The name alone just sounds amazing right? That’s what I thought when I came across this recipe from Cooking Light, my go-to source for easy, delicious and healthy meals.
So I had to try it! Not all of my magazine recipe experiments have paid off while here in Japan, but fortunately this one was exactly what I was looking for. It’s a whole meal, so no need to cook side dishes! If you’re here in Japan you might have to search to find coconut milk and curry powder, but I assure you they do exist. It’s rare to find limes, but many stores sell lime juice by the bottle. You might not find spinach leaves, but there are all sorts of leafy greens in the Japanese market that will work great. And if you are in Japan, you can disregard the recipe directions to buy a steak, freeze it and thinly slice. Just buy the shabu-shabu ready steak sliced at the market!
For those of you without markets that pre-slice your meat paper thin, take an inexpensive steak to the butcher counter and ask them to do it for you. Another note on this recipe is to disregard the call for peanut oil, any light oil will work fine. Does anyone making these recipes think we’ll taste the difference between a tablespoon of peanut oil and vegetable oil? You can make this dish with one pot, if you keep wiping it clean between uses, but I use two to expedite the process. I cook the soba and greens first in the large pot and set aside in the colander when finished. Then I saute the coconut sauce in the large pot while I fry up the beef in a smaller pan.
The coconut milk makes this dish so rich and quite un-Japanese, which is great for a rainy day when you’ve had your fill of gas station sushi (the butt of a joke in the states, but a viable dining option in Japan). The recipe says it serves six. When I make this, I follow the directions for the sauce quantities exactly, along with the beef and soba. I definitely don’t use 8 cups of bok choy, maybe two, and this makes enough for two people. I suppose by eating the equivalent of three servings, it stops being “healthy,” so if this concerns you, make the serving size correctly and add some veggies on the side.