Shabu Shabu - Curiosities and Recipes

Do you know in Japanese cuisine a recipe that consists of dipping meat and food to cook in a pan and sauce? In this article, we are going to talk about Shabu-shabu, a dish that originated in China, but that the Japanese adopted and adapted.

The shabu-shabu (しゃぶしゃぶ) Japanese is made in a specific pan. The ingredients are brought to the table raw, and cooked during the meal. Basically the dish comes down to thin slices of meat and fresh vegetables, cooked together. The dish was introduced in Japan after Second World War. Popular with both the soldiers and the Chinese who came to Japan.

Information about shabu shabu

The name shabu shabu was created by a restaurant owner Suehiro, in Osaka. He saw one of his employees wash a towel using a basin. So he associated this with the movement of immersing the meat in hot water. Thus naming the dish shabu shabu because of the onomatopoeia of the splashing water.

Shabu shabu - curiosities and recipes

The pot used to prepare it contains a chimney. So, the heat that comes out does not burn the hand of the person who cooks the meat. Various types of meat and vegetables can be used, varying from region to region.

You can use various ingredients in Shabu Shabu such as pork, beef and chicken, onions, Chinese cabbage, mushrooms, mizuna (mustard), tofu, slices of mochi, kuzukiri (pasta) that are cooked and dipped in a multitude of sauces.

There are other concepts and ways of preparing food in Japan by cooking in sauces like the famous Nabe and even Sukiyaki, but each has its differences that we will also see at the end of this article. Now without further ado, let's go to Shabu Shabu recipe.

RECIPE - How to prepare Shabu shabu

As said, there are many variations of this dish, which can be changed and modified, depending on the region and personal taste. We will teach one of these variations.


(Broth and stews)

⦁ 2 liters of water;
⦁ 2 dried sardines (dashiko);
⦁ 500 g of tofu;
⦁ 5 chard leaves;
⦁ 10 stalks of chives;
⦁ 7 whole shiitake mushrooms;
⦁ 100 g of bean sprouts (moyashi);
⦁ 300 g of sliced counter fillet;
⦁ 1 package of ready-made fish broth (hondashi);
⦁ 200 g of shimeji mushroom;
⦁ 10 stalks of watercress;
⦁ 1 sheet of kombu seaweed;

Shabu shabu - curiosities and recipes

How to prepare DO SHABU SHABU

1. Wash the vegetables, mushrooms and sprouts;
2. Cut the chard leaves, chives stems and tofu into small square pieces;
3. Cut the stems of the shittake mushrooms;
4. The watercress must be cut into small strips;
5. Mix the vegetables, mushrooms, sprouts and tofu on a plate;
6. For the broth, water should be put in a pan, with half a kombu leaf.
7. Put in a package of hondashi and 2 dried sardines;
8. With the ingredients in the water, start cooking;
9. When boiling, lower the heat a little, until the broth is stronger;
10. Remove and separate the broth, keeping it under a strong fire like a fondue.

Sauce to accompany O SHABU SHABU

Ml 100 ml of withdraw;
Ml 50 ml of soy sauce;
Ml 50 ml of rice vinegar;
⦁ 4 shallow tablespoons of sugar;
⦁ 200 g of soybean paste;
⦁ 1 shallow spoon of Ajiomoto;
⦁ 100 ml of shabu shabu fish stock;

Preparation mode:
1. Mix all the ingredients in a container;
2. Add with the fish broth of the warm shabu shabu, until it looks pasty;
3. Divide the sauce into bowls for guests to use to season the meat.

How to serve Shabu shabu

The fish stock must be placed in a fondue pan, keeping it at a high temperature, to cook the meat. Each must pick up the item they prefer using their own chopsticks, dipping the chosen ingredient in the broth. Remove it when you think it's ready.

Shabu shabu - curiosities and recipes

The tofu just wait to hydrate and heat up, and you can remove it. Each person should be given a bowl of sauce, and rice to accompany. After eating all the food, they usually mix the remaining soup with rice, ramen or udon, this action is called Shime.

If you prefer to visit a Shabu Shabu restaurant, your job will be much easier. You will be served with a large pot that can sometimes be split in two. You choose the sauces and the meats and vegetables you prefer and dip for a short time.

You must remove the meat with chopsticks and dip it in another sauce to finally consume the food. Not all vegetables or meats cooked in the pan need to be dipped in the second sauce. Sometimes it's good to have a basic understanding of which sauce to choose.

What is the difference between Shabu Shabu and SukiyaKI?

Both Nabe and Shabu Shabu are thin slices of meat and vegetables cooking in a pan, so what's the difference between Shabu Shabu and Sukiyaki? Sukiyaki is a dish of Japanese origin and different from shabu shabu, the meat is cooked completely, sometimes even grilled before taking it to the sauce.

Shabu shabu - curiosities and recipes

Both can be dipped in the sauce, but the main difference is that the Sukiyaki is usually cooked in a frying pan style and offers a rich flavor, seasoned with soy sauce and sugar, while the shabu shabu is a hot pot full of sauce and looks more with a soup.

The similarities can be bigger or smaller depending on the way the two recipes are prepared. It is worth remembering that both recipes have numerous versions from different regions. The best way to differentiate the two recipes is that one was made entirely in Japan while the other was adapted from Chinese cuisine.


The word Nabe literally means pot, so both Sukiyaki and Shabu Shabu fall into the category of foods that are cooked in a pot like Oden, motsunabe, yodofu, yosenabe, chankonabe and others.

Shabu shabu - curiosities and recipes

Nabe usually refers to any dish cooked in a pan, but unlike Shabu Shabu the term Nabe can be a simple traditional meal where we put rice, noodles, gyoza, moyashi, meat and other vegetables in the pan.

I hope you enjoyed this short article, soon we will update with news. Thanks for the comments and shares. 

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