The name of this Japanese dish, shabu-shabu, describes the swishing sound that you make with your chopsticks when you swirl morsels of meat around in the simmering broth. The meat cooks swiftly, while the vegetables take a little longer. Once everything is cooked, ladle the broth into small bowls or cups for sipping.
In Japan, Shabu-Shabu is made in an earthenware casserole called a donabe or in a Mongolian hot pot, or hoko-nabe. You can achieve fine results using an electric wok or an electric fondue pot.
Very cold or partially frozen meat is easier to slice thinly.
Makes4 to 6 servings.
Total Timeunder 1 hour
One Pot MealYes
OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together
Recipe Coursemain course
Dietary Considerationmain course
Taste and Texturesavory, umami
- 2 pounds well-marbled sirloin or prime beef, sliced paper thin
- 12 fresh shiitake mushrooms, wiped and trimmed, halved if large
- 8 green onions (including tops), cut diagonally into 1½-inch lengths
- ½ small Chinese cabbage (napa), cut into 2-inch pieces
- 12 small spinach leaves
- 1 pound firm tofu, cut into 1¼-inch cubes
- 6 ounces udon noodles, cooked and drained (optional)
- ½ cup finely chopped green onions (including tops)
- 6 to 8 cups beef broth
- Sesame-Cilantro Sauce, Ponzu and/or Soy-Wasabi Sauce
Arrange the beef, mushrooms, green onion pieces, cabbage, spinach, tofu, noodles, if using, and chopped green onions on a platter at the table, and set out the sauces in small bowls.
Fill an electric wok or fondue pot two-thirds full of the broth. Bring the broth to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer gently for 2 minutes.
Provide each diner with chopsticks or a fondue fork.
Cook the mushrooms, green onion pieces, and cabbage in the broth for 1 to 2 minutes, then add the meat, spinach, and tofu and cook 2 more minutes.
Diners may choose to add one-fourth of the meat and vegetables at a time and then dip the cooked morsels into the sauces provided.
When all the diners have had their fill of the vegetables and meat, add the noodles, if using, to the broth and heat through.
Finally, add the chopped green onions to the broth and ladle into small bowls for sipping.
2005 Lou Seibert Pappas