What is shabu shabu? It’s basically a hot pot – the broth is simply water flavored with konbu (a thick seaweed), but we used katsuoboshi (bonito) flakes we brought back with us from Japan. Once the water is boiling, you dip raw meat and vegetables into the water to cook them. Usually, we end up throwing the vegetables into the water and letting them soak a while, but the meat is so thinly sliced that all it needs (usually) is a few swishes through the water. The swishing action is actually what gives the meal its name (shabu shabu, as you move your arm back and forth).

Shabu shabu is eaten with two dipping sauces: a citrusy ponzu sauce and a creamy sesame sauce. Shabu shabu is almost always eaten with a bowl of rice – my method is to dip the food item in a sauce then set it on the bowl of rice to cool a little. Yummy!

Want a demonstration?