Fondue with a Japanese twist

The word ‘fondue’ usually conjures up images of friends and family enjoying a slow, cosy, relaxed meal together. And the same applies to Japanese fondue. It’s popular there and is traditionally served with beef. Each guest can cook their own meat by placing it in a pot of boiling hot stock. The dish gets its name ‘shabu-shabu’ which means “swish swish” in Japanese which describe the sound of the light swishing of the meat in the simmering broth. Different kinds of cabbage, plus leek, carrot, various kinds of mushrooms and udon noodles are served alongside the beef – and are also submerged in the hot stock. All are cooked so quickly in simmering soup. After the meat and vegetable pieces are cooked, they are dipped in ponzu or sesame sauce – delicious! They are usually served with a side of rice.

Why not try it yourself? Kikkoman has put together two great recipes so that you too can enjoy this traditional and sociable Japanese food experience:

Shabu-Shabu (Japanese Hot Pot)

Ingredients for 2 portions:

  • 150 g thinly sliced beef (for cooking)
  • 4 shiitake mushrooms (or regular or oyster mushrooms)
  • 150 g hakusai (Chinese cabbage) (or savoy cabbage or Swiss chard)
  • ½ a bunch of spinach, dandelion or rocket
  • ½ a bunch of spring onions (or leek)
  • 600 ml stock: 1 piece of seaweed and 600 ml water (or fish, meat or vegetable stock)
  • to taste: Kikkoman Ponzu Lemon or Kikkoman Sesame Dressing

For the sesame sauce (home-made):

  • 4 tbsp. tahini or peanut paste
  • 2 tbsp. apple juice
  • 1-1.5 tbsp. soy sauce
  • ½ tsp. sugar
  • white pepper to taste


Cut the beef into pieces. Remove the shiitake mushroom stems and cut the rest decoratively. Cut the stem of the Chinese cabbage into strips 4-5 cm long and cut the leaves into bite-sized pieces. Roughly chop the spinach and slice the spring onions diagonally into pieces 5-6 cm long. Mix together the ingredients for the sesame sauce. Heat up the stock. Allow the beef to lightly cook in the stock, then cook the remaining ingredients during the course of the meal. Enjoy the shabu-shabu with sesame sauce and ponzu as dipping sauces.

Daikon Radish Shabu-Shabu

Ingredients for 2 portions:

  • 300 g (daikon) radish
  • 150 g thinly sliced pork or beef (for cooking)
  • 40 g carrots
  • ½ pack of shirataki noodles (or cellophane noodles – cooked until soft)
  • 1 bunch mizuna (or spinach)
  • to taste: Kikkoman Ponzu Lemon or Kikkoman Sesame Dressing

For the tsuyu stock:


Cut the radish into thin slices 15 cm long. Cut the pork/beef into large, thin slices, then cut the carrots and mizuna into slices 5 cm long (if using spinach instead of mizuna, roughly chop it). Blanch the shirataki noodles (or cellophane noodles). Combine all the ingredients for the stock in a pot then add the remaining ingredients. Season the meat and vegetable pieces by dipping them in the ponzu or sesame sauce – and enjoy!

Shabu-shabu European-style – the easy way to cook it at home

It’s not just in Japan where shabu-shabu is popular: slowly but surely it’s becoming established in Europe and an increasing number of restaurants are starting to serve it. But it’s most enjoyable when eaten at home: share it with good friends, pair it with a delicious wine and, above all, take your time to really savour it. Kikkoman has put together three great recipes for the perfect European shabu-shabu. Feeling peckish? Then invite your friends and family over right now to try one of our recipes!

Kikkoman’s tip

With Kikkoman Sesame Dressing and the Kikkoman Ponzu range you’ll always have just the right shabu-shabu dipping sauce on hand!

Did you know?

Sukiyaki is very similar to shabu-shabu. It also involves cooking meat and vegetables at the table, but they are fried in a frying pan or simmered rather than boiled. The tasty ingredients are then dipped in raw egg – and they’re ready to eat.