Beef Shabu Shabu

Serves: 4

Preparation time: 20min

Cooking time: _

Difficulty: Easy

Beef Shabu Shabu



  • 550g prime boneless beef, rump or sirloin, cut into paper-thin slices
  • 4 leaves Chinese cabbage, washed and patted dry
  • 8 fresh shitake or other large flat mushrooms, wiped
  • 2 thin leeks, washed and trimmed
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled
  • 225g tofu
  • 100g spinach, washed and trimmed
  • Ponzu sauce
  • parsley or watercress to garnish

Sesame Sauce

  • 1 Tbsp Mirin
  • 1 Tbsp Sake
  • 75g white sesame seeds
  • 3 Tbsps dark soy sauce
  • 85ml Dashi
  • 1½ tsp sugar


  • Red maple radish
  • 2 spring onions
  • 1 x 10cm piece dried kombu seaweed


  1. Beef: Semi-freeze beef until it is firm and slice it very finely across the grain. Cut it into 2.5cm strips.
  2. Chinese cabbage and spinach rolls: par boil the Chinese cabbage leaves for 2-3 minutes then drain and pat dry. Blanch the spinach in lightly salted water for 30 seconds to 1 minute until it turns bright green and begins to wilt. Drain and plunge into cold water.
    Drain again and make it in to 2 rolls using a bamboo rolling mat. Lay 2 Chinese cabbage leaves on the mat with the edges overlapping and the stalks pointing in opposite directions; put a spinach roll on top and roll it into a tight cylinder. Leave it in the mat for a few minutes, then unroll and cut across into 2.5cm lengths. Repeat with the remaining cabbage leaves and spinach.
  3. Carrots: Cut the carrots in to flowers (cut an even cylinder and then make 5 lengthway slits. The cut slices to make flowers)
  4. Mushrooms: Cut off and discard the mushroom stalks; notch a decorative cross in each mushroom cap.
  5. Leeks: Cut the leeks on the diagonal into 4cm chunks.
  6. Tofu: Cut the tofu into 4cm cubes.
  7. Arrange all these ingredients on 1 or 2 large platters, grouping each type of ingredient together.
  8. Garnish with parsley or watercress.

Ponzu Sauce

  1. Put the Ponzu sauce in to 4 small bowls for dipping.

Sesame Sauce

  1. Lightly toast the sesame seeds, then grind until pasty in a suribachi, mortar and pestle or electric grinder.
  2. Gradually blend in the remaining sauce ingredients, adding enough dashi to make a thin sauce.
  3. Pour the sesame sauce in to 4 small dipping bowls.


  1. Prepare the red maple radish and shape it into 4 moulds.
  2. Chop the spring onions very finely, rinse in cold water, squeeze and pat dry.
  3. Divide the seasonings in to 4 small bowls.

To cook and serve

  1. Put a large flameproof casserole on a burner in the centre of the table and fill it three-quarters full of water.
  2. Wipe the kombu and score it a few times to help release the flavour, then add to the water and bring to the boil.
  3. Remove the kombu and turn down the heat so that the stock is simmering.
  4. Mix the red maple radish into the ponzu sauce and a few spring onion slices into either sauce.
  5. With chopsticks, pick up a slice of beef and swish it around in the stock for a few seconds, until it changes colour, then dip it in one of the sauces and eat immediately.
  6. Put some vegetables in to the stock to cook, beginning with the harder ones which need more time.
  7. Gradually the stock will absorb the flavour of the meat and vegetables.