicken stock
- 2 oz cooked white rice
- 2 tablespoons miso paste
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon mirin
- 3 sliced green onions
- Handful of raw steak (labeled as shabu-shabu or sukiyaki-style steak) shaved into ⅛ inch slices
- 1 teaspoon black and white sesame seeds, for garnish
This unusual Japanese soup can be served for lunch or dinner, as an appetizer or complete meal, depending on portion sizes. The soup is made with chicken stock, mirin, soy sauce and miso, along with rice and green onion, and then the wafer-thin beef slices on top add not only color but a tender texture along with a meaty taste. Finish off with more green onion and some black and white sesame seeds, and you have a gourmet dish boasting an authentic Japanese flavor. The soup is made in the crockpot so the flavors can mellow and intensify, and then the beef and garnishes are added just before serving.
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