Learn how to make restaurant-style and the best Japanese shabu shabu hot pot at home. This shabu recipe is easy with the step-by-step picture guide, complete with ingredient suggestions.
What is shabu shabu?
It’s a type of Japanese hot pot with thinly sliced meat (mostly beef) and assorted vegetables.
The words shabu shabu meaning “swish swish,” which describes the light swishing sound of the meat in the simmering broth.
Sometimes, seafood such as crab legs can be added to the ingredients.
Originated from China, Japanese shabu shabu is slightly different with the ingredients used, sauces and condiments.
Beef is the most common meat but pork is sometimes used. The meat is always thinly sliced.
As a result, fatty and marbled beef such as wagyu (Japanese beef) or American wagyu is the best, for example: Kobe beef or Miyazaki beef.
Shabu is an easy and fun way to eat a variety of ingredients, all cooked in the rolling boil hot soup.
It’s very easy to make this delicacy at home. Most of the work is preparation of the soup, sauces and ingredients.
First, prepare the broth. Traditionally, the broth is made of water, kombu seaweed and Japanese cooking sake.
However, in many shabu shabu restaurants, only water is used. I prefer the soup base because it adds so much flavors.
Next, prepare and cut the ingredients such as napa cabbage, carrot, shiitake mushrooms, enoki mushrooms, tofu and scallions (or Tokyo negi).
For beef, you can buy the sliced beef from Japanese stores, which usually comes in a tray.
Ponzu sauce and sesame sauce are two favorite dipping sauces for shabu. Both are available in bottles at Japanese stores or Asian stores.
The final step is to place all the ingredients on the dining table, with the hot pot set on top of a portable butane burner in the middle.
For results that rival the best restaurants, please follow my tips below:
Yes, this is one of the healthiest ways to eat a wholesome meal.
It’s not greasy and comes with a variety of vegetables.
Rib steaks, top sirloin and sirloin tip are the best cuts for Shabu Shabu.
Japanese A5 Wagyu will be the ultimate best, but USDA Prime will be equally delightful.
Fatty cuts of USDA Choice that has adequate marbling will also be great.
Avoid USDA select beef because it has the least fat.
Check out USDA for the difference.
If you don’t have a Japanese grocery store where you are, you can still enjoy the dish by slicing the beef very thin with a sharp knife.
Freeze the beef in the freezer. Remove from the freezer and leave it out at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Use a pair of very sharp chef knife and slice the beef thinly while it’s still hard and frozen.
Lay out the thin-sliced beef on a serving platter.
This recipe is only 556 calories per serving.
Serve this dish with steamed rice or ramen noodles. For a healthy Japanese meal, I recommend the following recipes.
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Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
You may eat Shabu Shabu with steamed rice or add ramen to the soup.
Adapted from Recipes of the World’s Most Popular Japanese Dishes Mayuko Matsumura.
Amount Per Serving Calories 556Total Fat 26gSaturated Fat 9gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 12gCholesterol 160mgSodium 2663mgCarbohydrates 20gFiber 2gSugar 11gProtein 56g