Saturday, January 11, 2014

Shabu Shabu - Paleo Fondue Night!

My husband works for a Japanese company and he has loved to eat shabu shabu during his business trips to Japan. He suggested we make this at home - it is perfect for autoimmune paleo diet! It is pre-sliced veggies and meat that you cook in the table by swishing them (shabu shabu means "swish swish" if I understood correctly) with chopsticks in boiling broth. We used our camp stove to cook the food. We didn't have the meat cut thin enough so we had to let the meat cook in the broth for a while and then pick the pieces up. Vegetables need also a little more time. This dish is great because you can also make a vegan broth by using kombu sea weed and by having it in a separate cooker you could have vegans as dinner guests at the same time.

This is how you organize a shabu shabu night at your home for your family or friends:

1. Cut vegetables in bite size pieces / or just a little bigger so you can easily grab them with chopsticks. For autoimmune paleo friendly meal, remember not to include night shades. We used bok choy, zucchini, endives and different kinds of mushrooms (oyster mushrooms were my favorite) - I think some don't include shiitake in the AIP protocol because it is a medicinal mushroom. 

2. Prepare very thin slices of meat. You can also use uncooked shrimp and fish.

TIP: To cut the meat in super thin slices that cook in a few swishes (or shabu shabus) you should freeze it for an hour right before.

3. Prepare a broth.


2.5 cups water
a couple of strips of kombu sea weed
2 cups home made chicken broth
salt to taste

TIP: To make a kombu broth use a lot of kombu and use water instead of the broth. Boil the kombu in water for 10 minutes. 

4. Prepare a sauce to dip the boiled veggies in.

(found the original recipe from here and modified it to AIP friendly)

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup coconut aminos
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3/4 cups water
1/4 tsp grated fresh ginger
(fresh crushed garlic)

This was a lot of sauce, we froze the leftover sauce for our next shabu shabu night. 

5. Have a boiling pot of broth in the table and add veggies and meat to be cooked in the broth by using chop sticks. Or fork if you prefer. Give everyone a small plate for the sauce (recipe above) that they can use to dip the food in. Lift cooked pieces of food to everyone's plate and add more to the broth. Repeat. And eat. And talk and have fun!

We had way too much meat purchased by my husband. My favorites were the mushrooms, veggies and shrimp. As the flavors of the broth and sauce are very subtle, you can really taste the flavors of the individual vegetables, mushrooms and meats. I loved that. The leftovers can be used for a stir fry the next day.


  1. This looks delicious and fun! I can't wait to try it!

  2. It was surprisingly delicious. We found out that to cut the meat super thin you should freeze it for an hour right before.

  3. I highlighted this recipe as one of my favorites at this week's Paleo AIP Recipe Roundtable. Thanks so much for linking up, and I hope you’ll join us again!

    1. Thanks Eileen! We loved this so much too! Hope you get to try it. It was so much fun. I will definitely join the round table again.

  4. This sounds delicious! I have a fondue set and we rarely use it since going paleo. I'll definitely be trying this. Thank you!

    1. Yay! Great use for the fondue set! Let me know how it was and which veggies you tried! We saved the broth by the way and it tastes very good after all the veggies and meats were cooking in it. I have used it in other foods.