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Pork Shabu-shabu Salad
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
5 mins

Paper-thin pork slices are cooked just like Shabu-shabu Hotpot and quickly cooled down. The mound of chilled Pork Shabu-shabu on plenty of lettuce leaves is quite a healthy salad. It can be a main dish as well. The sesame soy dressing is perfect for it.

Total Time does not include time to chill the cooked pork in the freezer (about 15 minutes).

Don't forget to see the section 'MEAL IDEAS' below the recipe card! It gives you a list of dishes that I have already posted and this recipe that can make up a complete meal. I hope it is of help to you.

Recipe Type: Salad
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: Japanese salad, Pork, Shabu-shabu
Serves: 1
Author: Yumiko
Ingredients (tbsp=15ml, cup=250ml)
  • 100g/3.5oz thinly sliced pork (1-2mm/1/16” thick, note 1)
Vegetables (note 2)
  • 2 cups shredded lettuce
  • 50g/1.8oz cucumber , thinly sliced
  • 20g/0.7oz red onion , thinly sliced
  • ½ tomato cut to 6 wedges
Sesame Soy Dressing
  • ½ tbsp grated roasted white sesame seeds
  • 1⅓ tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp mirin
  • ¼ tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp grated apple
  • ½ tsp grated ginger
  • 500ml/1.1pt water
  • 1 tbsp sake (cooking rice wine)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • A bowl of ice water (optional, if you are in a hurry)
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped shallots/scallions
  1. Add all the Sesame Soy Dressing ingredients to a jar, place a lid on and shake well until the sugar dissolves.

Cooking Shabu-shabu Pork
  1. Bring 500ml water with ½ teaspoon salt in a pot to a boil, add sake to the water, then reduce the heat to low so that the water is gently simmering.
  2. Pick up a pork slice, lower it into the simmering water and jiggle for 5 seconds or so until the pork slice becomes whitish and there are no patches of pink flesh (note 3).

  3. Transfer the pork to the ice water to cool down (optional, if you are in a hurry). Then transfer to a plate.

  4. Repeat steps 5 and 6 for the rest of the pork slices (note 4).

  1. Spread the lettuce on a serving plate, then spread the cucumber slices and onion slices on top (note 5).

  2. Place the tomato wedges around the lettuce.
  3. Drain the pork slices well (if the bottom of them is wet) and place them on top of the salad, topped with chopped shallots/scallions.

  4. Serve with the Sesame Soy Dressing.
Recipe Notes

1. I bought a pack of frozen shabu-shabu pork at an Asian grocery store. The meat was pork loin and the thickness of the slices was about 1mm/1/16”. Unless you have an electric slicer, it is pretty hard to slice so thinly by hand, unfortunately.

You can also use thinly sliced pork belly. For Aussies, Coles supermarket sells it and the slices are 2mm thick. They can be a bit chewy when cooked so you may want to pound them to make them thinner before cooking.

Thaw the meat if frozen, then leave it at room temperature before cooking.

2. You can substitute to other kinds of vegetables. Even boiled vegetables can work well with the Pork Shabu-shabu and the Sesame Soy Dressing.

3. Depending on the thickness of the meat, time taken to cook pork slices vary. My paper-thin slice needed only 5 seconds. Do not cook at high temperature for a long time. The meat hardens and loses flavour into the water.

It is important not to cook many pork slices in the simmering water at once as the temperature of the water drops and it will take long time to cook meat through.

4. When I use ice water, I cook a pork slice while leaving the cooked pork in the ice water. When I place the newly cooked pork in the ice water, I transfer the previous slice to a plate.

5. You can mix them all and spread on a plate if you like. You could also plate the vegetables on one side and place the pork next to it.

6. Nutrition per serving. You probably don't consume the entire dressing but the nutrition assumes all dressing is consumed.

serving: 420g calories: 531kcal fat: 36g (55%) saturated fat: 505g (28%) trans fat: 0.1g polyunsaturated fat: 13g monounsaturated fat: 12g cholesterol: 64mg (21%) sodium: 1232mg (51%) potassium: 1079mg (31%) carbohydrates: 24g (8%) dietary fibre: 7.6g (30%) sugar: 11g protein: 30g vitamin a: 175% vitamin c: 26% calcium: 27 % iron: 35 %