Sukiyaki vs Shabu Shabu vs Yakiniku: Japanese Meat Dishes

“Sukiyaki (すき焼き)”, “Shabu Shabu (しゃぶしゃぶ)”, and “Yakiniku (焼肉)” are Japanese dishes where meat is in the spotlight. 

Sukiyaki vs. Shabu Shabu vs. Yakiniku

While Sukiyaki and Shabu Shabu are hot pots or nabemono, Yakiniku is a grill. But there is one thing in common, which is that they come with dipping sauce.


Sukiyaki (すき焼き)Sukiyaki

Although Sukiyaki and Shabu Shabu are both nabemono, the cooking methods are quite different. 


In Sukiyaki, meat, vegetables, and other ingredients are simmered together in a mixture of soy sauce, mirin (sweet cooking rice wine), sugar, and water in a shallow iron pot.

Shabu Shabu 

In Shabu Shabu, while the meat is instantly cooked in a pot of kombu dashi broth by stirring, vegetables and other ingredients are boiled in the stock.


In Yakiniku, meat and vegetables are grilled on a gridiron by eaters indoors.


Yakiniku (焼肉)Yakiniku

The main ingredient in Sukiyaki, Shabu Shabu, and Yakiniku is thinly sliced beef. In Shabu Shabu and Yakiniku, pork slices are also commonly eaten.

Unlike Sukiyaki and Shabu Shabu, Yakiniku uses even beef/pork innards called “Horumon (ホルモン)” or “Motsu (モツ)”.

Other Typical Ingredients

Sukiyaki Negi (green onion), Hakusai (Chinese cabbage), Shungiku (crown daisy), Shiitake (mushroom), Enoki (mushroom), Yaki tofu, Shirataki (noodles), Fu (wheat gluten bread)
Shabu Shabu Seafood (crab meat, thinly sliced octopus or yellowtail or seabream), Hakusai, Mizuna (potherb mustard), Shungiku, Negi, Shiitake, Enoki, tofu
Yakiniku Onion, Cabbage, Green pepper, Bean sprout, Carrot, Pumpkin, Eggplant, Shiitake, Korean lettuce

Dipping Sauce

Shabu Shabu (しゃぶしゃぶ)

As mentioned above, in Sukiyaki, Shabu Shabu, and Yakiniku, after cooking ingredients, you eat them dipping in a sauce.

  • Sukiyaki ingredients are dipped in a bowl of beaten raw egg.
  • Shabu Shabu ingredients typically come with ponzu or sesame sauce or the two.
  • Yakiniku ingredients are dipped in “Yakiniku no Tare (焼肉のたれ)” made with soy sauce, sugar, sake, sesame oil, grated garlic/ginger, and sesame seeds.

(Reference Pages: Wikipedia すき焼き, しゃぶしゃぶ, 焼肉 )


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. For the purpose of enriching your life, I would like to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures, and facts and trivia.

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