Hot Pot (or similarly Japanese Shabu-Shabu) is actually a fondue. Vegetables, thinly sliced meats and often noodles and/or dumplings, are added to a pot with boiling broth.
Each person sharing the fondue adds their own ingredients to the broth. Food can be rescued by using a small wire basket or just cooked by “swishing” it through the broth with chop sticks.
The broth can either be earthy and savory with the addition of dried seaweed and other spices, or very hot (as evidenced by the numerous dried chiles floating on top).
It is typically served with dipping sauces on the side, such as spicy Sriracha sauce, hot chili oil, hoisin sauce, Chinese hot mustard, or a light citrus flavored ponzu sauce. My favorite is the ginger garlic & soy dipping sauce (see recipe below).
There are restaurants that specialize in Chinese Hot Pot or Shabu-Shabu style eating. But it is possible to make it at home. For this simple version, I’ve simplified the process by making one big soup.
How many of us still have a large fondue pot lying around in the pantry? For most of us it is a distant memory and many garage sales ago. If you do though, go ahead and set up the broth in the middle of the table and serve with the uncooked ingredients on the side.
We typically use a portable induction cooktop that works well (and is also great for fondue). There are also specific Shabu-Shabu pots that you can purchase, some allowing for 2 different cooking broths, often one spicy and one mild.
Either way, consider making it festive by serving with some dipping sauces on the side. Although, the soup has an interesting exotic flavor, particularly because of the use of star anise, which mildly numbs the tongue and intensifies the flavor of the soup.
Shabu Shabu Ingredients
In this recipe I suggest using fresh shrimp and thinly sliced rib-eye steak. But you can also use whatever protein you like, including firm tofu. In restaurants serving Hot Pot you get a list of categories to choose from including a variety of different vegetables and proteins. Try scallops, pea pods or thinly sliced chicken breast. Experiment and find your favorite!
Here are some additional Asian Recipes you might enjoy:
Shabu Shabu Soup Base
- 1 Large Sweet White Onion - diced
- 2 Tablespoons (30 ml) Vegetable Oil
- 4 Cups (1 Liter) Low Salt Beef, Chicken or Vegetable Broth
- 3 Whole Cloves Garlic
- 2 Tablespoons (30 ml) Soy Sauce
- Whole Star Anise, 3-4
- 1/8 Teaspoon (1 g) Whole Peppercorns
- 10 Dried Japanese Pequin Peppers
- 1 Teaspoon Chinese 5 Spice
- 1 Teaspoon Ginger Garlic Paste (optional - see recipe below)
- 4 Cups (1 Liter) Water
Shabu Shabu Ingredients
- 8 Ounces (225 g) Rib eye steak cut into thin bite sized pieces, easiest if you freeze in advance or cut into small chunks and pound until thin between sheets or saran wrap
- 8 Fresh Shrimp - shelled and deveined
- 4 Frozen Potstickers or Shumai Dumplings
- 7 Ounces (200 g) Udon Noodles, Thin Pasta or Ramen Noodles
- 2 Cups (340 g) Chopped Bok Choy or Napa Cabbage
- 2 Cups (176 g) of Fresh Mushrooms - Chopped into bite sized pieces
- Optional - Chopped Fresh Cilantro and Green Onions as a garnish
- Sauté the onion in the vegetable oil over medium heat in a large sauce pan until it begins to brown (about 10 minutes)
- Add stock, garlic and spices and simmer for 20 minutes. The Chile peppers can be added here for extra heat, or omitted to reduce the spiciness.
- If serving traditional Hot Pot (Shabu-Shabu) style, place the hot broth on a heating element in the center of the table and allow each guest to add the ingredients they want and scooping the ingredients out as they are cooked through.
- For a nontraditional soup style preparation, add the pasta and dumplings and boil for about 5 - 8 minutes, less if using ramen or very thin pasta. Follow package directions for exact cooking time.
- Add the shrimp, thinly sliced beef and vegetables. Boil for about 2 minutes (when the shrimp is cooked through).
- Ladle into bowls and garnish with cilantro.
- Serve with dipping sauces on the side.
- 4.5 Ounces (128 g) Fresh Ginger, skin removed
- 2 Bulbs of Garlic, peeled
- 3 Tablespoons (45 ml) Olive Oil
Cut the peeled ginger into thin rounds. Add the ginger, garlic and oil to a blender.
Allow it to process until smooth. If the blender has difficulty processing the paste, add water in small quantities.
Store in the refrigerator in a sealed container. It should keep well for 1 - 2 months.
Amount Per Serving Calories 24Total Fat 3gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 2gCholesterol 0mgSodium 0mgCarbohydrates 0gFiber 0gSugar 0gProtein 0g
Nutritional information is an estimate only
- 6 Tablespoons (90 ml) low-salt Soy Sauce
- 2 Teaspoons (10 ml) Mirin
- 2 Teaspoons (9 g) Ginger Garlic Paste
- Pinch of Chili Flakes (optional)
Combine all ingredients.
Store in an airtight container for up to 7 - 10 days. Best if stored in the refrigerator for up to an hour before use in order to allow the flavors to combine.
Visit our food find/recipes section to see our full collection of recipes inspired by our ongoing travels around the world!