Shabu Shabu

A few weeks ago we had the pleasure of going out to dinner again with our Korean friends.  They took us to a restaurant called Shabu Paul’s.  Shabu Shabu is a style of food about which I know next to nothing except my own singular experience.  I fully expect lots of corrections in the comments section.

Meet Ji Won and Byung Wook.
Aren’t they so nice-looking? And put-together?
If you’re wondering why they hang out with our
brood of maniacs, you’re not alone.

Similar to Korean BBQ (gogi gui, shabu shabu takes place around a table where you are brought various dishes and then cook your own food.  Rather than over an open flame, however, you cook in a heated pot of broth.

I REPEAT: THERE IS A BOILING POT OF BROTH IN THE CENTER OF A LOW TABLE.

As most of you know (or can guess),  a hot cooking area + small grabby children = a flustered mama.  And since my kids include both a marauder and a caveman, well… ahem.  Since I just began reading The Hobbit, I’ll stay on the positive side and call the experience an adventure.

Spoiler alert: no one went to the hospital as a result of this meal.  And this is why:

Hallelujah! Grateful beyond words for this playroom. Now back to the yummy stuff.

First, you order your food: (For the second time in two weeks, I find myself warning: Vegetarians, avert your eyes!)

Then you cook your vegetables (mushrooms, greens, sprouts) in the broth.
After the veggies have softened, add the meat and seafood to the broth.
Now there’e a Korean Renaissance man: he cooks AND plays with his kids!
And ours too!
As the food finishes cooking, it is placed in individual bowls and served with all sorts of delicious banchan and delectable sauces.
Once the vegetables, meat, and seafood are finished cooking, it’s time to add the noodles to the broth.  I missed this whole event though.  I must have been in the playroom preventing the untimely demise of one/many unsuspecting Korean children at the clutches of my maniacal brood.
Note the despondent child in front of the video games.
No doubt one of my kids did something obscene/absurd.

After the noodles are cooked and subsequently slurped, the waitress comes to your table to prepare the final course: juk, a savory rice porridge.

You begin by adding this to the broth:
Which looks like this while cooking:
Which ultimately becomes this:
Someone is holding a chopstick in front of the lens of the camera.
It may or may not be me, trying to eat while photographing.
In summation: the kids had a blast, the food and company were beyond reproach, and I only  counted  17 separate moments of panic/anxiety/heart palpitations.  I highly recommend shabu shabu to anyone who is childless, or to parents of mild-mannered, compliant kids.  The next time I go, however, it will be on a date with my hubby while my own children are home with a babysitter.  
So, in other words, I probably won’t ever got to shabu shabu again.
Now for a few photos that have no reason to be included in this post other than the fact that I find them funny or adorable.
You expect us to eat WHAT?

Octopus, anyone?

Zeke: a child of the post-technology generation.
He thinks a computer mouse is a cell phone.

To look at Gabriel, you’d think he was terrified.
Except this is the 143rd time down the zip line.

Ta Min (Diana) and Ji Won.  Aren’t they cute?