Have you made your New Year's Resolutions yet? If you're like most people (and that includes us, too), number one on your list probably involves food, whether it's to eat less, or to eat better. At Mrs. Lin's Kitchen, we believe we can help you with the latter by way of our Shabu Shabu pots.
According to folklore, the Shabu Shabu, or "hot pot" form of cooking, was developed by Ghenghis Khan during the 13th century. As the powerful ruler of Mongolia, he organized a massive army and kept them continuously on the move. The purpose of the "hot pot" was to feed his troops efficiently and nutritiously, as well as conserve their limited fuel supply. Thin slices of meat cooked quickly in hot water, but lost little of its nutritional value.
This method of cooking survived over the centuries in China, until a restaurant owner in Osaka introduced Shabu Shabu cooking to Japan. A few years later, Japan introduced Shabu Shabu cooking to the rest of the world.
The concept is simple. Friends and family gather around a broth-filled pot placed on top of a propane fuel burner set in the middle of the table. Each person selects his or her choice of prepared raw food from nearby platters. These choices may include thin slices of tasty beef or pork, as well as seafood items such as scallops, crabs, oysters, shrimp and dry noodles. Vegetables are plentiful, too, in varieties like mushrooms, spinach, tofu and bean sprouts. Place an item in a small wire-mesh basket and lower in pot. Within a matter of minutes, it is cooked, ready to be dipped into sauce and consumed.
Over the years, as the hot pot concept spread to other countries, it also began to reflect local ingredients and flavors. For instance, Korean diners prefer heavy, hot dishes, while folks in Taiwan like theirs only mildly hot. Japanese hot pots, like many of their dishes, are lighter in flavor. The pot itself has evolved from the upturn helmet of a Mongolian warrior to the ceramic or metal pots available today.
Unlike Ghenghis Khan and his army, we don't need to eat and run. Instead, Shabu Shabu cooking is a wonderful way to create a warm and social atmosphere at meal time. Lively conversations and good company is as important as eating and cooking, and because nothing is fried, Shabu Shabu cooking is also nutritious. Best of all, everyone gets to play "chef." So, let our Stainless Steel Shabu-Shabu Pan, Shabu Shabu/Soup Set, or any of our other Shabu Shabu pots help you keep your New Year's Resolution this year.
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