Backpacker Travel Trends and Culture Blog

Izuno Travel

Epicurious Japan – Shabu Shabu

June 7th, 2009 by Jordan


Shabu Shabu is a Japanese dish that is self served in a boiled water or broth. The dish Shabu Shabu is Japanese for Swish Swish, meaning you cook the meat and ingredients very quickly because the beef strips are so thin.  It makes for quick cooking/eating.  Main ingredients are usually a very thin sliced high end cut of beef, greens such as spinach, leeks or bok choy, shitake mushrooms, cabbage, and basically whatever else you want to throw in it.  Some start with chicken broth to add more flavor, and some use a ginger soy sauce to dip in.    I’ve listed a few different recipes I’ve found online to try it out at home, as I imagine it would be hard to make in a hostel.

Epicurious Shabu-Shabu
Food Network Shabu-Shabu

But if you want the true experience, you’ll have to go to Tokyo or Taiwan as I’ve heard these are some of the best places to get this dish or at least a version of it.  Hot Pot, Sukiyaki, are similar and while I’m not going to get into a debate about the history and origins of food here, I will say that this is one meal you may want to spend a little more money on than usual and be wary of cheap versions.  It’s all about the beef, and since the beef is cut so thin, and cooked so quickly, it’s important for your health to not get into cheap cuts.

Recipe Book: Favorite Japanese Dishes (Quick & Easy)

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Wanko Soba

March 20th, 2009 by Jordan


I figured the title of this post is interesting enough. Wanko Soba is more of a competition against the server than a type of food. Apparently, you have to eat all your noodles with sides of raw fish and other traditional Japanese side dishes before the server refills your bowl (generally numerous bowls are filled and eaten). And that is all the server wants to do is refill refill refill. Yell “MAITTA” and cover your bowl as long as you have finished your noodles to cease soba fire. Here are the full instructions.

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The Pink Box…Inside Japan’s Fantasy Clubs

March 9th, 2009 by Jordan


Interesting book American book stores probably don’t have on the shelves.  The Pink Box explores Japan’s sex fantasy clubs little known to westerners.  You can get a small sampling of the book and the crazy underground that is Tokyo here. Joan Sinclair takes some great photographs and dives into the scene.

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Me No Speak Travel Guides

July 10th, 2008 by Jordan

china thailand japan travel guide

The Me No Speak Travel Guide for China is going on year 4 I believe, but they have just recently introduced Japan and Thailand. These guides are pocket sized and full of pictures. Just turn to the color coded page for what you are trying to get (food…transportation….sex?) and point.

I like the fact that most Americans attempt to blend in while visiting Europe and such, but when we go to the East…it’s like…well screw it, I don’t even look the part so I don’t feel nearly as dumb pointing to elementary school pictures to find a toilet.  (And for the record…I’m not sure there is a section on sex)

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