Shabu–Shabu: The Japanese Hot Pot

  • HOW TO
  • Who would have thought that the name of a popular Japanese dish, shabu-shabu, came from the sound produced by stirring the pot. Shabu-shabu originated in China, but is now one of the most popular dishes in Japan. This is a type of “hot pot”.


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    The original shabu-shabu is made with a thinly sliced raw beef. You can also use other raw meats, seafood and vegetables. The process involves cooking the slices in broth and eating them by dipping in a sauce. This experience can be quite exciting for the foreigners.

    How to Eat Shabu-shabu
    1. Bring the broth to a boil
    2. Place the vegetables into the broth. You can decide the amount of vegetables you want to put in.

    Choose vegetables of different colors to make it look more attractive. Food presentation is very important in Japanese dishes. Some commonly used vegetables are: Chinese cabbage, Japanese scallions, carrots, chrysanthemum leaves, enoki mushrooms and shiitake mushrooms. But, of course, don’t forget to add some tofu!

    3. Dip in the meat or seafood.

    You can use a variety of meat in shabu-shabu. It can range from beef, pork or chicken to lamb. Expensive restaurants usually serve beef. Just make sure that it is thinly sliced.

    Seafood lovers shouldn’t worry either, you can use squids, scallops or tiger prawns.

    4. Take out the vegetables and meat once they’re cooked.

    This is to allow them to cool down.

    5. Dip them into the sauce.

    You can choose from 3 types of dipping sauces. There’s the sweet shabu-shabu dipping sauce, the spicy shabu-shabu dipping sauce and the creamy shabu-shabu dipping sauce. I think the creamy one is the best. It depends on your taste. The sweet sauce is great for kids! If you prefer spicy food, then, of course, try the spicy sauce.

    6. Enjoy your shabu-shabu! You can also drink the broth if you like!