Nabe (hot pot) (鍋)

Nabe means both the pot and the dish. This food is simply like a simmered dish. The common ingredients are Chinese cabbage, meat, various types of mushrooms, tofu, shirataki (string-shaped konjak), and green onions. And there are many types of soup bases, like just water, miso, tonkotsu, ... it’s like ramen. Nabe is a kind of homemade food, so the ingredients and taste of the soup will vary from family to family.

My recipe is simple. The stock is made up of water and a little cooking sake. A water-based nabe like this is called mizutaki. After simmering it, dish out some ingredients into each bowl, and eat it with ponzu (soy sauce with citrus flavor).

After eating all of the ingredients, I cook porridge with the leftover soup. Flavored porridge is called ojiya in Japanese. Some families cook udon or ramen instead of rice. We call them all shime. Shime means the last dish we eat during a meal, and we commonly use this word in izakayas.

Nabe warms you up, so it’s good to have it during winter.