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Watch: Chef Mako Okano Serves the World’s Only Shabu-Shabu Omakase

The chef wanted to do for the hot pot style what’s been done for sushi

Up until now, each episode of Omakase has centered around one of the many iterations of the style, including sushi, tempura, and kaiseki, but a shabu-shabu omakase was unheard of, both in the series and around the world — until chef Mako Okano and her team decided they wanted to do for shabu-shabu what had been done for sushi. Behind an eight-seat counter at her New York City restaurant Shabu Shabu Macoron, Okano is specializing in the Japanese hot pot tradition.

Traditionally in shabu-shabu, the meat and vegetables are briefly boiled in a subtle broth; Okano is careful not to cook any ingredient for too long, and lightly drops each piece in the broth for a few seconds. “Shabu-shabu is the onomatopoeia for this action,” explains Okano; in English, “shabu-shabu” means swish-swish. “The difference between our omakase and other omakase styles is that every dish on the menu is unified by the term shabu-shabu.”

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