The land of Japan is popularly known as the land of the rising sun. The country is a blend of unique culture and innovation, mixing the old tradition and the everchanging modern technology. Within this description is a rich culinary culture.
Most meals you sample in this country have their roots in the rich culture. If you are new in Japan and would love to try some of the cultural cuisines, don’t go away without trying the shabu shabu. I promise you will thank me for this.
What Is Shabu Shabu?
In simple terms, shabu shabu is a popular hot pot dish that is native to Japan. It features thin slices of meat that are tender and veggies that you cook in a large pot. It gets its strange name from the sound produced when you are swirling the meat in the soup.
One unique thing about this meal is that it’s not served cooked like other hot pot soups or meals. Your ingredients are served raw and then you cook them at the tableside during your dinner or lunch meal.
The eating style of shabu shabu dates back in the 1950s when the people of Osaka started eating this meal this way. Today it’s not only eaten in Japan but also neighboring Asian countries among other parts of the world.
You can eat this delicious meal in Japanese restaurants but you can also make them with the right tools at home.
To me, this is a unique and delicious Japanese meal that you enjoy a social gathering. It’s not only your easy to make a meal but also easy to eat. Decide to make it today for your dinner meal and enjoy the Japanese cultural style of eating.
How to Eat Shabu Shabu
Why You Should Allow Yourself to Experience the Fun of Eating This Meal?
- It’s a DIY meal
Yes, that’s true. Whether you are in a restaurant or at home, you cook this meal yourself. Of all the restaurant meals there are very few that allow you to cook yourself. In fact, most meals are brought to the table after being cooked.
When you go to a shabu shabu restaurant you become the cook, no blaming the chef for not making it your way. You have all the control over how you want your meat. Whether you like the meat rare, medium or fully cooked is on you.
This is part of the fun of eating this meal. You get to choose which ingredients you like in your meat and you can eat as much meat as you like. The meat is usually 2 mm thin which means that it cooks very fast.
- It brings friends and families together
This is a communal meal which means that although the world is fast pacing today, you still come together to enjoy a meal. What else do you know of that brings people together other than sharing a communal meal?
The pot of shabu shabu remains hot for a long time letting you chat and laugh with your friend as you enjoy the hot swirl. Since you will cook together, no one must remain in the kitchen and take all the work.
- You can control the portions you take
We have people who eat very small portions and feel like they offend their host by eating a little. Here you don’t have to. You can eat a lot or very little no one will even notice since there are many people at the table and they are busy catching up.
If you don’t mind eating a whole lot of the meat and veggies, here’s your chance. The best part is that you also have the time to savor the flavors of the meal since each piece is individually cooked then dipped in different sauces available and immediately over your cooked rice to eat.
- It’s healthy
The meal features your favorite meat alongside different kinds of veggies you like. The vegetables can be anything from cabbages, carrots, mushroom, onion and daikon among others. You also have dashi broth in the mix, firm tofu and other sauces that are made using soy sauce, citrus and sesame.
- You are never in a rush
Unlike other meals where you must eat fast so that your meal doesn’t cool down, with shabu shabu, the pot is designed to retain the heat as you only pick the meat you want to eat at a time. You can enjoy this meal alongside some beer, green tea and sake.
Choosing the Shabu shabu Pot
- The size
When buying the shabu shabu pot, the question to ask is what size you are looking for. You can have large sizes as well as small ones so which one do you intend to buy for your home use?
What capacity do you require the pot to carry is the other question of concern when it comes to size? Of course, the larger the better but the question is do you have a large group of people for you to make use of your large capacity pot?
- Which material
It’s true that shabu shabu pots like other cookware come in different materials. Each material has its own benefit over the other. The common ones are made from cast iron, ceramic, steel and aluminum.
Cast iron and ceramic pots
They take a longer time to heat up. This is a feature of the 2 metals. The best thing, however, is that it retains heat for longer. So, in this case, you don’t have to leave your stove on high heat as the cooking process is going on.
When it comes to caring for ceramic and cast iron, it’s easy to clean and take care of the ceramic and if it’s said to be free of lead and cadmium, you won’t have metals leaching in your food. However, durability is a question of concern. Cast iron is way durable than ceramic.
Your cast iron, on the other hand, is one of the most durable metals but it’s susceptible to rust. This means that you might want to take proper care of the pot. Don’t skip the seasoning cast iron part. Cast iron is also heavy making it hard to handle.
Always wash the ceramic and cast-iron pots by hand.
The steel and aluminum
They are easy to handle, often lightweight, durable and you can even throw them in your dishwasher.
They, however, don’t retain heat which means that you will leave them on the source of heat during dinner.
For the shabu shabu you may want to use the electric steel and aluminum pots as opposed to gas stove ones. They are unable to withhold the heat so you will finish your gas when cooking.
Note that, you can have different designs of the pots example the split pot design with which you can serve two broths in a single meal. This experience brings a diversification of shabu shabu.
Making Your Shabushabu Broth
The ideal ingredient for making the broth is dashi stock although some restaurants just use boiling water. I love the hot umami flavors so I use the dashi broth.
When making the broth, take 7 tablespoons of sake then ½ a tsp of salt to the dashi stock then boil.
Check the broth and once it boils, add the meats and vegetables to begin cooking.
For some, this may seem bland but wait until you taste the sauce. Remember, this is the basic broth, you can add your desired ingredients if you wish.
Making Your Favorite Sesame Sauce
You might be in a restaurant and so this is served for you but when you are at home, making this must-have sauce is easy. The sauce is also called goma tare and it features a flavorful light and rich tasting sauce.
Here‘s how to make it
- Begin by lightly toasting your 6 tablespoons of white sesame seeds in a frying pan.
- Grind your seeds in a Japanese style pestle and motor. Don’t use the food processor if you have no Japanese pestle and motor, instead buy the ready-made sesame paste.
- To your paste, you can then add grated garlic, soy sauce and dashi stock. Continue to stir as you check for a watery consistency.
- Lastly, you can add your miso, sugar, lemon juice and mirin. All this are meant to enrich the sauce.
This will offer a contrast to the richness of the goma tare. If you don’t like making it, go to any Asian store and buy it.
- Mix some soy sauce, yuzu, vinegar and mirin.
- In the mixture above, soak your konbu and bonito flakes for a whole day.
- Remove the bonito and konbu then your ponzu sauce is ready.
- Easy right? It will give you a rich aftertaste.
Shabu Shabu Pots
Looking at this design, I realize that it’s the exact pot I need for my family use. it not only has a large capacity of 5L but it heats faster and is also powerful with a 1500wattage. The removable cooking pot will allow you to make 2 flavors at once.
Its internal divider makes it easy to cook two flavors at once. Note that, you need to put water on both sides of the pot to offer balanced cooking and avoid leaking. You could use this 2-sided flavor pot to make a spicy broth and a less spicy one especially if you have kids.
Made of stainless steel, the pot is easy to handle, clean and it’s durable. It will aid in making the shabu shabu for about 6 people. For enhanced safety, it has an antiskid silicone foot to keep the pot in place as you are cooking.
You will have a glass lid that ensures the heat is maintained within the pot and your food is evenly cooked. Also, you can watch as the food is cooking. All in all, the shiny surface pot design will fit in any kitchen design.
Electric shabushabu pot design
There are several electric pot designs. Actually, they happen to be the majority probably because of the convenience they offer.
For all I know, the tayama company produces high-quality items thus I wouldn’t hesitate to buy this pot. Made of stainless steel, the 4 Qt pot design is versatile for use. You can use it for grilling, steaming, simmering and much more.
This pot comes with removable accessories for your convenience and easy cooking. The pot is reasonably powerful making it easy to cook your shabu shabu. There’s nothing I love doing as watching my food cooking. The glass tempered lid makes this possible.
The adjustable temperature knob makes it easy for you to reduce or increase the heat as you continue to eat your dinner. It further has a detachable grilling plate for your grilling convenience. Cooking has never been made this easy.
This is your small design choice of pot.
Small shabushabu pot
This is an electric shabushabu pot that has the American style rated voltage. It will cook your shabu shabu in seconds. What I like more about it, is that it’s made using the safest 304 grade of stainless steel material on the inside.
As you can see, it features the two-speed design that cooks your food or water in a faster or slower design. The elegant design of shabu shabu pot is versatile for use. The pot can make your shabu shabu, cook the noodles, or boil your eggs.
It’s ideal for one person and it’s portable so you can carry it to your outdoor trips. When it comes to cleaning the rusty stains, worry not, you can use vinegar to clean all the rust. Enjoy cooking as you see your food cooking through the glass tempered lid.
Stainless steel pot
This stainless steel design pot comes with an s design divider to allow for easy cooking of two flavors of the shabu shabu. It comes with 2 spoons to help in the service of both the meat and soup. The pot is easy to use and it can work on the induction surface as well as the gas top.
It’s a durable design that has riveted handle to ease the handling of the pot. The handles further remain cool making it easy to remove from the heat source. Whether you are using it on the induction surface or gas stove the stainless steel material allows for even heat distribution.
There aren’t other hot sides than others. Most people complain about leaking. I recently bought this item to try using it and I found that when you are cooking, you should never leave one side empty. Fill both sides at an equal level and your food wont leak.
Stainless steel hot pot with a divider
For a high-quality design pot, buy the Bruntmor hot pot. It features the 18/10 grade of stainless steel which is not only durable but also healthy to use. Have you ever thought about bringing the restaurant style of cooking home? Here is your chance.
I like the divider because it allows those who don’t eat meat or like their dishes less spicy to enjoy our meal too. You can use the pot on the induction cooker or other stovetops.
The pot spoon in the package makes ladling the broth easy. Next time you are having a camping activity, consider buying this item as it’s portable.
Cheers to finding a large multifunctional cooker. Regardless of whether you need to sauté, stew or grill this cooker will serve you. It features a unique design of titanium ceramic coating that makes it non-stick. It’s also a large option to use.
It comes with detachable accessories to allow for easy cleaning. Besides, the inner pan can be used on the stovetop directly if need be.
Moreover, you can use the item for the shabu shabu cooking. With its temperature control knob, you can choose the right temperature to cook in at any given time.
This is a safe item to use which means my 5-year-old daughter can participate in the cooking process. It’s also durable and ideal for family cooking.
Recently, I bought this gourmet and I can tell you, it’s the real deal. It comes with a flat plate that you can use to grill and another one that’s deep enough for your table cooking processes.
Made using ceramic, the plate distributes heat evenly and its titanium non-stick coating comes in handy when it comes to cleaning and releasing the food. Whenever you want to steam your food, this pot has you sorted with a vented steamer.
The pot will bring your family close for dining together as you eat your favorite shabu shabu. You can keep your pot at 176 degrees to keep the food warm but it will cook at a high temperature of 480 degrees.
The pot comes with a 2.4 inches deep plate for you to enjoy your shabu shabu and a grill plate. It features a sturdy construction and a high-quality non-stick coating to allow for far infrared heating. The pot has detachable parts to make cleaning even easier.
It further comes with a temperature knob that will help to regulate the temperature. Enjoy your hot pot meals with this cooking gadget.
This pot is a multicooker with 2 levels of the power supply. You can adjust the power you need it to operate on. It will cook your noodles, boil water, act as a hot pot, boil eggs, cook dumplings among other functions.
The mini pot is ideal for the day to day use in college for camping and other home needs. It will best serve 2 or 3 people. Made of stainless steel the item is durable and safe to use.
It shields the pot against overheating and you can coil its power cord under the base. For a fast and easy cooking buy this pot.
10. Tayama Hot Pot
Have you been looking for ways to bring restaurant service at home? The tayama hot pot will make your friends happy they didn’t spend money in the restaurant. Made using the high quality 304 stainless steel, the pot is safe to use yet easy to clean.
You can cook anything that uses soup as the base. Here’s to a test of creativity. With its divider, you can have 2 flavors of shabu shabu in the pot. Moreover, the pot comes with 2 spoons that will help you serve the soup and take the meat when you need to savor the flavors.
It’s ideal for a small family use or when you have a few of your friends home. Its handles are heat resistant making it easy to move around. The pot is further easy to clean and durable for use.
Chinese hot pot burner
Not all hot pots are electric some require you to use a burner in cooking your food. There are so many burners that can work with your hot pot to say the list. We look at one favorite one to buy from the list.
The sleek designed burner is powerful, portable and durable. Whether you are traveling or having friends over this cooker will make all your cooking possible. It uses butane gas and you don’t need to ignite it with matchsticks as it uses electric igniters.
The Essential Shabu Shabu Equipment
By now you know that for you to enjoy the delicious shabu shabu meal there are a few items you need. They include a shabu shabu pot that is powerful and easy to use. Remember, you will cook as you continue to eat with your family or friends.
You can get a list of pots from various sources like Amazon. Whether you want one that uses gas, electricity or induction stovetop, you have a pool to select from.
Next, you need a cooker or burner if your pot isn’t electric.
Other things to make your cooking easy are perforated spoons and soup spoons for serving the meal. You also need wooden sticks or skewers for eating. A plate to eat in is another accessory you need.
With that said, you don’t have any reason not to enjoy the Japanese delicacy for its rich umami flavors. The pots are all high-quality ones you get to choose based on the features you are looking for.