"Buta-shabu" Salad

Give ordinary salad an umami boost with this pork shabu-shabu salad! The homemade ume plum dressing has a delicious tang that brings all the flavors together.

"Buta-shabu" Salad
Photographed by Manao Okamoto

Recipe by
Makiko Oda







Calorie count is per serving.

Ingredients (Serves 2)

  • 250 g pork shoulder loin (thinly sliced)
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 4 leaves lettuce
  • 6 shiso leaves
  • 8 cherry tomatoes
  • [Ume plum dressing]

    • 1 umeboshi
    • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
    • 1 tsp soy sauce
    • A pinch of sugar
    • 3 tbsp vegetable oil



Tear the lettuce into easy-to-eat pieces. Rest the lettuce pieces in a bowl of cold water for about 20 minutes until crisp. Strain, then dry with a paper towel.


Heat 1 liter of water in a pot over high heat. When it starts to simmer, add an additional 200 ml of cool water to bring the temperature down to 75–80°C.


Cooking the pork at this temperature will help prevent it from becoming tough.


Place the pork slices in a bowl and sprinkle with flour. Briefly mix with your hands to coat.


Coating the pork with flour gives it a smoother texture, and the starch acts as a glue to pick up every drop of dressing.


Place the pork in the pot of hot water, then immediately turn off the heat. Use cooking chopsticks to gently loosen the pork slices and cook for 2–3 minutes until cooked through, then strain.


Let the pork cool in the strainer.


Do not transfer the pork to cold water, as the meat will become tough and the fat will clump, leading to an undesirable texture.


Make the [Ume plum dressing]. Remove the pit from the umeboshi and use a knife to finely chop the flesh. Transfer to a small bowl, add the vinegar and mix thoroughly with a spoon. Mix in the soy sauce and sugar. Add the vegetable oil a little at a time, until the dressing thickens.


Tear the shiso leaves by hand into easy-to-eat pieces. Remove the stems from the cherry tomatoes and cut into quarters. Arrange the lettuce, shiso leaves and cherry tomatoes on a plate, then top with the pork. Pour the [Ume plum dressing] over top.