Japanese Beef Shabu Shabu Hot Pot

My first experience eating Shabu Shabu was a pretty funny one.  Our family had just moved back to Tokyo for the second time and I was about thirteen years old.  My parents had taken me out to eat Shabu Shabu at a beautiful, very traditional Japanese restaurant where we sat in our own private tatami room.  I had tried Sukiyaki many times (similar ingredients, totally different dish), Mom prepared it for us often, but Shabu Shabu was a dish that was totally new to me and this was my first time experiencing it.

When our Servers, four women all dressed in gorgeous silk Kimonos, entered the room they were carrying two huge platters covered in raw meat (raw meat ???), tofu, assorted vegetables and a big pot of steaming liquid that they placed on top of a tabletop gas burner.  Just when I was trying to figure out exactly how this meal was going to come together, one of the Servers started adding vegetables and tofu to the pot of soup.  I later learned the soup was dashi stock.  One of the woman demonstrated how to quickly swish each slice meat in the liquid a couple of times to poach, then dip into one of the two sauces we had in front of us.  One sauce was ponzu, a yuzu flavored sauce, the other was sesame and both were mouthwatering.  This was the most excitement I ever had eating dinner and my love affair with Shabu Shabu had begun.

The name “Shabu Shabu” comes from the sound of the beef being swished through the hot pot with chopsticks.  It is actually a simple dish to put together and you can use either thinly sliced beef (the standard), or pork (Buta Shabu) which has become very popular in Japan.  Regardless of what type of meat you use, Shabu Shabu is a very healthy dish and you can use any kind of vegetables you like.  Just make sure the vegetables you use are sliced thin and cook quickly.  I have always used chicken stock instead of dashi for my Shabu Shabu.  I think the stock adds great flavor plus it’s more readily available for the home cook.  Once you and your family discover how fun it is to make Shabu Shabu at home, it will become a popular family night dinner and a great way to get kids to eat their vegetables.

Japanese Beef Shabu Shabu Hot PotJapanese BeefIngredients:
Serves 4

1 pound strip loin or rib eye, sliced paper thin (1/16-inch)
1 block firm tofu, cut into bite sized pieces
1/4-1/2 head of napa cabbage, chopped
1 large Japanese negi or 1 bunch scallions, sliced on an angle into 2-inch pieces
1 package of enoki mushrooms, trimmed and pulled apart
4 ounces shiitake mushrooms (about 8 pieces, stems removed)
3 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
3 cups water

Dipping Sauces for Serving:  (recipes below or both sauces available in most Asian grocery stores or Amazon.com, I like the Mizkan brand)

Directions:

  1. Make the ponzu and sesame dipping sauces ahead of time and place small dishes of the sauces for each person.
  2. Arrange beef, tofu, napa cabbage, green onions and mushrooms on a serving dish.  Set a portable gas burner on the dining table.  Place a medium saucepan or shallow pot on the burner, pour in both the chicken stock and water and bring to a simmer, do not bring to a full boil (you can also use an electric hot pot which is what I have).  Add the tofu and vegetables, starting with the ones that take the longest to cook.
  3. After tofu and vegetables are almost ready to eat, each person can start poaching their meat until rare or medium rare, 15 to 30 seconds.  Take out tofu, vegetables and meat as they cook and dip them in either kind of sauce and enjoy.

Dipping Sauce Recipes:

1.  Ponzu Dipping Sauce Ingredients:

1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
1/3 cup dashi

Whisk soy sauce, lemon juice, vinegar, and dashi together in a bowl.

2.  Sesame Dipping Sauce Ingredients:

1/2 cup toasted white sesame seeds
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons dashi
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon sake
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Grind sesame seeds well. Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl or pulse in a blender until combined.

Japanese Beef Shabu Shabu Hot Pot
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 1 pound strip loin or rib eye, sliced paper thin (1/16-inch)
  • 1 block firm tofu, cut into bite sized pieces
  • ¼-1/2 head of napa cabbage, chopped
  • 1 large Japanese negi or 1 bunch scallions, sliced on an angle into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 package of enoki mushrooms, trimmed and pulled apart
  • 4 ounces shiitake mushrooms (about 8 pieces, stems removed)
  • 3 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
  • 3 cups water
  • Ponzu Dipping Sauce Ingredients:
  • ⅓ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • ⅓ cup dashi
  • Sesame Dipping Sauce Ingredients:
  • ½ cup toasted white sesame seeds
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons dashi
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sake
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Make the ponzu and sesame dipping sauces ahead of time and place small dishes of the sauces for each person.
  2. Arrange beef, tofu, napa cabbage, green onions and mushrooms on a serving dish. Set a portable gas burner on the dining table. Place a medium saucepan or shallow pot on the burner, pour in both the chicken stock and water and bring to a simmer, do not bring to a full boil (you can also use an electric hot pot which is what I have). Add the tofu and vegetables, starting with the ones that take the longest to cook.
  3. After tofu and vegetables are almost ready to eat, each person can start poaching their meat until rare or medium rare, 15 to 30 seconds. Take out tofu, vegetables and meat as they cook and dip them in either kind of sauce and enjoy.
  4. Ponzu Dipping Sauce Preparation
  5. Whisk soy sauce, lemon juice, vinegar, and dashi together in a bowl.
  6. Sesame Dipping Sauce Preparation
  7. Grind sesame seeds well. Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl or pulse in a blender until combined.

 

Comments

  1. Love love love this post! My parents used to serve shabu shabu for our birthdays at home. My fave items must be the rare beef and enoki mushrooms!

  2. Thank you. What a fun Birthday meal and a great way to celebrate!

  3. Oh I really do miss Shabu-Shabu. Do you know a good place in Paris? Looks divine!

    • Sorry I do not. Haven’t been to Paris in quite a few years. It’s very easy to make at home though, please try it :)

    • Shabu shabu lover TWO says:

      Hanawwa (or something like this on ave. Montaign, right behind boutique CHLOE)

  4. Thank you so much! love that recipe. I have had a chance to try it when in Japan. now looking forward to try it here back home in the UK

    • Shirley says:

      Thank you for your comment! I’m so happy to hear that you love Shabu Shabu. As you can see here it’s not difficult to make and you can pretty much add any vegetables of your choice. Enjoy!

  5. We had shabu shabu last year at my sister in-laws and are now making it for NYE! This recipe looks great and thanks for sharing the sauce recipe. I couldn’t find the sauce anywhere!

    • Shirley says:

      Thank you for your comment and sorry for the late reply! I never got a copy of your comment sent to me by email :( and happened to see it when answering the next comment. I hope you tried my recipe and enjoyed it.

  6. Del Earle says:

    Spent years in Indonesia which is where we had lots of Shabu-Shabu.

    We also served it with small shrimp and small cuts of white fish. Emm good!

    • Shirley says:

      Thank you for the comment! I just recently had mackerel shabu shabu in Tokyo for the first time, very good!

  7. Thank you so much for this recipe! My boyfriends birthday was coming up and I thought this would be perfect! Thanks again!

  8. Wow, this post is nice, my younger sister is analyzing such things, thus I am going to tell her.

    • Shirley says:

      Thank you so much! I hope you try the recipe too, I’m sure you and your Sister will enjoy it.

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