Japanese Beef Fondue (Shabu Shabu)

Shabu Shabu is a "Japanese" style fondue (hot pot) common in Japan. The term means "swish, swish" which is how you cook thinly sliced meats and vegetables.  This is a fun family communal meal.
Recipe By: Sara Moulton
  • Prep30 min |
  • Total1hr 10min |
  • Serves4-6



Make The Broth

To make the broth, combine the stock, ginger, garlic, scallions, soy sauce, and sesame oil in a large saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Strain, discard the solids, and return the stock to the saucepan. Keeping the heat at medium to medium-low, maintain a slow, steady simmer while preparing the dish.

Add the cabbage and simmer for 1 minute. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to a large platter. Do the same for the carrots, peppers, and mushrooms, cooking the carrots and peppers for 3 minutes and the mushrooms for 2 minutes.

Arrange each in a separate mound on the platter as they are cooked.

Prepare The Beef

Place the beef in the freezer for about 30 minutes or until slightly stiff. This makes it easier to slice thinly. Cut the beef against the grain into paper-thin slices and arrange decoratively on a different platter. Add the peas to the platter.

To make the sauce, combine the sour cream, wasabi, chives, and mustard in a small bowl. Thin with water as desired. Stir well and season with salt and pepper.

**Optionally, if you have a full-service meat counter in your local grocery store you can ask your butcher to slice the beef for you.

Cook The Shabu Shabu

Set the fondue pot in the middle of the table, fill it with the broth, and bring to a simmer. It is up to each of your guests, in turn, to finish cooking this dish. Diners choose the vegetables they want and place them in their empty soup bowls. Then they take as much of the raw beef as they want and cook it in the fondue pot for 2 to 3 seconds. Next they add the vegetables selected, which should warm up in about 1 minute. Finally, using a slotted spoon, diners transfer their beef and vegetables from the fondue pot to their bowls and then ladle on some hot broth and a spoonful of the sauce.


*Asian sesame oil and prepared wasabi are available at Asian markets and some supermarkets. You can order fresh wasabi from www.freshwasabi.com or make your own from wasabi powder (a mixture of horseradish powder, mustard powder, cornstarch, and artificial color) which is available on line from Gourmetsleuth.com

Additional Notes

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
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