Shabu Shabu is a Japanese dish that is self served in a boiled water or broth. The dish Shabu Shabu is Japanese for Swish Swish, meaning you cook the meat and ingredients very quickly because the beef strips are so thin. It makes for quick cooking/eating. Main ingredients are usually a very thin sliced high end cut of beef, greens such as spinach, leeks or bok choy, shitake mushrooms, cabbage, and basically whatever else you want to throw in it. Some start with chicken broth to add more flavor, and some use a ginger soy sauce to dip in. I’ve listed a few different recipes I’ve found online to try it out at home, as I imagine it would be hard to make in a hostel.
But if you want the true experience, you’ll have to go to Tokyo or Taiwan as I’ve heard these are some of the best places to get this dish or at least a version of it. Hot Pot, Sukiyaki, are similar and while I’m not going to get into a debate about the history and origins of food here, I will say that this is one meal you may want to spend a little more money on than usual and be wary of cheap versions. It’s all about the beef, and since the beef is cut so thin, and cooked so quickly, it’s important for your health to not get into cheap cuts.
Recipe Book: Favorite Japanese Dishes (Quick & Easy)