Korean-style shabu-shabu hot pot

Shabu-shabu 샤브샤브

Hello everybody, today I’m showing you a happy holiday recipe, shabu-shabu! : )

2022 is closing soon and families and friends are getting together for the holiday season, so I chose a recipe that some of you have been requesting for years! It’s shabu-shabu, Korean style Japanese hot pot.

I tasted this for the first time in Korea decades ago. My whole family went to a new sensational restaurant in town that had just opened. I had never been to this kind of restaurant before, they served shabu-shabu and ssambap (which is like a small lettuce cup filled with rice and ssamjang). We sat around a large table and everything was arranged beautifully: mushrooms, vegetables, beef, broth, and all the utensils and the burner, a really colorful table settling. The restaurant was so popular and packed and buzzing. Then we turned on the burner and started cooking and eating together, and my first impression was shock because it was so pretty and delicious and looked so easy to make! Everything was done at the table, for all to see.

So of course when I came home I tried to make it myself. I didn’t have a special shabu-shabu pot, just my usual pot. But it didn’t matter because it was so easy to make, so it was just as good as in that restaurant. I tried to imitate that meal in this recipe and video, with the cooking and eating at the same time, so once you prepare all the ingredients and the sauce you are all ready to eat. The one thing I did differently in this video was have a noodle soup at the end instead of rice, which is what the restaurant served.

Whenever I make shabu-shabu I buy precut beef because #1 it looks pretty and #2 it’s perfectly shaved by a machine. I buy it from a Korean market but if it’s not available you can also do it yourself. In that case just freeze your beef for an hour and a half so it’s semi-solid and then shave it with a very sharp knife, like paper.

shaved beef

This recipe looks super-simple but not all shabu-shabu restaurants can make it well. Just last year I went to a famous shabu-shabu restaurant in LA and none of their ingredients were satisfying to me. First, the amount of meat they served was too small for the money I paid. Secondly, the quality of the vegetables was not all that great. For such a famous place, they were so stingy for the price!

Of course homemade is the best. You can feed your family and friends generously with the best quality. I hope you to enjoy this recipe with your loved ones all together, and have a warm and pleasant meal together.

Happy holidays!

shabu-shabu table

Ingredients

Serves 2 to 4

  • 8 cups plus an extra 4 cups anchovy kelp stock (or vegetable stock)
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 pound shaved beef (sirloin steak)
  • 7 ounces (about 200 grams) freshly made packaged noodles (or  1 bowl of rice or ½ cup uncooked rice, soaked in water for 30 minutes)
  • 4 to 8 ounces bok choy, with the leaves separated from the stalks, washed and drained
  • 4 to 8 ounces Napa cabbage, washed and drained, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 red bell pepper with the seeds removed, sliced into rings
  • 4 large white mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 egg, beaten

Seafood (optional)

  • 4 large shelled, deveined, and steamed shrimp
  • 4 large sea scallops, sliced
  • 8 rings of peeled squid (or ½ cup sliced squid strips)

shabu-shabu seafood

For the peanut butter-based sauce

  • ¼ cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce (or 1 teaspoon salt)
  • 1 squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 table spoon honey (or more to your taste)

For doenjang-based sauce

Directions

  1. Combine 8 cups of stock and 1 teaspoon salt in a shabu-shabu pot (or a large pan, or a deep skillet). Mix well and set aside.
  2. Put the other 4 cups of stock into a different bowl. Set aside.

Make the peanut butter-based sauce

  1. Combine the peanut butter, garlic, fish sauce, squeezed lemon juice and honey in a small bowl.shabu-shabu peanut sauce
  2. Mix well with a spoon and set aside.

Make the doenjang-based sauce

  1. Combine doenjang, garlic, vinegar, honey, and ground sesame seeds in a small bowl.shabu-shabu doenjang sauce
  2. Mix well with a spoon and set aside.

Set up the shabu-shabu table

  1. Put your gas burner (or electric burner) in the middle of your table. Place the pot with 8 cups of stock on the burner.
  2. Put the beef, seafood (if used), vegetables, mushrooms, noodles, and the sauces on the table.
  3. For each table setting add a small plate, 2 small bowls for sauces, 1 empty bowl (for noodle soup later), a personal straining ladle, and some chopsticks.
  4. Put one set of tongs and a ladle for handling the shabu-shabu on the table.

shabu-shabu table

Cook, eat, and enjoy!

  1. Everyone sits down at the table, around the burner. Pour some drinks, if you want!
  2. Turn on the heat under the pot. When the stock starts boiling, add some of the vegetables and cook for about 1 minute.
  3. Pick up some beef, and some seafood (if used) with the tongs and add them to the boiling stock. Cook for just a few seconds.making shabu-shabu
  4. To eat, fish out beef or seafood first. Put in on your small plate, and then use chopsticks to dip it into one of the sauces and eat. Vegetables and mushrooms may take a little longer to cook, so you can eat those a little later.shabu-shabu shabu-shabu shrimp
  5. If you want to cook slower, you can lower the heat on the burner. When the stock gets too low, replenish it with some of the extra 4 cups stock you have kept in a separate bowl.

The finale

  1. When you and your guests are almost finished eating, increase the heat under the pot to medium high and add the noodles (or soaked rice) and cook for a few minutes.shabu-shabu adding noodles
  2. Stir with a ladle until the noodles (or rice) looks a little translucent and is cooked nicely. Drizzle in the beaten egg – without stirring – until it sets.shabu-shabu noodle soup
  3. Gently stir the noodle soup with a ladle. Transfer some to individual bowls and enjoy!

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One Comment:

  1. sanne Munich joined 8/14 & has 273 comments

    I used to make Chinese hot pot for New Year’s Eve regularly when there were more people around.
    Nice reminder to relaunch that tradition. We have a divided pot for different kinds of ingredients – but mostly, it’s for the hot/mild variants. ;-)

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