Friday, August 17, 2007

Serendipity and Shabu-shabu on a Sunday

- An entry to the SM Hypermarket blog-writing contest -

I loved to shop back in those gentle days I was a young wife and mom. I remember savoring supermarket sights, scents, and sounds, lane after sparkling lane; and feeling, as I push my trolley along the last alley, something close to regret.

Not anymore.

Where I go for grocery the past 15 years, I can shop blind-folded and ear-plugged. I know exactly which lanes to breeze through, skip, fuss over. As I buy the same stuff week after week, I finish in 45 minutes flat. Shopping has become so predictable it has lost its allure. This in turn inflicted the same” ho-hum” dullness on our home-cooked meals.

Another (simple) pleasure bites the dust!

I knew it couldn’t be just another weekend when my older daughter, a medical intern, came home unannounced late Saturday night after making herself scarce for the better part of two months. As she barely has time to gulp down cafeteria food at hospitals where she clerks at 36-hour stretches, she expects to eat GRANDLY when she’s home. You see, she has pretensions, too, of being a gourmand.

Sure enough, “MOMMEEEE, what’s for lunch?!” woke me up Sunday morning, earlier than my usual rise-and-shine hour.

Like the dummy I always am when woken prematurely, I opened the fridge to confirm what I already knew: that it was practically empty.

A light bulb flashed – luckily, one usually does when I’m desperate enough. “Let’s eat out, then shop,” I announced to my girls. I knew, without asking, hubby and the boys would rather stay home for television boxing and last night’s leftovers.

We reached SM Hypermarket inside ten minutes. It was only our third time there. At Taste Asia, the food court that puts some upscale restaurant to shame, I gave my girls and their friends who met us there some peso bills, ignoring “how-cheap” catcalls and giggles.

The youngsters ordered hot platters at the Asian Fusion counter, but for the gourmand who bought as well fresh giant squid at the paluto stall and had it grilled.

As for me, I settled for popia (Chinese springrolls) as I dutifully stuck to my diet, only to junk it when I saw puto bumbong.

As the girls dispersed after lunch – a pair to duplicate keys at Keycard, the other to browse at Books for Less -- I entered the supermarket, with half a mind on buying stuff for a special home-cooked dinner and the other half, expecting no surprises.

I met serendipity by the meat section, where there was this counter like no other.

It looked like a cross between a sweet and a sushi shop –with little mounds of pastry-like stuff in delightful shapes and colors. I looked and looked again, fascinated. Finally, I had to ask what they were. “Shabu-shabu po, ma’am” was the bemused reply. “Shabu-shabu as in hot-pot?” “Yes, ma’am!”

By this time, the girls had reappeared and taken over. They had a field day choosing – tofu cubes, crabsticks, hot’n’spicy shrimp balls, fish dumbbells, fancy fishballs the shape of panda bear faces. I left them awhile for chicken breast, sotanghon, spring onions, cabbage, pechay wombok.

“Ma’am you’ll need satay and chili sauce, too,” the eager crew reminded us. A pair of girls gladly ran where they were pointed to.

At home that night, we had steaming, eat-all-you-can shabu-shabu with satay-chili dip that heated up palates and warmed hearts -- prepared by younger daughter who swore it was easier than frying an egg.

Later, as my family settled down to a home movie, I wondered at the possibility of retrieving (simple) joys temporarily mislaid.

"Be updated and interact with SM Hypermarket through its blog."


Here's how my daughter -- who can't distinguish coriander from colander -- prepared shabu-shabu, thanks to the smiling counter crew who gave us almost idiot-proof instuctions:

In boiling water (8-10 cups), toss in minced onions and 2 beef cubes and 1-2 cups sliced chicken breast fillet. Simmer 10 minutes or even just 5 if the mob is impatient. Add upwards of 600 grams assorted shabu-shabu meat (fish balls, tofu cubes, shrimp balls, crabsticks, etc.). Bring to a boil. Add sotanghon and veggies of choice (spring onions, pechay wombok, cabbage, sweet peas, carrots, etc.). Bring to a boil. Season with 2 tablespoons or more satay sauce, salt, and pepper, according to taste.

Serve steaming (we set the kaldero on the table and let the mobsters fill up their bowls themselves) with a satay-chili sauce dip.

Be prepared to sweat and singhot-singhot while you enjoy. Be ready, too, for raves from the mob to the chef.

Tips: I'd suggest a 1:1 ratio of water to diner to make almost 2 cups of the pot per person. Another tip: you can put in slices of almost any meat (including liver) or seafood. And if you have soup stock, why, you don't need beef cubes, of course.


ScroochChronicles said...

Me again, first!! Hehehe :)

Sarap naman. I miss eating shabushabu. Actually, I miss eating out with my Mom. I'll make a mental note to invite her this week.

Diet? You? Why?

MrsPartyGirl said...

hi annamanila, wow, ang galing naman ng SM to offer those! two-fold happiness for you - it rejuvenated both your shopping experience as well as your home dinner menu. :D

Gina said...

Yummmm, shabu-shabu!!! It's been 'a million years' since I've enjoyed that delightful fare! Sarap naman...
Looked like it was a fun girls' day out.

kate said...

hmm that looks yum :) won't miss it the next time around :)

Jigs said...

Wow! Shabu-shabu! I've been to SM Hypermarket but I have yet to see that section! I swear the next time I pass by, I'll definitely check it out and buy some for my own eat all you can! Weeeee!

I saw you pala on the Lifestyle channel! Mom Works show! Very lovely! Hehe!

Mitch said...

Kagutom naman yan!

gibbs cadiz said...

luv this post. brings back (long-ago) happy memories. hay. :)

rowena said...

Hi Annamanila, ang sarap naman ng shabu-shabu. I haven't tried that at home. Buti nag post ka, me new dish na uli kami dito sa house. Btw, are you coming to the Bloggers Party? I would like to meet you na my buddy. :-)

lady cess said...

diba may contest ang sm hypermart?
youre gonna win!!!
you made me feel i must go to sm and buy shabushabu ingredients :D
saw you on tv.
i still say you look regal, like a queen.
big online hug from me!

Leah said...

Thanks for sharing the joys found on a nice lazy Sunday afternoon! What great finds and I'm lots and lots of fun!

Chateau said...

I hope you win! (10x)


There's a shabu-shabu place at SM North-The Block. I think it will be a more pleasant experience than the one we had at TongYang (ambience-wise)... Hmmm, mahilig ka pala sa shabu-shabu.

exskindiver said...

this post made me home sick.
the idea that one can enjoy such delicious food
(was it truly affordable? or were your daughters just messing with you?)
without the hassle of a big production is such an enticing thing for me.
i have regular haunts every time i go home to manila--looks like this place will be added to my list.
will you meet me there?

Mitch said...

Talaga ang SM di pa din nagbabago, they really deserve the slogan "we got it all for you". Hihihihi!

So sad, di ko ma-enjoy ang hypermarket. :( Sana magbranch out din sila sa MiddleEast hehe!

Belle said...

shabushabu? they look like sweets to me, don't they? seriously though, i love that bowl of shabu-shabu that your daughter fixed for dinner. but, i prefer mine with lots of veggies in it like bean sprouts, basil leaves, and top with some hot chili..yum yum!

evi said...

the meal you had for dinner looks palatable!

Jeric said...

I haven't tried Shabushabu! Poor me :( I am hoping to try them really soon.

feng said...

love shabu-shabu dining too. we often troop the Tong Yang resto at the back of our Office whenever we have extra budget, or kapag may bonus na! :)

I haven't tried the one SM Hypermart though.

hope you win AnnaManila. treat mo kami nina Cookie, Chats and Ladycess ha. :)

intsik said...

hi dear!

nostalgia. written all over your post. i am actually smiling. sundays are usually my family's chicken deli night back in bacolod (where it's manok country).

i miss my mom all th emore when you detailed on your taste of asia visit. :(

im going home soon and rekindle those great sunday malling and dinners.

thanks for this. :)

Gypsy said...

Shabu shabu on a rainy day!! A mom after my own heart! Sigh...;)

snglguy said...

I prefer my shabu shabu soup filled to the max with spicy sate and the tender goodness of thinly sliced beef with strips of fat pa ha? Yumm... :-)

Annamanila said...

I am sure your mom would be delighted to go out with you .. just like old times. :)

Ay, am not really fat but i got this spreading (post) middle age middle. hahaha I don't wanna to buy new pairs of pants. lol

Annamanila said...

Ms. Partygirl!

Very well said: two fold happiness. You're so perceptive, ms.partygirl.

This entry is not fictive lol ... i really think i can recover my love of shopping. Sayang din yun di ba? lol

Annamanila said...


It was really fun. I went shopping for a reason you know ... but the events unfolded by themselves ... serendipity talaga. I didnt have to manipulate anyting.

First time namin to try homecooked shabu-shabu.

Annamanila said...


The following Sunday (yesterday, that was exactly our dinner too. All smiles nga sa amin ang counter crew.

Di bale there will be more shabu-shabu dinners to come. Give us a day's notice and be our guest!

Annamanila said...


Di ba you love to cook too .. or is that Paolo? Anyway, even a kitchen newbie can prepare it .. so easy. I gave the recipe in a postscript.

Annamanila said...


I am sure you can prepare a version of it where you are. Look at the recipe that I made pahabol in my post.

Annamanila said...


Now, you have to explain: what memories? and with whom? hahaha

Annamanila said...


Oo nga, it's always nice to be able to infuse something new into our tired repertoire of dishes ano.

There's a blogger meet? Where? Is this what Dine and Chats were telling me about? Uhmmm .. I'd like to see you too .. but i dunno.

Annamanila said...

May you speak with the tongue of an angel ... both ways. Lady Cess! Regal? uhmmm i always thought i look pleasantly peasanty. Seriously, I sure appreciate your peptalk. hahaha

Annamanila said...


You can say that again! It was a pleasant experience and really unexpected and uncontrived. Serendipity is the sincere word for it.

Annamanila said...


Talaga, then let's try it the next time we go out with the berks. haha.

I wasn't really crazy about hotpot .. more crazy about hot plate. But the product of that shopping was truly great. In my eldest son's words, 'mas masarap kaysa sa restaurant hotpot.' That's not fiction. hehehe.

Annamanila said...


Then its settled ... SM Hypermarket will be the venue of our EB early next year (or is it late this year?) What a great idea. Will invite other PMN moms. Will count the days.

Annamanila said...


That's a good slogan, yeah!

Hey, you can make shabu-shabu in India. Show off to your inlaws. (I put the recipe after my post .. check it out.)

Annamanila said...


We were in a hurry to take pictures we forgot to put in the rest of the veggies.

Yup, I gazed at the counter and couldnt really make it out. Pero when I came back a week after, there was already a sign 'shabu shabu counter' unless i overlooked it.

Annamanila said...


Thanks. It was indeed yummy! We had it again exactly a week after. hahaha

Annamanila said...


Look at the recipe I postscripted in my entry. Its so easy to do. You can have the hotpot steaming in less than 20 minutes. Serious.

Annamanila said...


Why don't you enter the contest too? Uhmmm you got a day to enter. lol Then YOU treat us. :)

Annamanila said...


Exactly, hotpot is best on a rainy day. Good for steaming the chills away.

Annamanila said...


I made the nostalgia palpable. It was a real waste -- the loss of my joy of shopping. Di ba we should conserve/preserve our mababaw na kaligayahan. Now, I really think it's possible to recover it.

Annamanila said...


Strips of beef fat! hah, you really prefer a dangerous life. Pero masarap talaga yon .. especially sa hot plate o sa beef tapa. Uhmm yum yum.

Major Tom said...

This should be one good meal that I must learn to cook; I like hot soups so well, especially the chinese kind. I never thought really that shabu-shabu could be so as easy as that...thanks for the hints...

Jerry said...

Idiot proof? You mean AYE, who am borderlinely idiotic, can prepare hotpot? Ah, this I got to try. Shabu shabu counter at SM hypermart, here i come.

auee said...

I have yet to try shabu-shabu but I'm sure I'd love it... Nakakagutom naman itong post mo. Why are you on a diet? To lose/gain weight or for other health reasons?

Toe said...

You're so cool! Going to the food court with your those adorable young girls! I love shabu-shabu too. Cambodians also do a lot of those and they have it in their small carinderias. Kaya lang, piho ko e gamit nila ay pinaghugasan ng plato para sa sabaw.. hehehe! :)

pining said...

...para ngang sweet shop, he he
might try your recipe pag nagawi ng Chinatown, looks scrummy, sounds scrummy *drools*

SASSY MOM said...

It's been ages since I've been to shabu-shabu. Grabe! When I was in another company, one of the big bosses there loves shabu-shabu, so it was there that I tasted this dish.
With the rainy, it's soo tempting to have that soup stock.

Annamanila said...

Major Tom!

Hindi ba, everyone should have a videoke piece na pwede nyang kantahin pag kahiyaan a?

Ganun din sa cooking. You must have a recipe you can prepare easily and still really brag about.

It may well be hotpot. Serious.

Annamanila said...


Yes, Jerry proof! hehehe hwag pikon ha. I know you can cook naman a mean tinola.

Annamanila said...


Nope, not health reasons really. Just for aesthetics. LOL You see, I have this very narrow frame which looks incongrous with my bilbil. hahaha Just trying to keep that bilbil under check.

Yes, quick and easy shabushabu. Try mo.

Annamanila said...


Cool ... yeah. Ganun ba ... sabi ko pa naman next travel destination ko dyan -- anyway yung bandang laos, cambodia, vietnam.

Annamanila said...


Hayan .. may natutuhan na naman ako sa yo ... 'scrummy.' Pwede din ba scrumpy? Or is that a brandname of a hazel nut spread? hehehe

Annamanila said...

Sassy mom!

When you want something different for your family .. you can try it. Ay, parang gusto ko na yatang mag-food blog. Saya!

Jap said...

I thought at first that you bumped into a candy cart! But on that bowl it looks like a hearty meal indeed! =) Such a fun bonding day, Anna =)

Annamanila said...


Oo nga, di ba? I was really intrigued and had to ask what the stuff were. So providential ... for I wanted ingredients for dinner and material for a story. :)

geri said...

from 8,000 miles - kakagutom naman!

Noemi said...

that made me really hungry. I hope they server shabu-shabu later. see you there.

Heart of Rachel said...

Hi Annamanila. Wonderful write-up. I saw some photos of you at Noemi's blog. Glad you had fun at the event.

What a coincidence, my in-laws invited us tonight and we're having shabu-shabu.

Have a great weekend!

kathy said...

Hmm, I wonder why they called it "shabu shabu" when it absolutely looks different from the "shabu shabu" they have here in Japan. Here, shabu2x is also hot pot, but with very thin strips of beef which you briefly immerse in the hot water for a few seconds, just enough to cook it. Plus some vegetables like carrots and cabbage.

At any rate, that shabu2x you had looks very "oishii ne!" :)

annamanila said...


8,000 miles ba? My goodness, that's a click away?!

annamanila said...


I thought a couple would have shabu-shabu in KL real soon ah. Di bale more luck next time.

annamanila said...


AT least for you, I wrote that up wonderfully. And I am content. :)

annamanila said...


You know naman how dish or something else mutates as it is passed from person to person, from place to place. So many variants! So its strips of beefs in Japan ha .. sukiyaki style ba? I luv sukiyako too!

Gina said...


Just watched the video of your tv appearance. I'm so proud of you! I got kinda starstruck and told Tony, Hey! that's my blogpal Annamanila! Oh,di ba sobrang proud?

Gina said...

Watched it on Noemi's blog pala.

Mitch said...

Arbor naman ng shades bwehehehe! said...

Hi Myrna. I should try that shabu-shabu there one time. I got stuck na kasi with my favorite shabu-shabu restaurant sa SM North The Block.

I saw your video interview on YouTube at Noemi's blog. Congratulations sa inyo!

Annamanila said...


We watched it at almost same time. Katen Borbon very thoughtfully gave us a link to the video the other night. That was how I saw it.

Thanks for being "proud" of your blog buddy. That makes me so happy. :)

Annamanila said...


My son beat you to it. My son made arbor na the Nike shades. Aba, feeling pogi na. :)

Annamanila said...


That was great home cooked shabu-shabu that we had that Sunday, which had an encore exactly a week before. Try it ... easy and quick cooking!

Thanks .. wow Janet Toral visited me!!!

Annamanila said...

Hello all!

Thea above entry won a pair of Nike sun glasses! A consolation prize, and I am consoled. :)

Have yet to properly thank SM Hypermarket through a blog. Will soon! -- as soon as I get back the camera lent by my daughter to a friend, as soon as I retrieve the gift-Nike shades spirited by my son long enough to take pics, and other sundry excuses. :)

diogenes said...

Life sometimes can be as busy as this :-)

vernaloo said...

Ugh! nagutom tuloy ako Anna hehehe :)

I don't know how to prepare Shabu-Shabu but it looked simple when my cousin did it last time. Well maybe it is hehe :)

Annamanila said...


Yes, work was more demanding than usual.

I know you're busy too now that school has opened.

Annamanila said...


If my bonch can cook shabu-shabu, anyone can. :)

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