Metro Manila is now under GCQ (general community quarantine), and some restaurants have dine-in operations. However, we still prefer staying at home as much as possible and be on the safer side. Yesterday was my husband’s birthday. Instead of going out like we usually do every year to celebrate, we had a blast at home with shabu shabu! The best thing about shabu-shabu is that the ingredients can be customized to your own taste and preferences.

5 Steps to Make Shabu Shabu at Home

1. Bring out all the ingredients. 

I bought meatballs and cheese balls from Eng Bee Tin. My mom brought over some vegetables, thinly sliced beef, tofu, and vermicelli.

2. Fill a large pot with water and boil.

For home cooking, you can use a portable burner, induction heating cook-top, or hot plate. Boil water for your soup.

3. Prepare the soup base or broth.

Traditionally, the broth for shabu-shabu is a simple dashi made from kombu seaweed. Nowadays, you can choose your own: chicken broth, beef broth, kimchi broth, pork broth, or vegetable broth. In our case, we used the Bull Head Barbecue Sauce I got from Lazada. It’s a popular condiment from Taiwan. It has a spectacular harmony of salty and sour tastes which makes it a good accompaniment to meat and a base for soups. Put the Bull Head Taiwanese Sauce, and bring the broth to a simmer over medium heat. Lightly season with salt and pepper.

4. Add the ingredients in batches.

Start with the meatballs, then meat, tough vegetables, vermicelli, and tofu. Harder vegetables take longer to cook, while leafy vegetables cook more quickly. Continue to cook and simmer in a few minutes.

5. Prepare dipping sauces.

Most popular shabu-shabu dipping sauces are ponzu (a citrusy soy sauce) and goma-tare (a type of sesame sauce). Ponzu is usually for vegetables and goma-tare is used for meat. In our case, since I don’t have the time to buy these, we used ssamjang (a combination of doenjang-Korean soybean paste, gochujang-Korean chili paste, and sesame oil).

Scoop out ingredients from the pot, dip them into your own customized sauce and devour! 🙂

I’ve been wanting to try shabu-shabu at home for weeks. Since this is best enjoyed with a group of people (I can’t possibly finish everything alone), my husband’s birthday was the perfect opportunity to finally have it. Shabu-shabu at home is a glorious communal feast as it’s both fun and interactive. The good thing is it’s simple and very easy to make with the right equipment and ingredients.


Health and technology freak. Food and lifestyle blogger with a large appetite for food and travel.

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