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A Guide to Japanese Hot Pot

Aug. 19, 2022

Whether you’re cooking for a family of four or a party of eight, there is a nabemono dish for every occasion. Because you can use any vegetables, seafood, meat, or tofu that you have in the fridge and put them together, this really is a home-cooked dish that everyone can make at home.

Sukiyaki is a primitive Japanese hotpot dish made from thinly sliced beef (or pork), mixed with equal parts sugar and soy sauce. In a cast iron pot - usually, a shallow one - the broth is mixed at a high temperature with mushrooms, vegetables, onions, tofu, and other complementary ingredients; similar to the way shabu-shabu is eaten today.

The pots are traditionally made of clay which can keep warm for a while after taking off from the fire. But cast thick iron which evenly distributes heat and is preferably used for sukiyaki. Most cast iron sukiyaki Tetsu nabe hot pots are stews and soups served during the colder seasons. In modern Japan, cast iron sukiyaki Tetsu nabe hot pots are kept hot at the dining table by portable stoves. The dish is frequently cooked at the table, and the diners can pick the cooked ingredients they want from the pot. It is either eaten with broth or with a dip. 

Japanese Cast iron Sukiyaki Tetsu Nabe Hot Pot

Japanese Cast iron Sukiyaki Tetsu Nabe Hot Pot

What is nabemono?

Nabemono, or nabe for short, is a Japanese hotpot dish traditionally prepared at the table in a donabe (clay pot). The word nabemono is a compound of nabe, meaning 'cooking pot', and mono, meaning 'something'. 

In fact, a nabe can hold almost anything. In Japan, nabemono is a winter comfort food staple. It is usually made by preparing a simple dashi soup and then simmering a mixture of vegetables, meat or seafood until just cooked.

The 4 tools you need to make nabemono

To make nabemono at home, you will need a number of cooking tools and utensils.

1. A donabe : This Japanese clay pot is only glazed on the outside, so you will need to season it before using it. If you don't have a donabe, you can use a Dutch oven

This traditional Japanese cast iron sukiyaki Tetsu nabe hot pot is good for home use or even restaurant use. Perfect for serving noodles, shabu-shabu, or stews. If you are interested in this product, please do not hesitate to contact our professional sales staff, they will provide you with satisfactory service.

Cast iron Sukiyaki Tetsu Nabe Hot Pot

Cast iron Sukiyaki Tetsu Nabe Hot Pot

2. Portable burner: Portable burners, common in Japan, can be used to make nabemono at the dinner table with your family and friends. A portable burner is a must for hot pot dishes that require dunking ingredients—such as shabu-shabu and sukiyaki—but you can make other types of nabemono on a regular stove in the kitchen.

3. Skimmer: For a clear broth, use a skimmer or slotted spoon to remove the scum as it floats to the top of the broth.

4. Cooking chopsticks: These extra-long chopsticks allow you to fish ingredients out of the depths of the pan.

5 quick tips for enjoying Nabemono

1. Remember the cooking order

Start cooking with the ingredients that give the broth its flavor, such as kombu, chicken, and fish (don't put thinly sliced meat in here yet). Then add the tough ingredients that take a long time to cook, including potatoes, carrots, turnips, and the thick white part of the cabbage. You can also add Shirataki noodles and medium-hard tofu at this point to absorb more of the flavor. Finally, add thinly sliced meat or soft vegetables that can be cooked quickly.

Once you have started, it is best to add the vegetables one at a time, cover and let the broth come to a boil, cook some more meat and clean up all the cooked ingredients before adding the next batch.

2. Don't overcook your ingredients

Most ingredients are sliced into thin, bite-sized pieces so they cook quickly. Always be aware of the vegetables and meats added to the soup.


3. Skim the broth occasionally

As you cook proteins (meat and seafood) and vegetables, you will see foam and scum begin to form on the surface of the broth. It is a good idea to skim them off occasionally to keep the broth clean. The easiest way to skim is when the broth is boiling. The scum and foam will usually collect around it so you can easily scoop it up.

4. Follow etiquette and be considerate

When it comes to cooking and eating from a shared fondue pot, there are certain etiquettes that need to be observed. Unless you are cooking for one person or for your family and children, make sure you only cook the food you intend to eat yourself. If there is a piece of fishcake or marbled beef floating in the broth, don't take it out unless it is yours.

Make sure you add ingredients while the broth is boiling and no one is cooking the meat at the time, as the ingredients you add will immediately cool the broth and stop it from boiling.

As a rule of thumb, be considerate of those around you and ask if you are unsure what to do.

5. Drinks to go with your nabe

No nabemono is complete without the company of cold, foamy beer or sake. For non-alcoholic drinks, you can serve nabemono with iced oolong tea or mugicha (barley tea), or hot green tea or hojicha.

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