Tablesetup for shabu shabu - donabe hot pot, vegetables, meat, udon, and dipping sauces.

Shabu Shabu

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: hot pot, shabu shabu
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4
Author: Nami

Shabu Shabu is a popular Japanese-style hot pot where the meat and assorted vegetables are cooked in a flavorful broth called kombu dashi. Everyone at the table takes part in the cooking and enjoys the ingredients with different dipping sauces. It's intimate yet casual, and a whole lot of fun! 



To Serve


  1. Gather all the ingredients.

    Shabu Shabu Ingredients

To Make Homemade Ponzu and Sesame Sauce

  1. If you are going to make homemade sauces, follow the recipes for Sesame Sauce and Ponzu Sauce. You can make the sauces ahead of time.
    Shabu Shabu 2

To Prepare Broth

  1. Fill a donabe (Dutch oven or any large pot) two-thirds full with water. Add kombu and soak in water for at least 30 minutes. The right image shows the result after 30 minutes.

    Shabu Shabu 1

To Prepare Ingredients

  1. Prepare udon noodles according to the instructions. Put frozen udon in a boiling water and reheat for 1 minute. Transfer to iced water to stop cooking with remaining, and drain well. Serve on a plate and set aside.

    Shabu Shabu 2
  2. Cut napa cabbages into 2-inch (5 cm) pieces, and then cut each piece into half or thirds.

    Shabu Shabu 3
  3. Cut the shungiku into 2-inch (5 cm) pieces.

    Shabu Shabu 4
  4. We only use the white part of negi (green onion/leeks). Cut it diagonally into ½ inch (1.3 cm) thick pieces.

    Shabu Shabu 5
  5. Rinse enoki and shimeji mushrooms. Discard the bottom of both mushrooms and separate into smaller chunks.

    Shabu Shabu 6
  6. Cut the stem of shiitake mushrooms. If you like, you can do a decorative cutting. See Cutting Technique.
    Shabu Shabu 7
  7. Cut the carrot into ¼ inch rounds. If you like, you can use a vegetable cutter to create a flower shape.

    Shabu Shabu 8
  8. Cut the tofu into 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick square pieces. 

    Shabu Shabu 9
  9. Arrange all the ingredients on a serving platter. 

    Shabu Shabu 10
  10. Peel daikon and grate using a grater. Squeeze grated daikon gently and put in a small bowl.  

    Shabu Shabu 11
  11. Cut the green onions into thin rounds and put it in a bowl.

    Shabu Shabu 12
  12. Prepare shichimi togarashi in a bowl (optional). Lay the thinly sliced beef on a plate.

    Shabu Shabu 13

To Cook Shabu Shabu

  1. Set a portable gas burner and put the donabe on the stove. Place platters with ingredients on the table. Give each person a ponzu sauce and sesame sauce. I also like to prepare an additional bowl for each person so they can use it to cool the food. 

    Shabu Shabu 14
  2. Bring the broth to a simmer over medium heat. Take out the kombu right before water starts to boil (otherwise, the water gets slimy).

    Shabu Shabu 15
  3. Add the tofu, the tough part of napa cabbage and shungiku, negi, carrots, and some mushrooms. You don’t have to put all the ingredients and cook in batches. Cover to cook for 10 minutes.

    Shabu Shabu 16

To Eat Shabu Shabu

  1. While you’re waiting for the food to cook, prepare your dipping sauces. Add grated daikon, shichimi togarashi, and green onion in ponzu, and green onion in sesame sauce. 

    Shabu Shabu 17
  2. When you want to eat meat, pick up a slice of thinly sliced beef with a set of communal chopsticks and stir the meat in the boiling broth to cook for 10 seconds, or until the meat is no longer pink. Do not overcook the meat.

    Shabu Shabu 18
  3. Take out the cooked beef and vegetables from the pot when they are done, and dip the food in ponzu or sesame sauce.

    Shabu Shabu 19
  4. Add remaining ingredients in the boiling broth as needed and simmer for a few minutes. Skim off the scum and fat from the broth as you repeat cooking. Prepare a fine mesh skimmer and a 2-cup measuring cup or bowl filled with water at the table so you can easily skim as you cook. Water in the measuring cup will help you get rid of scum from the skimmer.
    Occasionally skim the scum and foam in the shabu shabu hot pot.
  5. When all the ingredients are cooked, skim the broth for udon noodles. Typically, hot pot meal ends with cooking udon noodles or porridge. 

    Shabu Shabu 20
  6. Add udon noodles in the pot and reheat for 1-2 minutes. Lightly season the udon soup with salt and white pepper, if you like (optional).

    Shabu Shabu 21
  7. Dilute the ponzu sauce with the broth and serve udon noodles.  

    Shabu Shabu 22

Recipe Notes

Sesame Sauce: You can purchase a bottle from Japanese grocery stores. To make my homemade Sesame Sauce recipe, click here.


Ponzu Sauce: You can purchase a bottle from Japanese grocery stores. To make my homemade Ponzu Sauce recipe, click here.


Japanese Ingredient Substitution: If you want to look for substitutes for Japanese condiments and ingredients, click here.


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 in your own words and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.