New Year’s Nabe

My mother-in-law made this nabe on New Year’s Eve. It is not a traditional dish so you can make it anytime without feeling like you are infringing on something. I was at my in-laws for five days and I belive we ate nabe four times – I was in heaven.

The soup

fish stock (dashi)
a dash of cooking sake

The add-ins

enoki mushrooms
Chinese cabbage
shirataki (devil’s tongue jelly noodles)
daikon radish

Dipping sauce

ponzu (likely yuzu flavored)

Clay nabe pots for flat top IH stoves

 Photo credit

I like my IH flat top stove but was really disappointed last year when I couldn’t use my donabe (clay pot for hotpot). Really. Disappointed. I didn’t look to see if they made special clay pots for IH stoves last year so I couldn’t tell you how long they have been available. I bought a cheapie at Nitori this year and am in love. Some of the differences are: the bottom is completely flat and it comes with two plates that must be used in the bottom.

I have been using it for everything that doesn’t require frying or is gloopy. I would make oatmeal or barley in it but I cringe at the thought of cleaning oatmeal out of the holes in the plate. I bought the 1-2 person size and wish I had gotten a size bigger (they were out of that size) because the plates take up valuable real estate.  The boxes are clearly marked as using a regular clay pot can have disastrous results on a flat top stove. New flat tops have sensors to avoid problems – mine won’t even turn on unless it senses the right kind of pot. Look for IH対応土鍋 (IH たいおうどなべ IH taiou donabe) on the box. Many non IH-friendly donabe boxes will have IH with an x over it.

Jouya Nabe (常夜鍋)

I’m back!  I’ve been without computer internet access for two weeks.  I’ve been confined to the iPhone and haven’t been able to post.  I could have, but I didn’t want to go back to iPhone pictures.

So far I have been making good on my vow to try a lot of new nabe recipes this year.  Last year the hubby and I ate kimchi nabe two or three times a week.  This is not a problem but I thought I must be missing out on something good by not trying new things.  This is another recipe from the Kyou no Ryouri Beginners Nabe issue.  Every recipe I’ve tried has been delicious and this was no exception.  The soup is really simple – just water and cooking sake.  The taste of the vegetables is heightened and the dipping sauce is a great compliment to the ingredients.

Jouya Nabe (常夜鍋)

Kyou no Ryouri Beginners (2008.01) p.8
Serves four (I made a half batch)
200g large pieces of thinly sliced pork (shabu shabu cut)
1/2 Chinese Cabbage
250g (one bunch) fresh spinach, washed
1 block firm tofu
1/2 cup cooking sake
1/2 teaspoon salt

Dipping Sauce
1 welsh onion (negi), sliced into 2mm slices
ponzu for the base

Cut the tofu into large cubes.  Cut the leaves of the Chinese cabbage into large squares and slice the spines thinly.  Leave the spinach whole.  Put four cups of water, the sake and the salt in a clay nabe pot or a soup pot and bring to a boil.  Add the tofu and Chinese cabbage spines and simmer for about five minutes or until the spines start to become translucent.  While the spines are cooking, slice the onion and place in individual dipping sauce bowls with ponzu.  Add the spinach and Chinese cabbage leaves.  Lay the pork slices on top and simmer on low until the pork is cooked.  Don’t forget to remove the scum.  When the pork is cooked, serve.

The recipe recommends using the leftover soup to make soumen and then topping it with the leftover dipping sauce. I didn’t have any soumen so we had rice with this nabe.  I will definitely try soumen next time.

If you are looking for more nabe recipes try ribbon vegetable nabe or cod and Chinese cabbage nabe.

Cod and Chinese Cabbage Nabe (Hotpot)

きょうの料理ビギナーズIt’s cold out and it’s now time to bring out the nabe recipes.  Nabe is hotpot in English but since I first encountered it in Japan I can’t seem to refer to it by it’s English name.  There are such a variety of nabe recipes out there.  Last year I bought a cooking magazine exclusively devoted to nabe.  We don’t have a proper pot for nabe (see the magazine cover for a proper one).  You generally make hotpot in a clay pot called donabe (literally clay pot).  I am not allowed to buy a new one until after we move.  I have two individual sized ones but they always boil over on the stove.  I currently make nabe in a regular soup pot.  I also don’t make it on a portable burner that sits on the table.  It’s probably purely out of laziness because we have one somewhere, I think.

This is the nabe recipe magazine I bought last year.  It is from NHK (the national broadcasting corp) and is from a daily tv cooking show called きょうの料理 (kyou no ryouri – today’s food).  It’s a great book with variety and good pictures. Being a beginners book, it has lots of simple food – my favorite kind.



the meal

This recipe is an original recipe with the topping idea stole from a miso soup recipe from my miso soup cook book (yes, they do exist).

Cod and Chinese Cabbage Nabe

Masa & Kirsten Adachi

Serves two

1/4 Chinese cabbageCod & Chinese Cabbage Nabe

2 cod fillets

2 tablespoons grated daikon (giant white radish)


2 1/2 cups water

1 piece of dried kombu (kelp)

1 1/2 tablespoons cooking sake

1/2 tablespoon soy sauce

1/2 tablespoon mirin

1/2 teaspoon salt

Put all the soup ingredients in the pot and bring to a boil.  Simmer for 15 minutes.  Add the stalks of the Chinese cabbage and cook for five minutes.  Add the cod and leaves of the Chinese cabbage and cook until tender.  Serve topped with grated daikon.  Soy sauce is a good dipping sauce if you want a stronger flavor.