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Simmering hot pot goodness

I love the whole concept of shabu shabu. Individual pots of simmering broth that you get to season to your liking with things like soy sauce, sesame and chili oil, minced garlic, daikon radish, and green onions. When the flavors are melded together, you add your vegetables to boil at their pace, and can also place thin slices of your favorite protein into the broth using a little "swish-swish" movement to quickly cook it to perfection. Veggies and your proteins can be dipped in either a ponzu or sesame sauce and eaten with a bowl of white rice or noodles.

These hot pot spots are popping up everywhere in San Diego, including Tabu Shabu, which has locations in both North Park and Carlsbad (and a bunch more in California). This is a more modern take on traditional Japanese shabu shabu, using broth bases like kombu dashi, spicy miso, tonkotsu and a sukiyaki option. The experience is super fun, interactive and so personalized because you are crafting the flavors to your own preferences.

You also can select from a variety of noodles, including ramen, udon, shirataki (for those looking for a carb and gluten-free option) and my personal favorite, the kale fresh ramen noodle, which has this amazing texture to it (but does not taste like Kale).

The staff at Tabu Shabu could not be friendlier. They explain the whole process for any newbies to the hot pot experience so it doesn't feel intimidating, and can also provide insider tips to things like the hot drops (which they keep behind the counter), which can be added to your dipping sauces if you want your eyes to water and your ears to ring throughout the meal. I love things spicy, but be warned, you don't need a lot of the hot drops to be effective.

If you haven't had a hot pot experience before, I highly suggest the endeavor. Its a fun and delicious way to explore your palette and what flavor preferences you have to get to the perfect bite.

Contact infö:

2674 Gateway Road, Carlsbad, CA 92009

(760) 846-0778


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