Individual cooking stations, Japanese Shabu Shabu is fun as you get to cook your own meal according to your liking. Once seated in front of you is a burner that’s placed with a pot on top. You choose what type of broth you want, my personal favorite is their spicy sukiyaki, which is a sweet/spicy combination. From there, someone will leave two small bowls for each person, one bowl filled with toasted sesame seeds, in which you use the mortar and pestle to grind up. After that the bowl with the toasted sesame seeds will be filled up with a goma sauce, and the empty bowl with ponzu. These two will be used as your dipping sauces to dip your protein and veggies. If you’re like me and you enjoy spicy food they offer something called a hot drop. This is a condensed drop that is extremely spicy, I typically ask for 2-3 hot drops for each of my dipping sauces if you dare. Now if you are sensitive to spice, spare your tongue and don’t go for the heat as you will instantly regret it. They also offer side condiments of garlic paste, green onions, and spicy daikon radish. I would add a little of each to your sauce bowls, as well as your pot to enhance more flavors. If you decide to go with a simple broth, they do have chili oil, chili powder, sesame oil, and soy sauce. I would recommend adding sesame oil to your goma bowl as this will make the sauce even more delicious than it already is. They offer all types of protein from tofu, beef belly, pork belly, chicken and seafood options. A veggie bowl will be placed which usually will have Cabbage, bok choy, enoki mushrooms, carrots, kale, broccoli, tofu, and some udon noodles. If you would like modified veggies and prefer certains ones than others, make sure to let your server know, also, free veggie refills if you’re hungry! Make sure to save your noodles for the end as they will give you a bowl with a little concentrated soup base, where you add your stock from the pot and make a noodle soup, but make sure to cook the noodles for a few minutes inside your pot. To accompany the protein and veggies, they offer a mixture of brown/white rice to eat with. I typically cook my veggies as I go, it really cooks quick within a minute of a minute, the meat you use your chopsticks to swish around in the soup as that will cook instantly in seconds. I typically go for the beef belly here and shrimp paste, but this time I went with the brisket and shrimp paste. The brisket once again cooks in a matter of seconds so don’t drop your meat in the soup and overcook it. The shrimp paste is finely chopped shrimp, an egg, some massago, carrots, green onions, and seasoning. Once mixed together they form it into a loose ball which you add into your soup. This should take about 2 minutes to cook, I know it may sound weird, but the shrimp paste is delicious and very flavorful. We also had a side of their garlic edamame, and this does not disappoint at all, very flavorful with a just a bite, and a burst of garlic flavor. They do offer alcohol, all kinds of drinks, and desserts. Groups are more difficult to seat, I wouldn’t suggest going with more than four people, two is always best. I hope you give Mokkoji’s a try as this is my favorite place for Japanese Shabu Shabu.
Restaurant – Mokkoji
Cuisine – Japanese Hot Pot
Location – 14041 Jeffrey Road, Irvine, CA 92620
Contact – 949.451.0011