Hot Pot vs Shabu Shabu: What’s The Difference?

hot pot vs shabu shabu
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hot pot vs shabu shabu

For every foodie out there, there is a never-ending list of cuisines and dishes to try. Some people are interested in Mexican cuisine for the savory flavor, while some are interested in Indian cuisine for a spicy taste. However, if you are interested in Japanese cuisine, we are pretty sure that you must be confused about Hot Pot Vs. Shabu-shabu. In this article, we have added everything you need to differentiate between them!

Hot Pot vs Shabu Shabu


This is the Japanese hotspot dish that has an origination from the Chinese cuisines. However, the shabu-shabu version currently famous belongs to Japan, and it was first made back in 1952. Shabu-shabu is actually the thin slice of beef that’s dipped in the seasoned broth. However, the addition in broth is only to cook the beef strip.

When it comes down to the shabu-shabu types, it is made with pork, beef, and chicken. The beef shabu-shabu is the most standard choice and is majorly available in the top-notch restaurants. The beef shabu-shabu is made with the special wagyu cut. Secondly, there is pork shabu-shabu, which is commonly known as ton-shabu. This shabu-shabu variant is devoured with sesame sauce of ponzu sauce.

Thirdly, there is chicken shabu-shabu, which is a fine choice for people who find other meat types hard on the stomach. However, there are vegetarian shabu-shabu as well because you can make vegan shabu-shabu if you are making the right broth. Usually, the shabu-shabu is cooked with noodles, veggies, and tofu as sides.

Usually, onion, Chinese cabbage, mustard greens, mushrooms, tofu, garlic chives, and mochi slices are the common ingredients. Shabu-shabu is usually cooked on a piece-by-piece basis on the dining table. The overall taste of shabu-shabu is savory. Some variants of shabu-shabu can also be made with crabs, lobster, duck, and lamb.

The top-notch restaurants tend to use the ribeye steak, but the cuts are usually less tender. When it comes down to shabu-shabu, you need to cook the meat pieces in the broth or boiling water. As for the broth, it is usually made with kelp. The meat slices are usually thin like paper, which means seconds of dipping in the hot broth will cook the meat pieces.

When it comes down to the dipping and sauces, sesame sauce and ponzu sauce can be utilized. In some cases, the sesame pastes and soy sauce are offered at the restaurants. Also, the sides usually include the Japanese pickled carrots and spring onions, but you can also add them to the sauce to optimize the flavor according to your taste.

Hot Pot

Hot Pot is usually known as sukiyaki and is cooked in the Japanese hot pots. Some people even call this cooking style nabemono style. The hot pot is usually cooked in the iron pots (shallow ones) with the combination of sugar, sake, soy, and mirin. This is the one-dish meal that is dipped in the raw eggs before they are cooked.

Upon serving, it is usually simmering and comes with cellophane noodles and tofu, along with veggies of your preference. A hot Pot is utilized in winters in Japan. As far as the flavor is concerned, it has a sweet taste. The Hot Pot is made in the rich-flavored broth and is cooked with a variety of foods, such as seafood and veggies.

In some cases, the ingredients are left in the iron pots to make sure the broth has a rich flavor. As far as the dipping is concerned, beaten and raw eggs are used. As for the broth, it can be a combination of chicken, peppercorns, and chilies. There are some modern hot pot forms that come with white broth and red broth in half-half portions in the bowl.

For people who intend to cook hot pot, keep in mind that it has an extended cooking time. Also, the side veggies and ingredients are simmered in the salty and sweet sauce.

The Bottom Line

The only similarity between shabu-shabu and hot pot is that both of them are cooked with somewhat similar veggies and meat slices. However, the shabu-shabu is only parboiled in the sauce and doesn’t require the egg dips. On the other hand, the hot pot is meant to be cooked thoroughly!

hot pot vs shabu shabu
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