The One Pot Party Solution

Four reasons for throwing a shabu shabu party
Here comes shabu shabu.
Shabu Shabu Dinner Party
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Shabu shabu is Japanese for DIY hot pot awesomeness. 

It's the dinner party your friends cook themselves. 

Here's why you should fire up the portable stove and get a nabe of steaming broth ready next time you're hankering for something homey, tasty and fun.

It's easy. Making your own broth is a snap (see the recipe). The only other prep: Shopping for the vegetables (bok choy, enoki mushrooms), tofu and thinly sliced rolls of beef and pork (check out Asian markets for shabu-ready meat selections).   

It's pretty. Nancy Singleton Hachisu, author of Japanese Farm Food calls shabu shabu "gorgeous." 

"It has the winter colors," she says. "The dark green of bok choy, the red from the beautiful marbled meat, the soft greens of the negi [Japanese spring onion], the pottery and platters."

Check out our shabu gear guide, with everything from a rustic, earthenware donabe to gold-status chopsticks.

It's endlessly customizable. We skip the bottled sauces and make our own blood orange ponzu sauce (see the recipe), miso-tahini sauce (see the recipe) and a spicy chile oil that suggests the dish's Mongolian hot pot roots (see the recipe). 

It satisfies. When the platters are scraped clean and the shabu shabu's still bubbling, dump udon noodles into the enriched, fat-slicked dashi. Split the noodles and soup among your friends and end the night to the sound of happy slurping.

  • Shabu shabu calls for communal cooking at the table. We're fans of Iwatani's sleek, silver portable burner ($130) and Korin's sturdy donabe, Japanese earthenware pot traditionally used for shabu shabu ($40).

  • Brighten up your soup with these mid-century patterned, glazed porcelain soup bowls from West Elm ($14).

  • Serve this dish with some modern flair by plating your vegetables on this cocoa-colored stoneware platter ($34), noodles in a sculptural, mirror-polished bowl from Georg Jensen ($150) and sauces in CB2's gold-finished pinch bowls ($5).

  • Raw meat can be sexy with this crackled ceramic platter ($29). Make fishing it out of the dashi easier with this mesh skimmer ($1). Dip in style with this sea green, wave-rimmed bowl ($4).

  • Tuck in with elegant gold ($1 each) and beveled black ($3) chopsticks and classic ceramic spoons ($3) from Korin. Then, wipe up and rest in between shabu shabu batches with graphic napkins ($20 for four) and cedar chopstick rests ($2).

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