Shabu Shabu - Complete Guide To Traditional Japanese Hot Pot


The origin

The Japanese onomatopoeia "shabu shabu," which translates to "swish swish," is used to describe the gentle swishing of the meat in the simmering soup and gives the meal its name. The excess fat melts away as the meat is immersed in the boiling water, making it lighter than ordinary cooked meat and a rather nutritious meat meal. As a result, it is highly well-liked among somewhat older women and those who are controlling their weight.

How to eat

  • To begin, add some veggies to the simmering broth using the cooking chopsticks. Leeks and other green vegetables cook more quickly than harder vegetables like carrots, potatoes, and the white stalks of napa cabbage. 

  • By starting with the slower-cooking vegetables in the pot and gradually adding more of the faster-cooking vegetables while the dish cooks, you can predict when the components will be ready to eat. 

  • Once the meat has been added, add it one or two slices at a time, gently swishing it through the soup with the chopsticks. 

  • Once the meat is fully cooked, take it from the pot along with the veggies.

  • Finally, dip the meat in the ponzu or goma dipping sauce before savoring that first luxurious bite of rich, tender beef or pork.

As you enjoy your shabu shabu, try to avoid adding too much meat to the pot as it could overcook and get tough in the boiling water, and too many veggies might make the broth cool off and result in uneven cooking. Dip the meat in the sauce and yakumi while it's still hot, then devour.

*1: Yakumi is one type of condiment. frequently refers to grated radish or minced onion. Used to improve flavors, add color to pique appetites, and, in some cases, for its sterilizing abilities.

*2: Ponzu is a tangy condiment produced by combining the juice of a Japanese citrus fruit with vinegar and soy sauce.

*3: Gomadare is a Japanese condiment created by grinding sesame seeds into a paste and mixing in soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, vinegar, sugar, and vinegar.

After finishing the meat and vegetables, you can add some udon noodles to the broth or some rice and an uncooked, beaten egg to make a hearty porridge to round out the meal.


Depending on the items you use, shabu shabu is the ideal choice for a hands-on Japanese lunch that may be either healthful or delicious. The next time you have friends around, why not have a shabu shabu dinner party? Also, make sure to go to a shabu shabu restaurant when you go to Japan.

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