A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from January 20, 2019
Shabu-Shabu

"Shabu-shabu” is a Japanese hotpot dish of thinly sliced meat and vegetables boiled in water. The name “shabu-shabu” comes from the “swish-swish” as the meat and vegetables are placed in the boiling water and cooked. A sauce is usually added to the food before eating. The flavorful broth is then consumed last.

“In Hong Kong we purchased a Mongolian Hot Pot. It’s a charcoal-burning stove to prepare a dish known as ‘Shabu Shabu’” was printed in the Miami (FL) News on June 6, 1962.

The New York (NY) Times printed in April 7, 1963:

“Similar to mizutaki in some respects is shaab-shaab, a dish which actually originated in Manchuria. The main ingredient here is beef or mutton which has been sliced very thin. In the center of the table is a large bowl of boiling water into which the slices are dipped for a few seconds and then transferred to a spicy sauce before eating.”

The Honolulu (HI) Advertiser printed on June 21, 1963:

“Another meal she found intriguing was shab-shab. ‘That’s Kobe beef, sliced thin. There is a fire with a receptacle of boiling broth, and you pick a piece of beef and swish it through the broth, rather like fondue. I guess they call it shab-shab because of the sound it makes when you swish it.’ The beef is followed by vegetables and tofu which are also shab-shabed through the broth, she said.”

“Shabu-shabu” replaced “shab-shab” as the usual spelling by the mid-1960s.


Wikipedia: Shabu-shabu
Shabu-shabu (しゃぶしゃぶ) is a Japanese nabemono hotpot dish of thinly sliced meat and vegetables boiled in water. The term is onomatopoeic, derived from the sound emitted when the ingredients are stirred in the cooking pot and served with dipping sauces. The food is cooked piece by piece by the diner at the table. Shabu-shabu is considered to be more savory and less sweet than sukiyaki.

History
Shabu-Shabu was introduced in Japan in the 20th century with the opening of the restaurant “Suehiro” in Osaka, where the name was invented. Its origins are traced back to the Chinese hot pot known as instant-boiled mutton (Shuàn Yángròu). Shabu-Shabu is most similar to the original Chinese version when compared to other Japanese hot-pot dishes (nabemono) such as sukiyaki. Suehiro registered the name as a trademark in 1955. Together with sukiyaki, Shabu-Shabu is a common dish in many parts of Japan, but also in local Japanese neighborhoods (colloquially called “Little Tokyos") in countries such as the United States and Canada.

(Oxford English Dictionary)
shabu-shabu, n.
A Japanese dish of thinly sliced beef or pork cooked with vegetables in boiling soup.
1970 T. Egami Oriental Cookery 130 Shabu-Shabu. The word shabu-shabu derives from the sound of thin slices of succulent beef being gently swirled with chopsticks..in hot broth.
1973 Times 9 June 11/2 The speciality dish shabu-shabu (£1.80); raw beef and geometrically cut vegetables, briefly cooked by the waitress in a pagoda-shaped pot of broth, and served with rice and savoury dip.

6 June 1962, Miami (FL) News, “Dateline Miami” by Herb Rau, pg. 4B, col. 1:
In Hong Kong we purchased a Mongolian Hot Pot. It’s a charcoal-burning stove to prepare a dish known as “Shabu Shabu.” (More about this in about three months, after the stove arrives via slow ship from China.)

7 April 1963, New York (NY) Times, “Japan’s Sukiyaki Circuit: Tasty Tips for Tourists On the Gourmet Trail In Tokyo Area Tempura Transformed Deep-Fried Dishes Bones and All Tokyo Bouillabaisse” by Peter Robinson, pg. XXX38, col. 4:
Similar to mizutaki in some respects is shaab-shaab, a dish which actually originated in Manchuria. The main ingredient here is beef or mutton which has been sliced very thin. In the center of the table is a large bowl of boiling water into which the slices are dipped for a few seconds and then transferred to a spicy sauce before eating.

21 June 1963, Honolulu (HI) Advertiser, “‘Hawaii’ Was The password For Mrs. Burns” by Jane Evinger, pg. A-4, col. 1:
Another meal she found intriguing was shab-shab.

“That’s Kobe beef, sliced thin. There is a fire with a receptacle of boiling broth, and you pick a piece of beef and swish it through the broth, rather like fondue. I guess they call it shab-shab because of the sound it makes when you swish it.”

The beef is followed by vegetables and tofu which are also shab-shabed through the broth, she said.

9 August 1964, The Sunday Oregonian (Portland, OR), “Olympic Year Finds Japan Bursting At The Seams,” pt. 6, pg. 7, col. 3:
At a shab-shab place (such as Kyoto’s Gion Suehiro) you dip meat strips and vegetables in a boiling pot at your table until they are as you like them, then add sauce.

5 October 1964, San Francisco (CA) Chronicle, “Official Dine & Wine Review,” pg. 16, col. 3:
CHO-CHO, 1020 Kearny (EX 7-3066. Affiliated and importing the Chefs from the famous Benihana of Tokyo. Offering for the first time in the U. S. beef cooked in the shabu-shabu manner and teppan Yaki at Hibachi tables.

5 October 1964, San Francisco (CA) Chronicle, “Official Dine & Wine Review,” pg. 18, col. 1 ad:
CHO-CHO
Holiday Magazine Handbook
First in the U.S.A.—the best way to enjoy beef “Shabu-Shabu”, “Teppan-Yaki”, and other original recipes you can enjoy at our hibachi tables.
1020 Kearny St.

22 November 1964, Miami (FL) News, “Cooking Shabu Shabu On Little Hot Pot” by Bertha Cochran Hahn, pg. 6B, cols. 1-3:
In reality, it was a Mongolian stove and Herb Rau, Miami News Travel Editor, was demonstrating how it’s used.
(...)
HERB’S NOTES AND RECIPE
“SHABU SHABU is the name of a Japanese dinner cooked in a Mongolian Hot Pot. I first came across this deal in a small restaurant in Tokyo. Later, in Hong Kong, I saw the Hot Pot on display and bought one.

“The method is to swish the beef around in boiling soup, after having dipped the meat into a special sauce. Then you drink the soup.

“This is a simplification of Shabu Shabu. Cantonese and Northern Chinese styles of using the Hot Pot are much more complicated. In the former, vegetables are cooked in the broth, and meat and seafood are hung into the broth in little wire baskets.

“Northern Chinese style, however, is much more fun. Each person picks up seafood, meat and vegetables with chopsticks and cooks his own, in the manner of Shabu Shabu.

“The procedure is fish and seafood first, then liver, then beef, then vegetables, then drink the broth. Everything, of course, is dipped in a special sauce.”

RECIPE FOR BROTH
“Although the best broth should be made with stock, I use the following:

2 cans (10 1/2 oz. size) condensed beef broth
2 cans (14 oz. size) chicken broth (clear)
1 clove garlic, cut into tiny pieces
1/2 cup cooking Sherry
Enough cold water to make 2 quarts of liquid

“Start charcoal fire in Hot Pot, pour liquid into pan around the center chimney, then prepare the following:

INGREDIENTS FOR COOKING
1 lb. sirloin tip roast or top round with ALL fat removed and sliced almost thin enough to see through
1/2 lb. calf liver, cut into bite-size chunks
2 chicken breasts, boned and cut into bite-size pieces
8 large shrimp, peeled and de-veined, cut in half lengthwise
1 head Bibb lettuce (or small pieces of lettuce)
4 stalks scallions (using only the white portion, not the green stuff) cut on angle
1/2 lb. large fresh mushroom caps, sliced

“Note: I’ve eliminated the fish and seafood, except shrimp, although the whole thing can be done with seafood instead of meat—but it isn’t quite as good.”

SPECIAL SAUCE
1/2 cup JAPANESE soy sauce
1/4 cup sherry
1 tablespoons peanut butter
1 teaspoon horseradish

“Mix thoroughly, using a rubber scraper to pull peanut butter away from the bowl’s edge. Taste and improvise—but the first time, follow the recipe; after that, you’re on your own. Use as a dip before and after immersing other ingredients into broth.

“And leftovers (fish, meat, vegetables, sauce) can be dumped into the broth before drinking.”

2 June 1965, Honolulu (HI) Star-Bulletin, “Japanese dishes new in Hawaii,” pg. D-1, col. 3:
(Furusato restaurant on the second floor of the Waikiki Grand Hotel, 134 Kapahulu Avenue. The Furusato has a famous parent restaurant in Tokyo.—ed.)
According to (chef Matsuichi—ed.) Ikumu, a dish that is very popular in Japan is being introduced to Hawaii for the first time. It is shabu=shabu. Although not exclusive at Furusato’s, the sauces are, he said.

Shabu-shabu is prepared in a special pot and gets its name from the sound made when the beef and vegetables are whisked about in the boiling water.

Long thin slices of beef from only the very best cuts are used. Vegetables in shabu-shabu are white Chinese cabbage, green onions, bamboo shoots, sliced carrots, long rice, thin fish cakes and dried mushrooms.
(Pg. D-1, col. 1 photo caption.—ed.)
Head waitress at the Furusato, Ethel Yoshida, is shown making shabu-shabu—a beef and vegetable dish that gets its name from the sound made as the ingredients are stirred in the hot water.

21 June 1965, San Francisco (CA) Chronicle, Gourmet Guide sec., pg. 19, col. 4 ad:
CHO-CHO
The Most Creative Japanese Restaurant
. TEMPURA . YAKITORI
. BEEF SHABU-SHABU . SUSHI
1020 Kearny St.

21 June 1965, San Francisco (CA) Chronicle, “S.F. Dining-Out Directory,” Gourmet Guide sec., pg. 27, cols. 2-3:
CHO-CHO JAPANESE RESTAURANT, 1020 Kearney street (EXbrook 7-3066. (...) Try Japanese beef dishes, such as Shabu-Shabu, Okariba-Yaki and others on our Hiabachi tables.

5 September 1965, Boston (MA) Sunday Globe, “For Budget-Minded in Hawaii: Japanese Parboiling, Anyone?” by Horace Sutton, pg. 15, col. 7:
Once cleansed, guests can repair to Furusato, the Waikiki Grand’s restaurant and a branch of Furusato, a country inn in the Shibuya section of Tokyo.

The local edition, handsomely decorated with washed river stones and shoji screens, serves such high cuisine as shabu shabu and yoshitsune-nabe. The former calls for beef and vegetables including edible chrysanthemums.

The beef is sliced thin and cooked at the table in a pot of boiling soup.

20 September 1968, San Francisco (CA) Chronicle, “Stanton Delaplane’s Postcard from Honolulu,” pg. 41, col. 1:
IN THE EARLY morning, the beach at Waikiki is breathless. The waves lap-lap the most expensive sand in the world.

(Do they lap-lap? I had shabu-shabu beef at a Japanese place last night. It’s brothy stuff. The waitress explained how it got its name: “Shabu-shabu, like waves sound on beach.")

29 August 1969, New York (NY) Times, “Menu’s Imaginative, Cooking’s Inspired” by Craig Claiborne, pg. 16:
... shabu-shabu, in which beef and vegetables are cooked in broth; nabe, another boiled dish with sea food and chicken; ozen, which is a complete Japanese dinner, and steak served on a hot platter. The shabu-shabu is particularly tasty with two sauces, one of sesame and bean paste, another of soy and lemon.

Google Books
Unmentionable Cuisine
By Calvin W. Schwabe
Charlottesville, VA: University Press of Virginia
1979
Pg. 163:
Another less familiar but equally delicious Japanese dish also prepared with horsemeat as well as beef or chicken is shabu-shabu . It is excellent for informal entertaining.

MONGOLIAN FIREPOT (Shabu-shabu) / JAPAN

YouTube
How to Eat Shabu-Shabu - Stop Eating it Wrong, Episode 15
ZAGAT
Published on Oct 2, 2015
Cooking meat and vegetables tableside doesn’t have to be intimidating. For more food videos, subscribe to Zagat: http://goo.gl/AaWZHT

Gurunavi
May 9, 2017
What is Shabu Shabu? A Guide to Japan’s Swishiest Dish
Shabu shabu is a popular hot pot dish from Japan consisting of thinly sliced meat and bite-sized vegetables cooked in steaming hot broth. Hot pot dining has been popular in Japan for thousands of years, since the first use of earthenware pottery, but shabu shabu itself first originated around the mid-20th century. The main difference between shabu shabu and other types of Japanese hot pot is that rather than simmering all of the ingredients together before serving, shabu shabu is cooked bite-by-bite over the course of the meal, similar to fondue.

The dish gets its name from the Japanese onomatopoeia “shabu shabu” meaning “swish swish”, which describes the light swishing of the meat in the simmering broth. 

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Sunday, January 20, 2019 • Permalink