Vegan Shabu Shabu

Shabu Shabu

Very popular in Japan and Taiwan but bizarrely yet to catch on elsewhere, this vegan shabu shabu is one of the tastiest and most fun communal meals you will ever eat. It can be personalised to the individual, and different every time. Note: you’ll need to make the broth the day before, and for a really communal fun meal, you will need a portable stove on the table!

Serves: 2
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 5 minutes


The broth:

60g dried kombu

2 litres cold water



Ponzu dipping sauce:

2 tsp sugar

2 tbsp lime juice

4 tbsp orange juice

1 tbsp mirin (rice wine)

1 tbsp soy sauce



The platter:

Create a platter for each person, from any ingredients you like, perhaps:

Firm tofu

Cabbage, chopped

Spring onion, sliced

Carrots, sliced

Mushrooms, especially the exotic kinds!

Baby corn

Yams, diced

Udon noodles, frozen


  1. The night before, make the broth by wiping the kombu with a clean cloth, then steeping in cold water overnight. Remove the seaweed, retaining the broth. (If short of time, steep the kombu in the water for 30 mins, then heat to near-boiling but DO NOT let it boil!)
  2. Combine all the dipping sauce ingredients and refrigerate.
  3. When you are ready to eat, place the broth in a pan on the portable stove and bring it to a gentle boil. Start adding ingredients from the platter. Vegetables like carrots and cabbage take a little longer to cook, so put some of those in first, then the tofu, and pick them back out when they are done! Keep adding ingredients from your platter. Don’t worry – it is very hard to get this wrong!!
  4. As the tofu and vegetables come out of the pot, dip them in the sauce and eat straight away.

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