I searched Wikipedia and a few other websites to learn more about our meal when I got home. Shabu-shabu roughly translates to "swish-swish" referring to the sound of the ingredients being swished around in a pot of broth with chopsticks.
A large pot of broth is placed over a flame burner in the center of the table and a spread of other dishes, dipping sauces, and ingredients are placed on the table around it.
The vegetables (cut into smaller pieces with scissors!) and thinly-sliced pieces of meat are placed in the pot to cook first. Everyone uses their chopsticks, the tongs, or a ladle to pick out what they would like to eat from the pot. These things are eaten with the dipping sauces provided.
After we had eaten some of the vegetables and meat, the noodles and dumplings were added and cooked.
When we had eaten our fill of vegetables, meat, noodles, and dumplings, the left-over broth was combined with rice, finely chopped veggies, dried seaweed flakes, and an egg. It was stirred and cooked until the mixture thickened. It was then ladled into bowls and eaten with a spoon.
Everything about this meal was delicious and it so much fun to experience! However, I am glad that I was in the company of some Korean friends because there was certainly a process to preparing and eating this meal that I would not have known about otherwise.