Nabemono Is a Wonderful Problem Solver

Posted on Feb 7, 2018 in Hiroko's Blog

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Now… are some questions for you: Would you like to adopt all of or some of the following concepts in your daily life?

  1. Produce and enjoy a delicious body and soul warming dinner;
  2. Create a meal and delightful experience that unites all of your family or friends at the table and brings back conversation without the invasion of mobile devices;
  3. Create a dinner that can reflect your specific dietary choices such as vegetable, vegan or gluten-free;
  4. Provide a wholesome and balanced meal in which protein, vegetables and carbohydrates are all incorporated;
  5. Don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen to prepare a complicated dinner.

Nabemono dishes answer all of these questions. Nabemono is a dish in which varieties of ingredients are cooked in broth – flavored or non-flavored – in a ceramic or metal pot usually prepared by the diners at the table. Cooked items are usually dipped in flavored sauces before consumption. Nabemono is a winter specialty, but some of the popular types such as sukiyaki (thinly sliced marbled beef cooked along with vegetables in flavored sauce) and shabushabu (super thinly sliced marbled beef cooked along with vegetables in kombu [kelp] stock) are enjoyed throughout the year. A nabemono dish is easy to adjust in order to cater to any particular dietary choices. Only vegetables; fish and vegetables; meat and vegetables or all types of ingredients mixed together in a single pot such as in the sumo wrestlers’ favorite hot pot called Chanko-nabe.

To enjoy nabemono dishes at home there are a few ‘must-have’ pieces of equipment. I recommend you purchase a small gas cassette powered portable table-top gas stove. It is not expensive and by owning it nabemono can become a regular meal at your table. The stove is fueled by small butane gas canisters. Each canister is good for about 6 – 8 nabemono cooking sessions.  Next is the cooking pot. An earthenware “donabe” pot works for most of nabemono dishes, except for sukiyaki. The earthenware donabe can be replaced by a shallow, medium-sized pot from your kitchen. One warning about using your shallow pot is that, if the pot has a long handle, place it a position where no one can hit it during fun of preparing the nabemono dinner. For sukiyaki, we use a small, shallow cast iron pot. This can be replaced by your medium-sized, deep skillet.

The very unique and wonderful aspect of a nabemono dinner is that it calls for everyone’s attention and assistance in the cooking process.  No one can play with a mobile device at the table; real conversation and human interaction is likely to ensue. All cooking is done at the table and you can encourage your family members and friends to participate.

Next blog is some tips for enjoyable nabemono dinners at your home. Then, I will post you delightful SUKIYAKI recipe and procedure.