Shabu-shabu is a Japanese hot pot dish cherished by Japanese people. Yet its history is short, and it was the end of the Edo period when people began serving hot pot dish on a charcoal brazier. Today, it is thought that shabu-shabu originates in Mongolia. It is thought that meats were thinly sliced in Mongolia as meat would soon freeze during winter. It was brought into the Yuan dynasty 700 years ago by Kublai Khan and served as court dishes there. Various sauces were developed in China combining with herbal medicines. While miso paste, sauce of crushed spring starflowers, and sauce with fermented tofu were basic sauces in China at that time, different regions had different sauces as well, which were all unique to each other.
In Japan, in contrast to the two other countries, and despite it being one of the most popular dishes in Japan, shabu-shabu became widespread in the mid 20th century. It was Mr. Shoya Yoshida, a military doctor from Tottori Prefecture, who brought the dish back from China after World War II. He taught about China's shuàn yáng ròu to a Japanese chef in Gion, Kyoto, and the chef used beef instead of mutton, using seasonings that would match Japanese tongues. It was in 1946 that "Beef cooked in water" was added to the restaurant's menu. When a chef in Osaka knew about this dish, he incorporated the idea into his menu as well, turning its name to a more familiar one, "shabu-shabu", based on the sound it makes. In 1955, shabu-shabu was added to the menu of a restaurant in Akasaka, Tokyo, and rapidly spread among the country.
Shabu-shabu, surprisingly, has a short length of history, which spread among the country within a short period. Nevertheless, the dish is loved by many households in Japan and it is considered one of Japan's mainstream dishes.
TOJIKI TONYA's Oven Hiranabe