Shabu Shabu Recipe しゃぶしゃぶ

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Shabu Shabu | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

It’s the holiday season and it’s the time for friends and family to get together. What’s the best Japanese meal for this occasion? It’s Shabu Shabu!

Shabu shabu is one of Japan’s most popular hot pot dishes along with Sukiyaki. It consists of raw assorted vegetables, tofu, and paper-thin slices of raw beef (or pork) cooked in kombu dashi (broth).

The name “Shabu Shabu” comes from the Japanese sound and action of the thinly sliced meat being swished with chopsticks in the hot pot.

Shabu Shabu | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

Typically Shabu Shabu is served with broth in a donabe (土鍋) earthenware/clay pot on a portal stove. The raw ingredients are served on two plates, one for the meat and one for all the veggies. It’s a fun meal since everyone sits around the hot pot and cooks together.

Shabu Shabu | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

I as a mom love this dish because I don’t have to cook – all I need to do is to chop vegetables 15 minutes before dinner and let everyone cook dinner together. It’s a very low fat meal and great way to eat a lot of vegetables! Enjoy this quick and delicious Japanese winter meal!

Shabu Shabu | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

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Shabu Shabu
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: Serves 4
Ingredients
  • 3 inch dried kombu seaweed
  • ½ head of napa cabbage, washed and cut
  • ½ bunch ‘shungiku’ (Tong Hao, Garland Chrysanthemum), washed and cut
  • 1 pkg enoki mushrooms, stalks removed and pulled apart
  • 8 shiitake mushrooms, stem removed
  • 2 inch carrot, peeled and cut into thin round slices
  • 1 pkg shimeji mushrooms, stalks removed and pulled apart
  • 1 block medium/firm tofu, cut into 1.5 inch square
  • 1 negi/Tokyo Negi, washed and cut diagonally into 2-inch pieces (can be substitute with leeks)
  • 1 ½ - 2 lb sirloin beef (or pork loin), sliced very thinly, or buy pre-sliced ‘shabu shabu’ meat
  • 1 package udon (I like Sanuki Udon)
  • Sesame Sauce* (homemade recipe)
  • Ponzu Sauce* (homemade recipe)
  • Grated Daikon
  • Shichimi Togarashi (Japanese seven flavor Chili pepper)
Instructions
  1. Fill a clay pot or large pot (such as Le Creuset) two-thirds full with water. Add the dried seaweed and soak kombu in the water for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile make Sesame Sauce and Ponzu Sauce if you make homemade version.
  3. Cut vegetables.
  4. This is how my aunt taught me to cut and wash enoki.
  5. You can decorate shiitake mushrooms and carrot like this. See Cutting Techniques.
  6. Arrange all the ingredients on a serving plate. Set a portable gas burner and place ingredient plate on a table. Give each guest a bowl of rice and a bowl for cooked food, and a sauce dish for each ponzu sauce and sesame sauce.
  7. Over the kitchen stove, simmer over a medium heat for about 10 minutes. Take out the kombu when the water starts to boil.
  8. Bring the broth to the boil. Add stem part of napa cabbage and shungiku, Tokyo Negi, carrots, some mushrooms, and tofu. You want to start with the food that take the longest to cook.
  9. Now bring the pot of boiling broth to the table. Each person cook their beef by dipping a slice of beef in the boiling broth with chopsticks. Swish it gently back and forth until the meat changes color (10-20 seconds).
  10. Enjoy the meat by dipping in either sauce. You can add grated daikon and shichimi togarashi in Ponzu Sauce. Take out the cooked food from the pot as they are done and dip them in either sauce.
  11. Add remaining ingredients as necessary in the boiling broth and simmer for a few minutes.
  12. Skim off the scum and fat from the broth as you repeat cooking. We prepare a sieve and a bowl filled with water at the table for this purpose. Water will help you get rid of scum from the sieve.
  13. End the meal with Udon noodle. When most or all of the ingredients are taken out from the broth, add Udon noodles in the pot and cook for a few minutes. Flavor udon with just bit of salt and white pepper or dip in Ponzu Sauce.
Notes
* You can purchase sesame sauce and ponzu sauce from Japanese/Asian supermarkets.

Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.

 

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  1. Yey, shabu shabu, unbelievably oishiso! Your step-by-step instruction with photos is just amazing and can tell that you are very organized:-) Happy December!

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  2. I have never had shabu-shabu, but the name is so cute I have always wanted to taste it (even when I had no idea what it was) just because of the name! Now, after devouring your tempting beautiful photos, I know exactly why I want to make it! The taste must be fantastic. Your carrots are sooooo cute! I must buy a carrot cutter and impress my husband 😉
    I will remember the enoki washing tip. Very clever and so simple! (As all the best practical tips are!).

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  3. oh at last a dish I recognize! It’s my son’s fave dish in Tokyo…. I’ll make this next time he visits. Their childhood flashes by too quickly, that’s for sure!

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  4. Oooh I love shabu shabu, have not made it for such a long time. I have trouble obtaining some ingredients in spain, so this is a dish I have to make if and when I can purchase all ingredients at once, not very often. Love your recipe too.

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  5. This is like the steamboat we having here, we put veggie, mushroom, dumplings , seafood, meat, fish balls and etc into broth..we just love it. I have not try shabu-shabu before but I know this is delicious.

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  6. Oh my, I just love Shabu Shabu! I order it all the time when we eat at Japanese restaurants. And I learned so much today from your recipe and photos. Never knew that was the correct way to cut the enoki…so now I know better. Thanks for sharing this amazing dish! Happy Fri., Nami!

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  7. I can’t get over how pretty your food looks Nami! Quite different from the way we Indians eat :) Very little thought goes into presentation in India… lol…
    Beautiful photos too, Especially the ingredients shot and the first photo :)

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  8. Yummy! We love shabu shabu! I am so excited about your sesame sauce recipe, Trini doesn’t care for ponzu dipping sauce, so last time we had hot pot, I bought some sesame sauce from the store for her. 1 dip and she made the worst face! I will try your recipe the next time we have shabu shabu! Have a great weekend!

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  9. WOW this looks absolutely delicious and I’m SO glad my computer is finally letting me on your site again!! For some reason it always said blocked and I could never see your wonderful recipes :( Also feel free to stop by my blog and check out the $50 Williams-Sonoma gift card giveaway going on right now! xoxo

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  10. This is a wonderful recipe to share Nami! It also happens to be one of my father’s favorite Japanese dishes (he is also a big fan of Sukiyaki) so I will be giving this a try soon. :) I love the concept of everyone cooking together too…that is always a hit for kids. Have a great weekend. Hopefully those high winds didn’t cause too much trouble for you guys. It was wild up here in the mountains!

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  11. Fabulous Nami. So glad you posted this. Such a great meal and a wonderful way to have the whole fmily in on the cooking and eating. Have a great weekend.

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  12. Eri

    I’m imprest once again Nami, this family dinner must be fun! Thank you for showing how we clean enoki!
    Have a great weekend!

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  13. We must be on the same wavelength. On Wednesday, I was just thinking that it is cold enough now in the Bay Area to make a Hot Pot (Chinese version of Shabu Shabu)! I love this dish too because it is so easy to make. Everyone just gather up at the self-service cooking “station” and cook, eat, and enjoy each other’s company. I’ll be making this tomorrow night. =)

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  14. Aren’t do-it-yourself meals just great? It’s like Mum’s day off from cooking. We usually do it steam boat style, with spicy sauce. I like the broth and sauces you’ve used.

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  15. Yay, I don’t think I had shabu shabu before, although I’ve definitely had sukiyaki and I LOVE it.

    “The name “Shabu Shabu” comes from the Japanese sound and action of the thinly sliced meat being swished with chopsticks in the hot pot.”

    That’s why I love blogging – finding out all these things which I probably wouldn’t normally. I can’t believe the dish is named after that… that’s so fun 😀 I agree too – it’s so great because you spend a bit of time chopping and then everyone can sit down and talk and enjoy and cook together… great family experience! Your bowl looks so beautifully arranged… My pot I use for Sukiyaki is WAY too big and so it’s like throwing a mushroom into a swimming pool. All the things bob around all over the place in the stock, instead of staying still and simmering away nicely :(

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  16. My wife was describing to me how she loves Shabu Shabu because I’ve never had it before. Okay Nami, Japanese food and I don’t have to cook. . . I think that is something I can do. :) I love all the ingredients especially those beautiful-looking beef. Have a good weekend, Nami! :)

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  17. Sook

    Ah my husband and I love this! shabu shabu! Such a fun name to say, too! It’s similar to a dish that I used to have in Korea – I love that there are so many similarities between Japanese and Korean food (well, other than all the spicy food, of course). I think it’s a fairly “expensive” dish in Korea, too. I think the one we have in Korea is what they used to serve the kings and queens. Pretty fancy, I must say! Can’t wait to try this recipe, Nami! Thanks for sharing!

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  18. OH, Nami! Seriously, I would LOVE to be a guest in your home just for a meal or two. I’ve never eaten restaurant food that appealed to me as much as your recipes and photos. Nice work!

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  19. しゃぶしゃぶ、、大好きです!!
    あれだとどんどんお腹に入っていってしまいますよね

    タレもぽんずもゴマもどっちも大好きです〜
    この時期はやっぱりお鍋がいいなぁ・・・ 

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  20. Your step by step instructions and photographs are amazing. Hey, I make carrot flowers, too and my daughter will say you don’t have to do this, just for the soup or salad. and i like these cooking together type of dinners.

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  21. Shabu shabu is one of the most popular Japanese dishes in Korea. I actually make this at home sometimes, but of course yours look much better and delicious. Great photos!

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  22. I’ve never had shabu shabu but will start looking for any restaurants in town that serve it because I’d heard of it in the past and it sounds very tasty.

    By the way, with Christmas coming, do you ever use furoshiki techniques in your gift wrapping? I just saw a cooking program today and they had a guest who wrapped a flat package using the technique as well as creating a ‘handbag’ to hold a number of different gifts. It looks like a lot of fun and would be a great way to wrap bottles which are often given as gifts at this time of year.

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    • Furoshiki is a cloth and very flexible to wrap something hard to wrap with paper – like a wine bottle. We don’t use furoshiki to wrap something anymore. We usually use it to carry it. You bring a wine so wrap it and bring, but you bring back your furoshiki home. Also when you dress up in Kimono, you use furoshiki to carry things as well. Over all we started to see very less furoshiki around… I’m glad you enjoyed the show. :-)

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  23. Nami this looks so healthy and vibrant. I love the presentation of it. You always take such wonderful photos. I hope your holiday season is overflowing with joy!

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  24. I don’t eat meat but I am stopping for a comment to tell you that I wished that I had learned to wash enoki like this before! Well, better late than never and thank you for sharing :-).

    Ciao
    Alessandra

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  25. I agree, sometimes the days/weeks/months seem to fly by. I can see how this is a great way to get the kids to eat lots of veggies. I really love the shapes you make with the carrots. I keep meaning to try this! Another beautiful post!

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  26. I am with you on that — this year has flown by crazy fast. It feels like it should be May, not December! The only saving grace is that this time of year brings such warm, hearty dishes like these. I mean, I guess you could eat this in the summer, but it just wouldn’t be the same when you’re wearing shorts and flip-flops. 😉

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  27. Ahh! Shabu-shabu! Why I never thought that the name comes from the sizzling sound and action of meat in the hotpot. It makes complete sense!:) The hotpot is gaining its popularity in Penang & I’m glad that you’re sharing your recipe here. My favorites are always the sliced beef and mushrooms. Yummy! We’ll be having our annual hotpot (Malaysian-Chinese style) soon too…holiday is definitely here. Have a great week, Nami!

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  28. I love shabu shabu :)! In Germany we like to do raclette or fondue, which are similar to shabu shabu – they’re great for family gathering, but shabu shabu is indeed healthier. It’s a good time to hot pot again, it’s getting terribly cold over here and now we’re just waiting for the snow to come…

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  29. Exactly! I was just chatting with my friend last week and arrived at the same point about next year being just next month! The Chinese also loves their hot pot this time of the year – one reason being Chinese New Year is approaching and hot pot is quite common in reunion meals and gatherings.

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  30. You know after Sushi this is my favorite Japanese dish – i order it all the time. Unfortunatly some place don’t make it as fancy as in Japane. I love how you get this huge hot boiling pot of water in the center of the table – oh yum so good. Also every time i make this at home i have to go and get thinly carved meet at the Asian store – since in the regular grocery store they don’t carve the meet that thin.

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  31. First ramen and now shabu shabu, you’re doing all my favorites! I’ll confess to you that I’m not the biggest fan of Chinese hotpot, but I love shabu. And it sounds perfect with winter coming.

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  32. I have never had shabu shabu before until last week when we went to Jusco mall in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. We decided our dinner in a Japanese restaurant that serve individual mini hot pots. I’m so sorry to say that the food wasn’t nice and very expensive(5 of us, 3 adults and 2 kids had a RM$200 plus meal)! We’ll never ever go back there again.
    I’ll just refer to this post if I want to have shabu shabu again! 😉

    *I always cut and wash my enoki this way too bcoz it’s easier as they will not be ‘washed’ away into the sink. Hee.. :)

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  33. Dear Nami,

    Shabu shabu and sukiyaki are my favourites too especially during winter months. It is such a great way to eat because friends can just cook whatever they like. I especially like the raw beef to be just slightly cooked and the dipping sauces are another attraction.

    77
  34. Shabu shabu, or Hot Pot in Chinese, has to be one of my all time favorite ways to enjoy fresh meat and vegetables.

    The Shabu shabu gives more thoughts to the ingredients while many versions of hot pot put quite some emphasis on the broth base. But I love all types of shabu shabu and hot pot especially in this winter season!

    Thanks for sharing the recipe. Great pictures!

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  35. I have always wanted to have a real shabu shabu dinner. It seems like it would make for a great meal to have with good company and conversation. Your photos for this dish are outstanding!

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  36. Hi Nami,

    I miss eating shabu shabu! Natsukashii! It’s great that you included a recipe for the sesame sauce too. Some day I may have to venture out and find all of these ingredients and try your recipe.

    – Michael

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    • Hi Dani! Thank you so much for your comment. Shabu shabu uses lots of veggies and it’s such a light and healthy balanced meal. Not to mention it’s easy to prepare… :) Enjoy!

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  37. Dr.B.M.Sharma

    Hello. Good evening India time. Every item presented in the most elegant manner. I respect your Quality Care for the foods. Loved it. I would replace Beef slice or Pork with properly baked Potato Slice; if to make it Vegetarian..!!! Would it work? Me sure it should. Potato slice baked and pasted with little salt and black pepper..

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    • Hi Dr. Sharma! I don’t think baked potao slices would work here as they get soggy in a boiling stock, but you can substitute with chicken or other kinds of meat/seafood or simply use vegetables. Hope that helps. :)

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  38. Sunny

    So as you suggested, we had shabu shabu last night. It was awesome, you would think sukiyaki is tastier, but the broth becomes tasty and i had shabu shabu at the restaurant and already liked the two different sauces. I tried your ponzu, but i like the recipe i use better (i infuse a piece of kombu and a little bit of katsuobushi in 120mL of shoyu overnight, then filter it and add 4tbsp mirin, 4tbsp of lemon juice and 4tbsp of mandarine juice. You can use whatever, 4tbsp sour citrus juice, 4tbsp sweet citrus, i like to mix them and do with what i have : yuzu juice, blood orange, limes…). On the other hand, just reading the ingredients of your sesame sauce and i knew this would be the best one i ever had, and i was right. I like the heat of the raw sake and mirin, and even though the alcohol level is low, im not supposed to take alcohol so i stress. Is there any extra step i could take, like evaporate the alcool of sake and mirin before mixing them to the other ingredients or something…? Thank you so much again, ill be making hot pots all winter if you have other ideas !

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  39. Maya

    I love this meal so much! After my family eats the udon, we add raw eggs and rice and cook it in the remaining broth. This is my favorite part, mainly because I like eggs. ^^ I must eat shabu shabu now… Thanks for sharing this recipe!

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  40. Marcella

    I just found a wonderful website. Please continue with all your wonderful recipes, stories and explanations. I have learned so much. Will Definitely revisit.

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    • Hi Marcella! I’m so happy to hear you like my website, and thank you for your kind words! I hope you come back soon or subscribe to my newsletter. :)

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    • Hi Victoria! You can cook on the gas stove first and serve too, but it’s more fun to cook at the table (it’s a fun part of hot pot). You can get a portable gas stove like this (http://amzn.to/1E07V4B). That way, you can cook meat when you want to eat, and it doesn’t get hard. Same for vegetables. There’s something about cooking right in front of you and pick up and eat right away. Vegetables won’t be wilted as much. Hope I answered to your question…? :)

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