This recipe is the ultimate comfort food, providing a fun, flavorful way to incorporate pork, noodles and vegetables into a single dish. Easy to make, this udon soup is perfect for serving friends and family — especially as the weather starts to turn cold.
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Shabu-shabu is one of Japan's most popular hot pot dishes along with Sukiyaki. It consists of raw assorted vegetables, tofu, and paper-thin slices of raw beef (or pork) cooked in kombu dashi (broth). The name "shabu-shabu" comes from the Japanese sound and action of the thinly sliced meat being swished with chopsticks in the hot pot. Typically shabu-shabu is served with broth in a clay pot on portable stoves. The raw ingredients are served on two plates, one for the meat and one for all the vegetables. It's a fun meal since everyone sits around the hot pot and cooks together.
Spaghetti can be used in place of udon noodles, if desired. You can find red curry paste at Oriental markets; made primarily from chiles and very concentrated, it imparts a spicy, salty flavor all its own.
Notes: Fresh udon noodles (1/4 to 3/8 in. thick) can be found in many supermarkets and in Asian markets. You can also use similarly shaped fresh Shanghai-style noodles. Reserve any seasoning packets that come with the noodles for other uses.