Project Shabu Shabu Nabé

Jan 25, 2022 | Cooking Club

Swished-through-bubbling-broth Buri Shabu Nabé (left) and Shōjin Shabu Nabé (right)

Shabu Shabu Nabé

This Kitchen Culture Cooking Club PROJECT is about making Shabu Shabu Nahot-pots in YOUR kitchen… and sharing with fellow members what you have made.

The Japanese have a fondness for naming dishes with onomatopoeia. The name shabu shabu derives from the sound (shabu shabu) of ingredients being SWISHED through bubbling hot broth. The barely poached tidbits are then dipped in taré (sauce). Yakumi (condiments) such as grated daikon radish, ginger, and/or minced green onions can be set out for each person to use as they wish to enhance their taré.

Although most versions of shabu shabu include tissue-thin slices of meat, the main recipe for our nabémono hot-pot at Kitchen Culture is for Buri Shabu Nathat features thin, fresh slices of fish cut from the loin of yellowtail (buri).

There are many members of KCCC who eat plant-based foods exclusively. For those, and others who would like to increase their consumption of non-animal foodstuffs, I have developed a special shōjin version of shabu shabu.

Vegetables, mushrooms, tōfu in many forms, and nama fu (wheat gluten, in blocks and decorative shapes) are simmered in a deeply flavored sankai dashi (kelp-and-mushroom) broth. In this vegan shabu shabu HOSHI YUBA, dried sheets of soy milk, are swished through the broth; they soften quickly to a slightly chewy, meat-like texture.

BURI (yellowtail) is fabulous in the winter! If you can source top-quality tenderloins you could opt for luscious slices of buri served as sashimi, but … my favorite way to enjoy fresh buri is swished-through-bubbling-broth buri shabu – barely poached slices of yellowtail that get dipped in ponzu. The richly flavored broth that remains in the pot afterwards makes divine ozōsui porridge, a perfect shimé finish to the meal.

About 生麩 NAMA FU...

Nama fu (wheat gluten) is made in blocks and various decorative shapes, many seasonal motifs. Otside Japan they may be a challenge to source. Highly perishable they must be stored in the refrigerator. Often imported frozen from Japan in vacuum-sealed sticks, once defrosted they should not be re-frozen.

About 湯葉 YUBA...

When soymilk is gently heated a film forms on the surface as the soy proteins coagulate (similar to the milk protein “skin” that can form on puddings and custards). The Japanese call this soymilk “skin” YUBA. Freshly formed skins are lifted from the vats of warm soymilk and set to dry on sticks.

The dried HOSHI YUBA is shelf stable. You will find SHEETS, ROLLED CYLINDERS and BUNDLES (sometimes tied with kombu threads) sold in many Asian groceries. Kyoto is famous for its yuba, both fresh (nama yuba) and dried (hoshi yuba).

Looking forward to seeing YOUR Shabu Shabu Na

More information about BURI fish can be found on the Kitchen Culture blog post

and in my January 2022 newsletter.



  MA-GO-WA-YA-SA-SHI-I(Grandchildren are kind) This acronym helps speakers of Japanese remember the names of food groups that support a healthy diet. Each of the seven sounds represents a food group, while the total spells out a lovely adage (lauding the kindness of...

Junsai, a summertime delicacy

Junsai, a summertime delicacy

JUNSAI (water shield; Brasenia schreberi) grows naturally in lakes, ponds and slow streams in many parts of the world but only Japan and China have a long history of cultivating the plant as a food. The Japanese especially love foods with a tsuru tsuru (slippery,...

Project: Enjoy Junsai

Project: Enjoy Junsai

潤菜料理 (junsai ryōri) JUNSAI (water shield; Brasenia schreberi) grows naturally in lakes, ponds and slow streams in many parts of the world but only Japan and China have a long history of cultivating the plant as a food. Young, unfurled sprouts covered in slippery,...

PROJECT Cooking with Early Summer Bounty

PROJECT Cooking with Early Summer Bounty

初夏の幸の料理 (shoka no sachi no ryōri) The Japanese delight in cooking with seasonal produce and in the early summer that means making delicious dishes with new peas and beans. Using the recipes below as a point of departure, create your own BOUNTY-of-EARLY SUMMER DISH...

Recent Posts & Projects