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What is Shabu Shabu?

April 10, 2016

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Now, I’m sure there are other kinds of Shabu Shabu places, but the only ones we’ve found in Japan so far are based on a time limit, either 90 minutes to two hours. And, you know, I never really went to a Shabu Shabu place in Korea that served you according to a time limit. Every one we went to just had you order big plates of meat and pay for that. Want more? Pay more! Here, though, we just pay a flat rate for as much meat as we can eat. Challenge accepted! EAT AS MUCH AS YOU CAN AS FAST AS YOU CAN!

But that’s just the cheapskate in us talking. It’s not like you won’t get your money’s worth. No need to gorge. You should be going to Shabu Shabu with the intention of casually eating and talking with friends. No rush, no worries. Everyone cooks their meat as they like, eats as much as they like. Most places we eat at aren’t that sociable; they’re mostly pop in, eat quick, and leave. Do your talking elsewhere! A shabu shabu place is not like that. It’s a nice change :D

There are a few things we didn’t show in this video, though. For some reason, this place didn’t have meatball bamboo sticks, when they usually do, as do other Shabu Shabu places we’ve been to. They’ve got ground meat in the hollow of a bamboo stick, and you’re supposed to push the meat out of them into the Shabu Shabu broth, and then it’ll cook into a meatball. They’re great! Some places also offer cheese, which is a lot harder to work with You should only swish the cheese once, and then put it on top of a piece of meat you already shabushabu’ed. If you swish the cheese more than once, it might fall apart and just be sacrificed to the broth. Ha!

Also, if meat isn’t your thing, there are different options. The place we went to offers a meatless option, so you can just cook veggies, if you’d like. You can add noodles to your Shabu Shabu. But unlike the noodles we had at the Korean Shabu Shabu we went to a while ago. You can get smaller, single serving bowls of noodles that you can cook to whatever firmness you like. You can also add Mochi. As a general rule, whenever you can add Mochi to anything, do it. Mochi makes everything better! Basically, you can treat the shabu shabu as a vegetable hot pot, if you’d like, and it’s still pretty delicious :D

So that’s it for our small video on Shabu Shabu. If you haven’t tried it yet, I hope you give it a chance! It’s delicious, and it’s a fun experience overall. Go for it!

We’ve also got some bloopers and extra scenes, if that’s your thing :D

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What is Shabu Shabu?

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  1. I really really need to stop watching this lol. I’m heading to Japan in Feb with my 11 and 8 year old sons and we already dance around singing Shank Shabu. Can’t wait!!!!

    2 years ago
  2. This looks delightful! Is the broth hotter than a fondue? Or is it the way the meat is thinly sliced that makes it better?

    3 years ago
  3. Is this like Hot Pot, ( mongolie dinner ) ?

    3 years ago
  4. After 90 minutes do they just stop refilling your trays or do you have to be out the restaurant?

    3 years ago
    • Pretty much both. They’ll stop refilling closer to then end of your time (they just get slower and slower…haha) and after 90 min they’ll tell you, and start cleaning your table slowly as a subtle hint…. ;P

      3 years ago
  5. I just ate, now I am hungry again.

    3 years ago
  6. Where was this place? When I was in Japan I didn´t manage to find a shabu shabu place like that one and was sad.

    3 years ago
    • Nabezo is the chain we filmed at for this video. It’s pretty common and we’ve always had reliably yummy food there. But lunch time is always the best time to go because it is so much cheaper!

      3 years ago
  7. Fun video. The subs made me giggle.

    3 years ago
  8. Really glad you mentioned there’s a meatless option as well. I am *fingers crossed* moving to Japan later this year. And I’m a pescatarian, so I can be limited with where I can go, because of the menu. And I sometimes get a little sad watching you go to all these places and just eat meat, because these restaurants look amazing and eating Shabu Shabu feels like an intricate part of experiencing culture, and if they only served meat I’d miss out.

    3 years ago
  9. I would eat the heck out of Shabu Shabu. By the way Martina, you and I, we’re besties now lol I love phonomimes and phenomimes!

    3 years ago
    • Simon you’re my friend as well lol I said we are beard brothers on another video but this is about Shabu Shabu dang it! XD

      3 years ago
  10. They have something VERY similar to this (save its using a dome shaped hibachi grill instead of the soup cooking) at the Sapporo Brewery in Sapporo. All you can eat meat and veggies PLUS all you can drink Sapporo Beer. Amazing freaking meal. http://www.sapporo-bier-garten.jp/foreign/english.php

    3 years ago
  11. That looks YUMMY!!!!

    3 years ago
  12. Ohhh~ I didn’t know Japan had this. My boyfriend and I have gone to Chinese hot pots that work similarly back in the US and Canada, which we really liked.

    We are going to try to make it to one while we are here! :D

    We were also going to go to the Izakaya the other day, but decided to put it off until next week because we wanted to get a little more comfortable with ordering at restaurants. o^o We’ve had a lot of different ordering experiences so far in Japan.

    3 years ago
  13. Putting this on my list of things to do when I finally get to go to Japan. I feel like the real selling point is the sexy “shabu-shabu” noise that the meat makes XD.

    3 years ago
  14. This makes me hungry for shabu shabu…but I’m going to get a walking taco instead. Work with what I have. I’ll swish the taco stuff around in the bag with a fork and whisper shabu shabu to it softly. Or maybe shabby shabu since autocomplete seems so damn determined to make “shabu” say “shabby”.

    3 years ago
  15. i’m so hungry now

    3 years ago
  16. Hot pots are always yummy. I love having tofu, veggies, fish, and pork in them.

    3 years ago
  17. The song in the background was EPIC :D :D :D :D :D I want that song to be my alarm song when I wake up

    3 years ago
  18. Does the hot beef slightly cook the egg before it hits your mouth or is it kinda “slippery” textured & completely raw still?

    3 years ago
    • I’ve made sukiyaki at home and have dipped my meat in the raw egg. I can say that it is kinda “slippery”. It doesn’t make your meat cold. Instead, it is warm and in my opinion, reduces the saltiness of the broth.

      3 years ago
      • I see :). I thought it either got cooked a little or made the beef colder so that it’s easier on the tongue. I know that eggs in Japan are super hygienic so that you can eat it raw, unlike here in the US where you’re risking salmonella or E.Coli

        3 years ago
        • I’ve honestly eaten raw eggs in Canada knowing full well of the risks. I just make sure that I wash the egg and get good quality eggs to do so.

          3 years ago
        • I just had shabu shabu for the first time in Japan a few weeks ago, and they offered the raw egg as well. I was a little skeptical at first, pretty much because of the reasons you listed about eggs in the US. I tried it and it was actually very delicious. The egg didn’t really add any slippery texture because the meat was already pretty wet from being in the broth, but it added a lovely cool sweet flavor to the overall taste and was something I recommend to try, even if you’re nervous about the egg being raw :)

          3 years ago