“Nabe” 「鍋（なべ）」: Hotpot
“Nabe” is a Japanese one-pot dish where several ingredients are prepared together in a “Nabe” pot and cooked right at the dining table, often using a portable burner. Meal participants would eat from the “Nabe” on the table by serving their own portion onto their individual serving bowls. “Nabe” pots are traditionally made of clay, which are called “Donabe”, but some dishes,such as “Sukiyaki” use “Tetsunabe” casｔ iron pots.
“Nabe” dishes are very popular during the cold winter season, as people can warm themselves by having the heated food directly from the boiling pot. A typical scene in Japan would be as in the second picture, where a family or close friends would circle around the dining table and eat from the single pot.
A typical “Nabe” as seen in the first picture is called “Mizutaki”. Ingredients such as chicken, Chinese cabbage, Welsh onion are cooked using a lightly flavored stock, mostly just with ”Kombu” seaweed . When eating, a light dipping sauce such as “Ponzu” sauce, made primarily of soy sauce and citrus juice, is used to enjoy the taste of the ingredients themselves.
Other types of “Nabe” dishes use more strongly flavored stock, such as “Miso” base or sweet soy sauce base, having various other ingredients including meat, fish, eggs, vegetables,… These are usually eaten without a dipping sauce.
There are wide variety of “Nabe” dishes enjoyed in Japan, also with lots of regional variations.
We would like to introduce some of them going forward.
Please explore our “Japan Cool” page to learn more about the heart and essence of Japan and its culture.