4 Best Shabu Shabu Dipping Sauce Recipes

shabu shabu dipping sauce

Shabu Shabu is a popular Japanese hot pot dish. It consists of sliced meat and vegetables that are thinly sliced. Raw meat and vegetables are then cooked in simmering or boiling broth and served with different kinds of dipping sauces once the meat is taken out of the pot as soon as it changes its color. After cooking the meat and vegetables, it is then dip into the delicious and flavorful dipping sauce. In this article, we will talk about the different types of shabu shabu dipping sauce and how to make the favorite sauce that you’re gonna love.

Shabu Shabu Dipping Sauce

Originally, Shabu shabu dipping sauce is made of soy sauce, rice vinegar, dashi and mirin. The combinations of these ingredients will give your shabu shabu dish its classic taste however there are other dipping sauces varieties in relation to the flavor such as spicy wherein chili garlic sauce is used and there’s also that citrus flavor where lemon zest are used.

If you are wondering what shabu shabu sauce tastes like, Japanese Shabu Shabu dish has a savory but with a tangy taste. A hint of salty can also be tasted that comes from the soy sauce as well as having an umami taste of the dish from dashi. Although there’s a little bit of sourness, you can taper it down by adding mirin to make it extra sweet.

Shabu Shabu dipping sauce can be used a the main dipping sauce for your Japanese hot pot but other than that you can also use it in Japanese cuisines for other Japanese dishes such as potstickers, dumplings and wontons. You can also use it to glaze grilled chickens, and burgers too. Other than that, it can also be used as a dressing to your salad or when you are having Korean BBQ gathering at home.

Although you can easily buy ready made dipping sauce you can find online like in Amazon, there are also ready made dipping sauce for your Japanese hotpot that you can purchase in your local grocery stores or supermarket. The most popular dipping sauce available in the market are probably the sesame sauce and the citrus dip sauce. But, you can also make your own homemade dipping sauce where the recipes will be mentioned later on in this article.

Ingredients for Shabu Shabu dipping sauce

The main ingredients mentioned for making dipping sauce for your Japanese hotpot includes soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, mirin and dashi. Let us go through each of the ingredients for your Shabu Shabu meal.

Soy Sauce

When using soy sauce, it is highly recommended to use a lighter variety of soy sauce rather than the dark variety. It is available in most supermarket or grocery stores near you. Soy sauce adds deep and savory flavor to the dipping sauce.

Rice Wine Vinegar

Rice Wine Vinegar also known as Rice Vinegar. It is made of fermented sugars made into alcohol and then into acid. It is less acidic as compared to white distilled vinegar. It has a balanced between sweet and sour that could add to the flavor of the meat from the Shabu Shabu hot pot.


Mirin is a type of rice wine. It is commonly used in Japanese Cuisine. Although it is similar to Sake but it is sweeter and lesser alcohol content.


Dashi is another common ingredient used in Japanese recipes. It is usually used to make the base for broth soup. miso soup, noodle broth soup and other liquids that requires simmering that needs that umami flavor. It is very easy to make, you can simply mix and boil Japanese wakame seaweed, shiitake mushrooms and Bonito.

But if you are making Shabu Shabu dipping sauce at the comfort of home, you can simply use instant dashi stock powder that can be bought at your local grocery stores. Aside from dipping sauce for Shabu Shabu, it can also be used in so many various kinds of Japanese dishes and recipes.

Shabu Shabu Sauce Recipes

Here’s how to make the classic Shabu Shabu sauce for hot pot meal using the 4 main ingredients. You can use the recipes below if you want it to be creamy, spicy or sweet.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Servings: 6


  • 2 tbsp. mirin
  • 1/2 cup dashi
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
  • for garnish: sesame seeds or dried seaweed


  1. In a small-sized sauce pan, mix the ingredients mirin, dashi and soy sauce then bring to boil.

  2. Once boiling, lower the heat. Allow to simmer for at least 5 minutes

  3. Pour in rice wine vinegar to the mixture and then mix them well.

  4. Serve into serving platters. Garnish with dried seaweeds or sesame oil.

Best Shabu shabu dipping sauce

There are different variations of delicious dipping sauces for Shabu Shabu hot pot. Listed below are some of the best dipping sauce and the recipes on how to make them.

Creamy Sesame Dipping Sauce Recipe

To make the delicious creamy sauce for your Shabu Shabu, you can simply add the ingredients below:

  • 2 tbsp. Mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp. Sesame paste or Tahini
  • 1 tbsp. Sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp. dashi stock ( dashi powder for short cut)
  • Sesame seeds (a pinch)
  • Black pepper

Spicy Shabu Shabu dipping sauce recipe

If you want a hint of spice to your dipping sauce, here’s the spicy version. You can simply add in some or small amount wasabi and chili oil. If like spicy food, you’ll definitely love this spicy sauce for your Hot pot meal. .

Combine all the ingredients below:

  • 1/4 cup Sempio’s Hot Chili Hyangshin Sauce. (Alternatives: Hoisin sauce, Oyster sauce and sweet soy sauce and Chili oil mixture)
  • 1 tbsp. Chili garlic sauce (Sambal)
  • 1/2 tsp. Sriracha
  • 1 tsp. Sesame oil

Sweet Shabu Shabu Dipping Sauce Recipe

If you like a more sweeter version of your dipping sauce, here are the ingredients to mix to create a delicious and sweet dipping sauce.

  • 3 tbsp. Sempio’s Hyangshin Sauce (Alternatives: Oyster sauce, sweet soy sauce or Hoisin sauce)
  • 1 tbsp. Lime Juice
  • 1 tbsp. Honey

Adding Eggs

You can also add egg yolks to your dipping sauce, The egg yolks from the eggs will increase the richness of the meal.

Citrus Version

Another variety called the Citrus Shabu Shabu sauce or also known as Ponzu sauce. It is made of soy sauce or Tamari, Mirin, Bonito Flakes or Katsuobushi, Citrus juice, kelp and rice vinegar.

The citrus version is not only used as dipping sauce for Japanese hot pot meal but can also be used as a condiment for grilled meat (Tataki), Dumplings (Gyoza), Sashimi, noodles and Tempura. The Ponzu sauce has a tangy flavor.

To make this, simply mix 1 lime, 3 tbsp soy sauce, 100 grams Daikon Radish and 2 spring onion leaves.


What can you put in a shabu shabu hot pot?

The hot pot meal in Japanese called Shabu shabu is consumed with different varieties of meat and vegetables that are thinly slices. Meat such as beef ( beef chuck or Rib eye) and pork ( pork belly, shoulder and loin) are the most common used meat though seafood and chicken are used too in other restaurants. For Vegans, tofu is used as an alternative to meat.

What is Shabu Shabu sauce made of?

As mentioned earlier, a classic Shabu Shabu sauce is made of soy sauce, dashi, rice vinegar and mirin.

What is the broth in Shabu Shabu made of?

Although there are many types of broth or dashi but with the famous Shabu Shabu hot pot, the dashi that is used is made from Kelp.


Now that you’ve we’ve already discussed the classic Shabu Shabu sauce for your Shabu Shabumeal as well as the other variations of the sauce, go try it out for yourself. We hope that this guide has helped you how to make your own dipping sauce at home to have that delicious dipping sauce whenever you will be having Hot pot meal with family and friends.

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