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Jan 6, 2005 07:43 PM

how to make shabu shabu

  • m


I'd like to learn how to make shabu shabu. Is this the same as 'hotpot'?

I'd like to know if it requires any particular spices, sauces, etc? And what are the best things to add to it?



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  1. It is pretty much the same as hotpot. The particulars would include dashi broth, ponzu sauce for dipping all the vegetables, and a sesame seed dipping sauce for beef. Typically there would be beef, veggies, tofu, and udon noodles.

    1. I make Shabu Shabu every few months and have developed my own method after many years of enjoying the real thing in Osaka and Kyoto. I'm not sure it's authentic but the pot I use was purchased there, so at least that part is correct. Our pot looks something like a bundt, or angel food, cake pan but the center cone is taller than the pot. I think any kind of stove-top-safe pot would do. We cook it at the table, on a propane cassette burner. A good amount of prep work, but it's great fun and very, very good.

      All ingredients I buy are from the 99 Market, here in Irvine (or your local equivalent, of course).

      Boiling water - (flavored with spice packets from
      2 or 3 pkg Udon Noodles ). I soften the noodles with hot water and actually include them for dipping. My wife prefers their texture to the more traditional cellophane ones.

      Thinly sliced Beef - (lamb or pork can be used). I've had it with all seafood as well.

      Mushrooms - As many different kinds as you like or can find. Shitake and Enoke especially.

      Several vegetables: Baby Bok Choy; Napa Cabbage - (leaves cut up into reasonable-size pieces); Green Onions - (cut into 2-3" sections); Bamboo Shoots

      Various other "surprise ingredients": Quail eggs; sliced (barboiled) yams;

      The dipping sauces I use are a dark ponzu (I cut in bits of green onion on top) and a sesame sauce (both available in the sauce section of 99 - maker is Mitsukan). In Japan, I have been served a raw, beaten egg as a sauce as well.

      Arrange meat slices in a circular fan shape on a plate and use a large serving platter for all the veggies (sometimes takes two platters). I serve it with steamed CalRose rice.


      5 Replies
      1. re: MIdlife
        Yukari Pratt

        Yes, the bundt-style pan is key, as is a konro heater. You want to cook the dish at the table as you eat. The pan keeps the water at a slow rolling boil. This pan is also nice to be used for yudofu (tofu nabe).

        Other points to keep in mind, highly-marbled, paper thin beef is key. The meat is quickly waved through the boiling water.

        Shungiku (chrysanthemum leaves) are also nice.

        For dashi, I use only konbu (kelp) as the beef will add flavor to the dashi. If you are prepared, put a 4-5 inch square piece of kombu in a pitcher with water in the morning and let it soak all day before using it in the evening.

        Lastly, you will want to skim the scum off the broth from time to time as it forms, which it will.

        Happy Eating!

        1. re: Yukari Pratt

          What is dashi and kombu? Where do I get them from?

          1. re: maya
            Yukari Pratt

            Kombu is a type of seaweed. You may find Rishiri, Ma or Hidaka kombu. Any of them will work. Soaking this in water will create your dashi. Dashi is a stock. You can add dried sardines to it or bonito flakes (all to be strained from it later), but for shabu shabu, I only use kombu dashi.

            You should be able to find it at any Asian market.

            Happy Eating!

            1. re: Yukari Pratt

              Do you add the seaweed to water, let it soak, and then take it out?

              Or do you keep the seaweed in the water?

              How long do you soak it for?

              Thanks for your help!


              1. re: maya

                Ideally, I put the kombu in a pitcher of water in the morning or overnight and then use it. When I decide to make the dish at the last minute, I put it in the water and heat it up and then remove it. It gives off a light umami to the water, but remember, you will get most of your flavor from the beef and vegies. If you have more questions, email me at

                Happy Eating!