This Is The Best Type Of Meat To Use In Shabu-Shabu

If you're preparing shabu-shabu, the foods you choose are going to make or break the meal. Quick refresher — shabu-shabu is a Japanese take on hot pot with a kombu (dried kelp) and dashi (Japanese soup stock) base, according to the KitchenBaroness. While there are a variety of meats that you can use (pork, chicken, or lamb) there's just one that you'll find at high-end Japanese restaurants: beef

Granted, there are lots of different cuts of beef, so which one should you buy? Pogogi, the Japanese food informational site, explains that using marbled beef is always going to be the number one choice, though some restaurants may also include leaner cuts on their menus. KitchenBaroness recommends going for beef sirloin, buying enough so that there are at least 8.8 ounces (250 grams) per person. Of course, the better the quality of the meat, the better your shabu-shabu is going to be, so spring for the good beef if you can.

How should you prepare your meat?

How you prepare your meat is going to be just as important as which meat you get, if not more so. Japanese food and recipe blog Just One Cookbook recommends first checking to see if there's a good Japanese grocery store near you, as obviously they'll have the best thinly sliced meat for shabu-shabu. If there isn't one, you can check out this video, where Just One Cookbook's Nami teaches you how to thinly slice meat yourself. You'll want to freeze your meat until it's firm, just soft enough to cut. Then, as long as you have a good, sharp knife, it won't be too hard to get the really fine slices you need for shabu-shabu. 

Once your beef is sliced paper thin (or as thin as you can manage — it may take practice), lay it on a plate for serving. Set out your other ingredients: the broth, the vegetables, and any sauces or seasonings, and you're ready to get cooking and eating.