Shabu-Shabu

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

shabu-shabu a Japanese one-pot dish inspired by the Mongolian hotpot. The name is supposed to indicate the swishing noise made by the morsels of meat as they are moved in the boiling broth. In Japanese restaurants, Shabu-shabu is often made in a shining brass recipient resembling a samovar in shape; it has a central funnel which contains live charcoal. The dish is always prepared at table, but a waitress may relieve the diner of the task of cooking the morsels.

The main ingredients are thinly sliced beef and an assortment of vegetables. These could include Chinese leaves (see chinese cabbage), welsh onion (see oriental onions), and shiitake, possibly with the addition of tofu or shirataki (see konnyaku). Everything is cut into bite-sized pieces which the diners, using chopsticks can swish back and forth in the boiling broth until cooked to their liking. The morsels are eaten with dipping sauces. This dish is a fairly recent introduction to Japanese cookery.