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Japanese food culture Pot Nabe

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On cold days, the pot is great for warming your mind and body. Here are some of the most popular varieties in Japan.

Gathering around a steaming pot is a classic way to prevent winter blue in Japan.

The pot is placed on a portable heat source (usually a gas cartridge stove) on the dining table. When the kelp soup stock and water are boiling, add ingredients such as seafood, meat, tofu, and vegetables. When the pot is boiling, transfer the food cooked with chopsticks to your bowl and add seasonings such as soy sauce, miso and sesame sauce, and citrus ponzu sauce. Pots that are easy to make and can be adapted to personal tastes and numbers are very popular.

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Some varieties, such as mizutaki and fugu pots, are usually served by cooking in a glazed clay pot. This means a longer cooking process, but these containers have excellent heat retention and are ideal for this dish.

Other types are prepared in iron or stainless steel containers. An iron pot with excellent heat conduction is used for sukiyaki. The shabu-shabu specialty pot is round and has a chimney-like protrusion from the center. The built-in pot can be served in a shallow stainless steel pot.

There are many local varieties of local tasting pots. For example, in Ishikari Nabe in Hokkaido, salmon lumps are the main feature, but in Yamagata prefecture, taro and beef are popular, and in Ibaraki prefecture, anglerfish is a common ingredient. Seasonings may also have their own twist. Supermarkets currently sell a variety of instant pot sauces and mixes.

In Japan, sharing food in the same pot is the old-fashioned way to get friends, family and colleagues to communicate and enjoy. When the main ingredients are finished, mix rice and eggs with the rest of the soup to make porridge or add noodles.

Read the list of nine pots, from traditional favorites to relatively recent works.

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Cooked in water 水炊き

Fukuoka’s local cuisine in Kyushu, which is gaining popularity nationwide, has a hearty pot full of bone-in chicken and vegetables. Since the chicken is stewed for a long time, it becomes a delicious and unique white soup.

Sukiyaki すき焼き

Salty sukiyaki is a slice of beef cooked with Chinese cabbage, green onions, garland chrysanthemum, and shirataki noodles. It is seasoned with sauce using sugar, soy sauce, and mirin. Ingredients are usually soaked in raw beaten eggs before eating.

Soy milk pot 豆乳鍋

A relatively newcomer, he combines traditional soup stock with soy milk to give meat, seafood and vegetables a delicate flavor. For those who like spices, chili oil and savory yuzu pepper are a good offset to the main soup.

Built-in pot 内臓鍋

In postwar Fukuoka, pork guts and Chinese chive soy sauce became popular dishes. Nowadays, it is seasoned with miso and salt all over Japan and may be included in it. It usually contains cabbage and garlic, but if you need a little heat you can add pepper.


A variation of a hot pot imported from neighboring South Korea that warms the body in winter with bright red pepper. Add pork, green onions, Chinese cabbage, tofu, etc. to the meat-flavored dashi base. Flavors of soy sauce, garlic, salt and pepper.

Ishikari pot 石狩鍋

It is a dish from the Ishikari area of Hokkaido, just north of Sapporo, which is famous for its seasonal salmon runs. Mix salmon chunks, vegetables and tofu in miso soup stock. Sprinkle with Japanese pepper before eating to add a savory taste.

Oyster dotenabe 牡蠣ドテナベ

A Hiroshima specialty made from local oysters, it features a miso ring that rises like a dike on the edge of the pot. A glass of tofu and vegetables. Push down the miso and mix it in a pan to adjust the taste.

Shabu-shabu しゃぶしゃぶ

To eat shabu-shabu, dip thinly sliced beef or pork in boiling water and soak in your favorite sauce such as sesame or ponzu sauce. Vegetables and tofu support it, but meat is the main ingredient.

Simmered tofu 湯豆腐

Yudofu is simple and basically consists of kelp soup stock. Popular dip sauces are soy sauce and ponzu sauce. Diner usually adds flavors such as green onion, yuzu, grated radish (optionally mixed with red pepper), or dried bonito flakes.

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