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Nabe (Yosenabe/Japanese Hot Pot)

Nabe (Yose Nabe/Japanese Hot Pot)
Nabe (Yose Nabe/Japanese Hot Pot) pictures (6 of 7)

Fall is in the air, even here in Southern California. Days are getting shorter and cooler. These past few days, the sky has been dull and wintry and this morning, it rained.

I start craving foods that keep me warm—soups, hearty stews, and hot pots. To me, nothing tastes quite as invigorating and uplifting than a meal of simmering hot soup or stew. I made nabe, or Japanese hot pot, a delicious medley of ingredients steeped in dashi broth and cooked inside a clay donabe, or nabe pot.

My friend La Fuji Mama took me shopping at the Japanese market here: kombu and bonito flakes for dashi, cookware, usukushi shoyu (Japanese light soy sauce) and harusame (cellophane noodles). La Fuji Mama lived in Tokyo twice and knows how to pick out the best brands on the shelves. It was great to have someone who knows Japanese to shop with. Thanks so much, Rachael!

The nabe I made is called Yosenabe, or “Anything Goes” Hot Pot according to “Japanese Hot Pots: Comforting One Pot Meals” by Tadashi Ono and Harris Salat. (I attended the book launch party in New York recently.) Yosenabe is probably one of the most popular hot pots in Japan; it’s highly versatile when it comes to the ingredients used. Chicken, mushrooms, Napa cabbage, Tokyo negi, tofu, and assortment of seafood of your choice: head-on shrimp, scallops, oysters, fish fillet, clams, etc. The chicken has to stay, according to the cookbook.

How did it taste? Well, I will let my photo gallery above speaks for itself.  After the nabe meal, I felt like I might even start to appreciate colder weather as I have fifty (50) recipes from the Japanese Hot Pots cookbook to take me through the gloomy days.

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34 COMMENTS... read them below or add one

  1. SLT

    This looks super yummie! Nothing beats a nice pot of boiling soup on cold winter days, I might have to try this with miso paste instead since Japanese grocery products are so hard to find in the Midwest.

  2. Tommy

    Nabe sounds so good right about now… this really would be a comforting one pot meal.
    I really do need to get around to making some kind of soup, its been way too cold in Maryland lately. The pictures are really nice and make me realllllly wish I had some. Going to have to make some this weekend =]

  3. Fuji Mama

    I’m so glad we got to go shopping! It was way more fun to have a partner in crime. Your nabe looks absolutely delish–perfection in a pot!

  4. Mel @

    mmm come and warm my bellay! In the winter, my family has shabu shabu / hot pot every Sunday… my fav time :)

  5. I did not know you used “bonito” in english as well! For me “bonito” has always been the one coming from the Cantabrian sea in North Spain.

    The hot pot looks good indeed. Japanese are masters in the art of hot pot, and this is a very good example of it! I guess you use gaz, if you can heat the clay pot without it breaking, it does not work with vitroceramics…


  6. yummy!!

    Yours looks great! I always seem to over cook mine… Is there a certain trick to it? I feel like it is in there for only a few minutes and BAM I over cooked the seafood. :( Maybe I should cook it on lower heat? Or not cover it?

    Thank you for helping me in advanced!

  7. denise

    Do you have a recipe for the chicken meatballs sometimes used in the nabe? In Honolulu, we have a wonderful restaurant that serves nabe and the meatballs are so great.

  8. amber

    yummy looking. it would be a blast to cook . the only part that makes it hard is that in montana very few stores carry hardly any oriental ingredients . hmm i wonder if there are any reasonable bulk shipping for non- perishable goods to my area. thanks for all the neat recipes.

  9. TokyoHousewife

    Hi Bee, I have been following your blog for a while.Thanks for all the great recipes! I live in Tokyo with my Japanese husband and thought I’d share with you how Japanese people eat nabe. At the end of the meal, after finishing all the seafood and vege, bring the remaining broth to a boil. Then, add about 1 bowl of cooked rice into the broth. Stir and let the rice soak up most of the broth, then turn off the heat. Pour a beaten egg into it and stir. This is called zousui. You can also add spring onions, nori seaweed or chicken meat if you’d like. It’s very delicious! :)

  10. Rose

    Hi Bee,

    I have frozen dashi stock using only bonito flakes and water. Can I just add the konbu to make your version of dash stock? Thanks.

  11. RustyMermaid

    I often purchase Asian ingredients at They have Eden Foods products including kombu and bonito flakes. I always buy enough to receive free shipping.

  12. Karen

    Omg…I can finally have one of my favorites recipe make at home! thanks to this recipe…Omg I can wait to introduce it to the family and to my daughters am a lover of Asian food. Thank you for the recipe.

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