Shabu-shabu: Why The DIY Japanese Dinner is Satisfying Despite the Hassle


When you're out for dinner, you would most likely expect an excellent service and tasty foods served to you, none of us wants to pay the service taxes for unworthiness right? Furthermore after a long day at work with a boring routine, you would want your dining experience to be an exciting one. Ever heard of shabu-shabu?



Shabu-shabu is a popular Japanese dish. It's a kind of nabemono (things in a pot) hotpot where you can put thinly sliced meat and vegetables boiled in broth/water. Various ingredients can be served, depending on the restaurant you're visiting. From pork, chicken, lamb, to crab and duck. Tofu and mushrooms are common ingredients that go into the pot as well. As for the broth, originally it was made with kombu seaweed (kelp), but a number of innovations might surprise you. Do you know there's even kimchi broth, tomato broth and soy collagen broth?



It's ultimately satisfying to prepare your own meal, even though you're eating it in a restaurant. Shabu-shabu is that DIY dinner which offers more fun than hassle. You can choose to cook the thinly sliced Kobe beef first or the freshly cut veggies. One should cook it piece by piece to avoid overcooked meat and veggies. The satisfaction surely comess from the freedom to pick your own ingredients from a plethora of choices and cook and consume them in whatever way you like.

There are a wide variety of sauces to go with your meat galore. The usuals will be Soy sauce, Ponzu sauce and Sesame paste. After you have dipped the cooked meat and vegetables in the sauce, you can enjoy it with a bowl of steamed white rice, noodles or just by itself.



Diners would also go for raw egg as a sauce. One would break an uncooked egg into a bowl, stir it and dip their cooked meat into the sauce before consumption. Sounds gross for some but it's actually really tasty with the eggy addition to your meat's taste. Those with sensitive guts is not recommended to attempt this though!


Dining at a Shabu Shabu place after work/school is a great socialising opportunity. There's nothing better than being able to talk and laugh to your heart's content over food. Many would also challenge each other over the amount of meat they can eat!

Not to forget, Shabu Shabu is a healthy dining place since the foods are prepared by boiling, meaning the fats from the meat would be naturally removed. Bring your family and friends but don't be too focused on having fun and not eating though! Most Shabu Shabu diners have a time limit of 90 mins or so!