Donabe : Japanese Hot Pot
It's that time of year again where many families are enjoying soups and stews to warm themselves up after a long day of work. Stews and hot pots are especially popular amongst Asian cultures. Of course they're not all eating the same type of hot pot, but it's the same idea of sharing a self-serve hot meal at the table and fighting for that last piece of something. In fact, I've eaten a different type of hot pot every week since last December.
Mari's dinner two weeks or so ago:
Oden. Occasionally found by the can in vending machines in Japan, especially during the winter. :)
Apparently you can also get udon and ramen in a can too.
Sumikannyu Hot Pot Donabe - $12.72 – $47.60
Available in the following sizes: 17cm, 19cm, 22cm, 25cm, 27cm, 30cm
When you first fill the pot with water, you may notice that water is seeping through the pot. Japanese Earthenware is made this way to avoid cracking while heating. To eliminate this problem, please follow the instructions below:
- Cook porridge or heat water mixed with cornstarch in the pot until it boils.
- Leave the porridge or water with water in the pot and allow it to cool completely. (Roughly 1 - 2 hours)
- Remove the contents.
- Allow the earthenware to air dry overnight.
- Gently and quickly wash.
- Ready to use!
Why do this?
Basically what you're doing by cooking starch water or porridge is filling the little pores with starch. If you cooking something like fish or anything very flavorful, the flavors are going to remain and effect your next dish.
I know I know, its kind of pain. We asked why the makers don't do these steps for us, and it was pointed out to us that donabe hot pot would be MUCH more expensive if they needed a group of people to do this process.
✕ Dishwasher safe
✕ Microwave Safe
✔ Oven Safe
✔ Stove Top Safe
- The earthenware will absorb anything it cooks first.
- Please be sure to cook starchy rice or a water and cornstarch mixture to fill the porous earthenware.
- Never leave food in the earthenware overnight or for long periods of time.
- Never heat the donabe, then cool immediately. Please let it cool before putting it under cold water.
- Never leave detergents in the earthenware and wash it quickly.
- Wash the earthenware quickly after use and allow it to air dry.
- Do not heat the pot while empty.
- Do not deep fry.
- Avoid using a hard brush to clean.
- We recommend using a tawashi brush.
- Gas stove is recommended to heat the donabe evenly.
- Please properly dry the outside of the pot before setting on the stove to avoid damage.
Ideas on how to use the donabe:
Sometimes I have a little bit of Japanese curry left over and left over rice that hardened. I get a one person sized donabe, pat a little left over rice in the donabe, then pour the curry in, and sprinkle cheese on top, then put it in the toaster oven at 350 degrees until the cheese melts. Its nice for nights where you want something you ate the night before to look appetizing again. lol
Plus, I like the crunchy burnt rice at the bottom. :D
Korin also has these donabe streamers and smokers which are also on sale:
Donabe Steamer Black - $116.00
(This one is made out of Iga clay, which is a prehistoric clay I wrote a post about earlier.)
Donabe Smoker Ibushi Gin - $224.00
This uniquely designed IGA-yaki donabe smoker allows you to make the professional quality smoked dishes with the easy preparations at home. By pouring the water between the donabe body and lid, the lid becomes tightly sealed without releasing the smoke outside. Because the Iga-yaki donabe promotes the FAR-Infrared Radiation (FIR) effect when heated, delicious smoked dishes can be ready in about 30 minutes. This Ibushi Gin is honored with the "Good Design Award" of Japan.
(Side note: We smoked cheese with this at Korin during out product testing. It was pretty tasty!)
Korin is currently have a donabe sale! It's 20% off it's original price.
I know many of you are amazing cooks. If you haven't tried out donabe cooking yet, you really should regardless of where you get the donabe from. Warm soup belly for all!! :)
Thanks for reading :D