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Nothing is more warming and delicious on a cold winter day than Nabe. Its a combination of ingredients in a giant pot. The result is a rich delicious pot that the family can gather around. Usually Nabe is eaten family style around a center pot. Everyone have their own plate and they would help themselves. There are a range of Nabe Pot but the best ones are easy to use and can fit comfortable on the table.
What is Nabe?
Nabe means Hot Pot. Its commonly used in reference to the many soups and stews made in Japan. Some of the most popular stews would be Oden, Sukiyaki, Yose Nabe and more. Lots of restaurant will serve nabe style pots and you can even find it in neighboring countries as well. In Japan, Nabe is also a popular dish served at home. Fresh ingredients will be added to the pot and cooked fresh.
Different Type of Nabe Pots
Traditional Nabe Pot are made of Clay. They are known as Donabe Pot. Most models are flame safe so it can be heated right on the table top. Cast Iron Nabe Pot known as tetsunabe are heavier duty and generally more durable. These are generally better suited to be used over a campfire. There are also the traditional Yukihira Nabe Pot. Its a hammered aluminum pot with a handle.
Modern Nabe Pots are Electric. Lots of manufacturer from Zojirushi to Tiger will make some variation of this pot. While they are a little under power, they are perfect for heating stews.
If you plan on serving Nabe on the table, then you should probably buy a portable burner. This keeps the soup hot and will let you cook throughout dinner. Other accessories will be chopstick for serving, bowls for rice and a spoon for ladling soup. All these thing are necessary for making a family style of dinner.
If you cant be bothered to make the broth, there are plenty of Nabe Broth Package.
A skimmer might also be a good idea. They are for removing the brown bits that float to the stop.
How to Cook in a Nabe Pot
If you plan on cooking family style, I recommend heating up the basic ingredients and soup. This will flavor the soup and act as a base. Fresh ingredients should be set aside and guest can serve themselves.
If germs are a particular concern, you can set utensils aside just for cooking and serving. Ask your family member to observe these rules.
When cooking, make sure food does not get overcooked. For vegetables, once it turns to a bright color, its usually cooked. When its wilted and soft, that means you overcooked it.
Best Nabe Post List
Below you will find a list of some of the Best Nabe Pot available. Since there are a few different model, I have listed the best in each category.
Zojirushi EP-PBC10 Gourmet d’Expert Nabe Pot (Best Overall)
Nothing is more convenient than having a electric nabe pot. You dont have to deal with fire nor do you have to replace the gas canister. All you need to do is plug it in and set the temperature. You can also be assure of the quality. Zojirushi makes some of the finest cookware in Japan. Their durability and performance is unrivaled. Also, this model cooking tray is removable for easy cleaning.
Aroma Housewares ASP-137 Grillet 3Qt. 3-in-1 Cool-Touch (Best Buy)
While Zojirushi is nice, its a little expensive. The good thing is that Aroma makes a very affordable model. It has a easy to use dial and a removable pot. This make it easy to cook in and wash. Best of all, its a third of the price of Zojirushi.
Hase Garden stove’s Sanhe (Best Clay Donabe Pot)
If you want to cook in a traditional clay pot, then Hase Garden Donabe is a great choice. Its hand crafted in Japan and its large enough to serve a family. You can use this pot over fire and its also great for cooking rice. Unlike most other Japanese Donabe Pot, its made in the Iga Region. The area most famous for Donabe Pot.
Iwachu Iron Nabe Pan, Large (Best Cast Iron Model (Tetsunabe_)
If you’re like me and like your cookware to last, then get cast iron. This is a heavy duty pot with two carrying loop. While Iwachu is mostly unknown in the states, they are quite famous in Japan. They offer a range for artisinal cast iron cookware. This pan is 9 inch in diameter and perfect for serving a family of 3 or 4.
Yoshikawa Yukihira Nabe Pot, 2.2 quart
Sometimes you only need to cook for a party of one. In that case, a small 2 quart pot is all you need. This aluminum hammered pot is beautiful and heats up fast. The gentle corner makes it easy to whisk sauce and boil soups. The wooden handle also means it wont get hot. If you need to, there is also a 3 qt size.
Best Nabe Pot Thoughts
Nabe Pots are great family style pots. They are designed to be served on the table surrounded by family. Modern technology has made the electric model the most convenient and easy to use. However, some people still like to cook with a traditional fire. In that case, a cast iron or even clay model might be better. I personally would choose the cast iron for its durability. If you’re just cooking for one, than a Yukihira Nabe Pot might be better.
Looking for a lid? Check out our article on the Best Otoshibuta Drop Lid.