|Place of origin||Japan|
|Region or state||Osaka|
|Main ingredients||Meat, vegetables, tofu|
Shabu-shabu (Japanese: しゃぶしゃぶ, romanized: shabushabu) is a Japanese nabemono hotpot dish of thinly sliced meat and vegetables boiled in water and served with dipping sauces. The term is onomatopoeic, derived from the sound – "swish swish" – emitted when the ingredients are stirred in the cooking pot. The food is cooked piece by piece by the diner at the table. Shabu-shabu is generally 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. 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. The president of the restaurant "Suehiro" in Osaka Chūichi Miyake registered the name as a trademark in 1952. Shabu-shabu became more and more popular in the Kansai region and in 1955 it was also added to the menu of restaurants in Tokyo and then spread throughout Japan.
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 so they will cook quickly. 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/fish and vegetables have been eaten, the soup stock will remain in the pot. The leftover broth from the pot can be customarily combined with rice, ramen or udon and the resulting dish is usually eaten last and called "Shime" in Japan.
The variation with rice is also called Zosui.
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.
Most commonly meat (beef, pork or chicken) is used for Shabu-shabu but recently there are also increasing variations with vegetables or fish. For the variation with vegetables lettuce or sliced radish can be used. The fish variations are usually made with yellowtail (japanese: buri), amberjack (japanese: Kanpachi) or sea bream (japanese: tai). For some other more rare Shabu-Shabu variations octopus or crabs are used.
When the cooked meat is served cold, it's called "Rei-shabu". Rei-shabu is often sold in convenience stores and supermarkets in Japan.
Tohoku Region: Wakame Shabu-shabu ("Wakame no Shabu-shabu")
Kansai Region: Conger (japanese: Hamo) Shabu-shabu ("Hamo-Shabu")
Toyama Prefecture: Yellowtail (japanese: buri) Shabu-shabu ("Buri-Shabu")
Hokkaido Prefecture: Octopus Shabu-shabu ("Tako-shabu")
Kagoshima Prefecture: Kagoshima Kurobuta Shabu-shabu ("Kurobuta-Shabu")
Nagoya: Nagoya-kochin (a famous japanese native breed chicken) Shabu-shabu ("Tori-Shabu")