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TypeHot pot
Place of originJapan
Region or stateOsaka
Main ingredientsMeat, vegetables, tofu

Shabu-shabu (Japanese: しゃぶしゃぶ, romanizedshabushabu) is a Japanese nabemono hotpot dish of thinly sliced meat and vegetables boiled in water and served with dipping sauces.[1] The term is onomatopoeic, derived from the sound emitted when the ingredients are stirred in the cooking pot.[2] The food is cooked piece by piece by the diner at the table. Shabu-shabu is considered to be more savory and less sweet than sukiyaki.


Shabu-shabu was introduced in Japan in the 20th century with the opening of the restaurant "Suehiro" in Osaka, where the name was invented.[2] Its origins are traced back to the Chinese hot pot known as instant-boiled mutton (Shuàn Yángròu). Shabu-shabu is most similar to the original Chinese version when compared to other Japanese hot-pot dishes (nabemono) such as sukiyaki.[3] Suehiro registered the name as a trademark in 1955.[2] Together with sukiyaki, shabu-shabu is a common dish in many parts of Japan, but also in local Japanese neighborhoods (colloquially called "Little Tokyos") in countries such as the United States and Canada. It is also popular in Taiwan.



The dish is usually made with thinly sliced beef, but some versions use pork, crab, chicken, lamb, duck, or lobster. Most often, ribeye steak is used, but less tender cuts, such as top sirloin, are also common. A more expensive breed of cattle, such as Wagyu, may also be used. It is usually served with tofu and vegetables, including Chinese cabbage, chrysanthemum leaves, nori (edible seaweed), onions, carrots, and shiitake and enokitake mushrooms. In some places, udon, mochi, or harusame noodles may also be served.

The dish is prepared by submerging a thin slice of meat or a piece of vegetable in a pot of boiling water or dashi (broth) made with konbu (kelp) and stirring it. Normally, the raw meat is dipped into the hot stock for just a few seconds, as the pieces are sliced paper thin. Putting all meat into the pot at one time may result in overcooking the meat. Cooked meat and vegetables are usually dipped in ponzu or goma (sesame seed) sauce before eating, and served with a bowl of steamed white rice. Once the meat and vegetables have been eaten, leftover broth from the pot is customarily combined with the remaining rice, and the resulting soup is usually eaten last.

Sauces and dippings[edit]

A variety of sauces can be used to dip the meat and vegetables, including ponzu sauce and sesame sauce. Restaurants usually provide soy sauce, sesame paste, ponzu and several other condiment options, such as spring onions and Japanese pickled carrots, so customers can make the sauce according to their own preferences.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Asimov, Eric (28 October 1994). "Article 658847 -- No Title". Retrieved 30 January 2019.
  2. ^ a b c "ニュースリリース|ミツカングループ企業サイト".
  3. ^ Ishige (2014-06-17). History Of Japanese Food. Routledge. p. 233. ISBN 9781136602559.