When people think of Genghis Khan they usually think “bloodthirsty Mongolian conqueror who began a dynasty that would cover most of Asia and parts of Europe, and father so many children that a third of the world’s current population have their genes in them.” A much lesser known fact is that shabu shabu originated from the great Khan as a means to efficiently feed his vast nomadic army. Constantly conserving fuel, the army would dip thinly sliced meat and vegetables into a boiling pot so that it would cook quickly and also preserve the nutrients needed for a world conquering army.
Centuries later, Genghis Khan’s armies (and their shabu shabu pots) have turned to dust, but a culinary delight born of efficiency had taken root, especially in health conscious Japanese and Chinese circles. In the Philippines, Candy Hwang opened up Healthy Shabu Shabu, which prides itself on sourcing only the freshest ingredients available. Aside from the standard set of vegetables and fishballs and tofu that accompanies every shabu shabu order, the customer can choose from such meats as angus beef, lamb, pork, or for those who love crustaceans (I am not one of them) a seafood platter.
The bottom half of this post was supposed to be dedicated to the proper process of shabu shabu. Apparently you don’t just dunk all of those herbs and spices in. Not that I did that before, mind you.
OK, fine, so I did. I am an uncultured bastard. Betcha the Khan’s armies did it too. Anyway, so this was supposed to be a process, but to be honest with you I couldn’t remember a thing. I remember that you have to mix the spices all into the special sauce, and that you have have to crack open the egg and put only the yolk into the special sauce mixture. After that it was a blur of dipping all sorts of foodstuff into the pot, and anxiously wondering whether or not stuff was overcooked or not. Luckily the waiters are extremely nice, so don’t hesitate to ask them for instructions or to help with your dining experience.
One of the best things about eating in healthy shabu shabu is that I don’t fel guilty afterwards. Normally after a big meal I’ get what I call “fat man’s guilt”, but since everything was boiled and nearly half the stuff I ate were vegetables, I get to go home full and guilt free!
Healthy Shabu Shabu has branches at Powerplant Mall (Tel. No 898.3979/895.6300., The Podium (Tel. Nos. 914.1028-29), SM Mall of Asia (Tel. Nos. 556.0354-55), Robinsons Galleria (Tel. Nos. 633.1979/632.1634), SM North The Block (Tel. Nos. 442.0036-37), Alabang Town Center (Tel Nos. 850.6633/850.6976), Robinsons Midtown (Tel. Nos. 526.2981/529.3983) and Shangri La Plaza Mall (Tel Nos. 910.3272/632.7532).