is a Japanese
variant of hot pot
. The dish is related to sukiyaki
in style, where both use thinly sliced meat and vegetables, and usually served with dipping sauces. However, it is starkly different in taste; shabu-shabu is more savory
and less sweet
. It is considered a winter dish but is eaten year-round.
The dish is traditionally made with thinly sliced beef, though modern preparations sometimes use pork
, or lobster
. Most often, tender ribeye
steak is used, but less tender cuts such as top sirloin
are also common. A more expensive meat, such as Wagyu
, may also be used for its enhanced flavor and texture.
Shabu-shabu is usually served with tofu and vegetables, including Chinese cabbage, chrysanthemum leaves, nori (edible seaweed), onions, carrots, shiitake mushrooms and enokitake mushrooms. In some places, Udon, Mochi and/or harusame noodles may also be served.
The dish is prepared by submerging a very thin slice of meat or a piece of vegetable in a pot of boiling water or dashi (broth) made with kombu
(kelp) and swishing it back and forth several times. (The familiar swishing sound is where the dish gets its name. Shabu-shabu
roughly translates to "swish-swish".) Cooked meat and vegetables are usually dipped in ponzu
or "goma" (sesame seed
) sauce before eating with a bowl of steamed white rice
Once the meat and vegetables have been eaten, leftover water (now broth) from the pot is customarily combined with the remaining rice, and the resulting soup is usually eaten last.
- The dish may have originated in the 13th century as a way for Genghis Khan to efficiently feed his soldiers Mongol troops would have gathered around large pots and cooked together.
- Shabu-shabu was introduced in Japan in the 20th century with the opening of a Shabu-shabu restaurant "Suehiro" in Osaka. The name of Shabu-shabu was named when Suehiro served it. After that, Suehiro registered the name of shabu-shabu as a trademark in 1955. The cuisine rapidly spread through Asia and is now a popular dish in Western countries as well. Together with sukiyaki, shabu-shabu is a common dish in tourist hot-spots, especially in Tokyo, but also in local Japanese neighborhoods (colloquially called "Little Tokyos") in countries such as the United States.
- Shabu Shabu House in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles, California, USA was the first Shabu Shabu specialized restaurant in North America in the early 1990s. Since then Shabu Shabu has spread out over the rest of the state.
- Nagomi Shabu Shabu & sushi Bar is Malaysia's first shabu shabu specialty restaurant in Malaysia. Nagomi was established in 2007. The name called "Nagomi" mean calm and relaxation. All the broths are the homemade recipe from Master Chef Ikuo Tanabe. Check out the website click here Within a year the restaurant now has three outlets; Jaya33, Hartamas and Menara Hap Seng
- A recipe for Shabu-shabu exists in the PC game The Sims 2. Sims can eat Shabu-shabu to satisfy their hunger need, or offer it to another sim. This is one of many recipes available in the game.
- In the movie Lost in Translation, Scarlett Johansson and Bill Murray's characters eat lunch at a shabu-shabu restaurant. Later on, Murray wryly comments, "What kind of restaurant makes you cook your own food?"
- The 2-disc DVD for Night at the Museum has a cut scene where Ben Stiller's character is trying to get investors to invest in his shabu-shabu restaurant. One of the potential investors is a dentist who comments that he doesn't think the idea of families with children and babies in a restaurant with pots of boiling water is a good idea.
- On the Japanese television show Iron Chef, famous yokuzuna Akebono had said that his three man Heya or "sumo stable" put away 60 servings of shabu-shabu in one sitting