Inna Scribbles

Shabu Zen (all meals 02/17/09)
February 17, 2009, 8:06 pm
Filed under: Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch, Meals, Snack

Hey bloggies! I just got home from my Spanish class, made my lunch for tomorrow (it’s gonna be a good one!), and am sitting down to blog before calling it a night. I seriously contemplated putting this post off until tomorrow, but I am way too excited about the amazingness that was my dinner to wait a whole night to tell you about it. So, on to the food!


I made zucchini muffins again on my day off Monday (thanks Lara!) and I really missed my yogurt combos with them so that was the obvious choice. I had 1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt with 1/2 banana, 3 strawberries, and a whole yummy muffin crumbled into it. Of course, I sprinkled it all with some cinnamon. Really good stuff.


Pre-workout snack:

Nonfat peach yogurt:



I managed to get to the gym a tiny bit before my class started, so I did a quick 1 mile run on the treadmill to warm up. That was followed by a great, sweaty bootcamp class. I can really see how I’m getting stronger- I’m able to do more and more of the exercised that seemed impossible when I first started. It’s really exciting and encouraging!


I whipped up a HUGE salad for lunch. So huge I managed to eat only half of it 🙂 Oh well. In the salad was a mix of spring mix and baby arugula, tomatoes, red onions, yellow bell pepper, lean turkey, and some fresh mozzarella. YUM.




And a wee clementine for dessert:



For those of you who have been following this blog for a while, you know that Tuesday night is date night for me and Ryan. It started because my Spanish class Tuesday nights doesn’t give me enough time to get home and cook dinner, but I’m loving it so much I’m hoping I may convince Ryan to stick with it even after class is over in a few weeks. Tonight we tried out a Japanese place in Boston’s Chinatown district called Shabu Zen.

This is one of the coolest dining experiences I have EVER had. Shabu Zen is a hot pot style restaurant, and despite living in San Francisco my whole life and believing I have tried EVERY form of Asian food possible (even things like Burmese) I have never tried hot pot style dining before. For those of you who don’t know what it is, here’s a description from good ol’ Wikipedia:

Hot pot (火锅, huǒ guō), or less commonly Chinese fondue, refers to several Chinese varieties of steamboat stew. It consists of a simmering metal pot of stock at the center of the dining table. While the hot pot is kept simmering, ingredients are placed into the pot and are cooked at the table. Typical hot pot dishes include thinly sliced meat, leafy vegetables, mushrooms, wontons, egg dumplings, and seafood. The cooked food is usually eaten with a dipping sauce. In many areas, hot pot meals are often eaten in the winter.”

How good does that sound? Other bonuses include absolutely delicious food, tons of healthy options, and it being quite inexpensive. Can’t beat that combo.

Here’s a picture of what was placed in front of us when we came in:


The top center of the picture is hot broth they give you when you come in. It’s placed over heat, and is boiling lightly the entire time so you can cook the stuff they bring you in it. You have the option to substitute the regular simple broth for something more fancy for extra $, but I just kept it simple and ate the standard broth. Over to the right is some nice hot tea. And center stage is the dipping sauce you mix for yourself. Center center is their homemade soy sauce, and the side dishes include a japanese bbq sauce, minced garlic, scallions, and fresh chilies. I threw everything in there and it made for a DELICIOUS dipping sauce. Here’s a pic:


Along with every meal comes a plate of yummy fresh veggies for you to throw into you broth and cook. The plate had cabbage, a carrot, a piece of corn, watercress, a mushroom, some broccoli, and even 2 piece of tofu!


Then you order your choice of meat and starch. I got the chicken (top left) and Ryan got the beef/pork combo (top right). He also got to have 2 starches since I didn’t want mine so he chose noodles and rice (bottom)


Everything gets thrown into the broth to be cooked. It doesn’t take long at all, and then you pull it out with your chopsticks and eat it dipped in the dipping sauce. SOOOOOOO good. Here are some of my veggies cooking:


And a piece of my cooked chicken dipped in sauce and ready to be consumed (not very pretty but you get the idea):


By the time you end up cooking all your food (in my case with Ryan’s help :)) the broth is deliciously flavored and you get to enjoy eating that as well:


Can you tell we really liked the food?:


If you live in Boston you should REALLY make a trip to Shabu Zen. And if you don’t you should visit just to go there. It’s soooooo worth it. I’m still drooling. It’s going to be really tough not going back there next week. On second thought, maybe I’ll go back there next week 🙂 It’s so great because the food is delicious, quite inexpensive ($29 for the two of us with over a 20% tip!), and really easily healthy if that’s how you choose to order. I honestly believe this meal was just as healthy as something I would have made at home- broth, lean boiled chicken, and a whole ton of boiled veggies. You got to cook it all yourself so you see exactly what goes in- everything they bring out to you is completely uncooked and unflavored and raw raw raw so you know it’s good. Ok, I’m going to stop raving now and go to bed. Night!


7 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Oh my gosh, love it!!! Love hot pot! It has been such a long time since I have had it, but it is sooo much fun!!!!

Comment by Sharon

i LOVE shabu shabu and shabu zen probably does it the best in boston! i’m glad you enjoyed your meal there!

Comment by sue

Too delicious for words!! My first hot pot experience I was with my cousin and his friend and I ate so much that the friend commented to the cousin that we are definitely related. It was kind of embarassing.

Comment by Lara

Thanks guys! For those of you who seem to know more about it, am I wrong about the healthy factor? It just seems to me that I don’t see where the bad stuff could be put in since I’m doing it all myself, but maybe I’m missing something? Thoughts?

Comment by innascribbles

I’m adding Shabu Zen to my list of restaurants to try… sounds fabulous!

Comment by Lauren

I’ve heard awesome things about this place. Great you enjoyed it! I need to put it on the list again. So many places, so little time to eat there… 🙂

Comment by Elina

[…] Tuesday night. Date night. Return to Shabu Zen night. Did you have any doubts I’d be going back there this week? I could barely wait a whole […]

Pingback by The Imminent Return (all meals 02/24/09) « Inna Scribbles

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