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Ingredients to make shabu shabu on a gray background (a basket of vegetables and noodles, a plate of thinly sliced wagyu beef, various bowls of condiments and a bowl of sesame sauce and ponzu sauce)

Japanese shabu shabu with homemade sauce

  • Author: Yuto Omura
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 2 portions 1x


How to prepare, cook and eat authentic Japanese beef shabu shabu at home including how to make the delicate broth and flavourful sesame dipping sauce. (Serves 2)



Shabu shabu broth

  • 10g kombu (dried kelp)
  • 50ml sake
  • 1 litre water
  • Yuzu peel (optional)

Shabu shabu ingredients

  • 400g thinly sliced wagyu beef
  • 2-3 leaves napa cabbage roughly cut
  • 100g shungiku (crown daisy/chrysanthemum greens)
  • 1/2 a carrot peeled and thinly sliced
  • 100g enoki mushrooms roots removed
  • 100g firm tofu cubed
  • 2-3 shiitake mushrooms stems trimmed
  • 50g vermicelli noodles (with short cooking time)
  • Ponzu sauce for dipping
  • Optional ingredients to add to ponzu sauce: chopped spring onion, momiji oroshi, grated daikon radish
  • Optional ingredients to add to sesame sauce: chopped chives, chili oil, grated garlic
  • 200g cooked udon noodles optional
  • 2 toasted kirimochi (rice cakes) optional

Homemade sesame shabu shabu sauce



  1. Soak the kombu in a pot of water for at least 30 minutes or until rehydrated. (You can soak it longer if you prefer, some people soak it overnight.)
  2. While the kombu is soaking, prepare the ingredients according to the instructions on the ingredient list. Arrange them on a plate and place them near the stove. Take the beef out of the refrigerator 20 minutes before cooking.
  3. Make the sesame sauce by mixing sesame paste, soy sauce, rice vinegar, miso paste, sugar and salt in a small bowl until smooth. Divide between individual serving bowls.
  4. In small bowls, prepare chopped chives, chili oil and grated garlic (to add to the sesame sauce) and chopped spring onion and momiji oroshi/grated daikon (for the ponzu sauce). Lay them out on the table.
  5. Once the kombu is rehydrated, add the sake and yuzu peel to the broth and place the pot on the stove. Heat until almost boiling, then remove the kombu.
  6. Allow the broth to bubble for a few minutes and then remove the yuzu peel before you start to cook.

Cooking and eating

  1. Course 1: Tasting the Beef - Each guest should take one piece of beef and swish it in the broth until cooked to their preferred done-ness (slightly pink is recommended for shabu shabu beef). Once cooked, dip in your choice of sauce and enjoy the beef on its own.
  2. Course 2: Vegetables & Tofu - Add the carrot, napa cabbage, mushrooms and tofu. Each guest can cook more beef and help themselves as the vegetables/tofu as they cook.  (Tip: try and space out cooking the beef so that you can enjoy it throughout the duration of the meal.) Be sure to try different ingredients with different sauces.
  3. Once more space becomes available in the pot, add the beansprouts, shungiku and chives. Eat up until there are no more ingredients left in the pot.
  4. Course 3: Glass/rice noodles - Give each guest a small portion of glass/rice noodles. Swish them in the broth until cooked and enjoy with your choice of dipping sauce.
  5. Course 4: Finishing noodles - Scoop out any scum that's formed on top of the broth (and any lost ingredients) using a mesh spoon. Divide the broth into individual serving bowls and season generously with salt and pepper to taste. Add cooked udon/kishimen noodles (and mochi) to the leftover broth and warm through. Once hot, divide between the individual bowls of broth and top with chopped spring onions.
  6. Enjoy!
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Hot pots
  • Method: Simmering
  • Cuisine: Japanese

Keywords: shabu shabu, shabu shabu recipe, how to make shabu shabu, Japanese shabu shabu, one pot shabu shabu, hot pot shabu shabu, beef shabu shabu, how to eat shabu shabu,

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