Hot Pots (Nabe Ryori)
by Yukari Sakamoto
The term nabe ryori encompasses a variety of hot pots. At home, family and friends gather around the pot while meat or fish and vegetables stew together. Nabe are most popular in the fall and winter when it is cold outside. Popular types of nabe include sukiyaki (wagyū beef and vegetables in a sweet soy sauce) and shabu shabu (wagyū beef and vegetables cooked in a broth and served with a dipping sauce).
The basic broth for the nabe can be made from kelp, bonito flakes, soy sauce, miso, or chicken stock. many times the stock is simply water, and its flavor comes from the ingredients of the nabe, usually a protein (fish, meat, or tofu), and a colorful variety of vegetables, such as Napa cabbage, leeks, mushrooms, and carrots. The nabe can also be served with dipping sauces and garnishes.
Finally, at the end of the meal comes the shime. When most of the pot is consumed, the remaining rich broth becomes a vehicle for starchy items that are then added, such as udon, ramen, or rice.
Many regions are famous for nabe based on local products. Here is a list of popular nabe that can be found in Tokyo:
- Ankō nabe Monkfish (ankō) and vegetables
- Chankonabe The nabe that is an essential part of the sumo wrestler's diet, filled with meat, vegetables, and udon. If you want to try chankonabe, your best bet is to go to Ryogoku station, the neighborhood where the Kokugikan (sumo stadium) is and where there are several restaurants that specialize in this dish.
- Dote nabe Miso with oysters or other shellfish and vegetables
- Fuguchiri Puffer fish (fugu) and vegetables served with citrusy soy sauce
- Hōtō Hōtō are flat udon and vegetables in a miso broth
- Ishikari nabe Salmon, vegetables, and sake kasu or miso broth
- Kamonabe Duck and vegetables
- Kiritampo A chicken and vegetable nabe with rice that is pounded, molded onto skewers, and grilled
- Mizutaki Chicken and vegetables with a citrusy soy sauce
- Motsunabe Beef or pork offal, simmered until tender
- Oden Fish cakes, tōfu, and vegetables
- Sakura nabe Horse meat and vegetables
- Sukiyaki Thin sliced beef, vegetables, and tōfu in a sweet soy broth served with a raw egg
- Shabu shabu Waygū beef sliced paper-thin that is quickly cooked in hot broth with vegetables and sen'ed with two dipping sauces, ponzu (citrus soy sauce) and sesame. Shabu shabu refers to the sound of the meat being swished in the hot broth.
- Yudōfu Tōfu simmered in a kelp broth with vegetables
- Yosenabe A popular nabe that can include seafood, meat, toju, and vegetables, usually in a miso- or soy-based broth
Popular condiments (yakumi) for nabe
- Goma Toasted sesame seeds
- Ichimi Dried red chili pepper
- Karashi Japanese mustard
- Momiji oroshi Daikon and dried red chili pepper, grated
- Shichimi Seven spice
- Yuzo koshō Salty yuzu paste
Food Sake Tokyo (The Terroir Guides)
- by Yukari Sakamoto
- Photographs by Takuya Suzuki
- The Little Bookroom 2010
- Paperback Original; 320 pages; $29.95
- ISBN-10: 189214574X
- ISBN-13: 978-1892145-74-1
- Reprinted by permission.
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This page created September 2010