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Beef Shabu Shabu


Beef shabu shabu
Cyclonebill/Wikimedia Commons

Shabu shabu is a Japanese dish with thinly sliced meat and a variety of vegetables and sauces boiled “hot pot” style in a skillet at the table. Versions of the dish can be found in Korean as well as Chinese cooking but are similar to the Japanese hot pot. This particular recipe calls for sirloin beef, carrots, mushrooms, tofu, Chinese cabbage and kelp, but the vegetables can be substituted for other similar ones. And Japanese people often include noodles like udon or mochi and serve the entire thing with a bowl of steamed white rice.

If it's possible, ask a butcher to slice the tender part of beef into paper-thin slices. Diners swish a slice of meat in the boiling dashi soup as if it were swimming in the soup. It's said that the name, shabu shabu, came from this swishing action. Given its thinness, the meat doesn't need to be cooked for a long time.


  • 3 inches dried kombu (kelp)
  • 1 lb hakusai (Chinese cabbage), washed and chopped
  • 1/4 lb. negi, washed and diagonally and thinly sliced
  • 1 block cotton tofu, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 enoki mushroom, trimmed and cut in half lengthwise
  • 1/4 lb carrot, peeled and cut into thin round slices
  • 1 1/2 lb sirloin beef, very thinly sliced
  • ponzu sauce for dipping


Fill a deep electric pan or a medium skillet two-thirds full with water. Soak kombu in the water for at least 30 minutes. Arrange the ingredients on a large plate. Set the electric pan, ingredients, and serving bowls with dipping sauce on the table. Heat the water and remove the kombu just before the water comes to a boil. Put a slice of beef in the boiling soup and swish it gently back and forth in the boiling soup until it changes color. Eat the meat, dipping in the sauce. Skim off any foam or impurities (aku) that rise to the surface as you repeat cooking and eating meat. Add other ingredients in the boiling soup and simmer for a few minutes. Eat them dipping in the sauce.

Makes 4 servings

Related Video
How to Make Beef Shabu Shabu

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