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Nabemono or Nabe

Try this Japanese hot pot dish when it's cold outside

Nabemono or Nabe in Japan - Best Time
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© Christian Kaden

Nabemono or just Nabe is a very popular type of Japanese food cooked in a hot pot. It's named after the traditional clay pot "nabe" where the food is cooked and served. Nabemono is mainly prepared during the cold season—from December until February.

There are two varieties of Japanese Nabe: lightly flavoured stock and strongly flavoured stock. Lightly flavoured stock is mostly cooked with kombu (a famous seaweed widely eaten in East Asia). They are complemented with Yudōfu and mizutaki dishes and are usually served with a dipping sauce named Tare. Strongly flavoured stock (sukiyaki, yosenabe, oden, etc.) is typically cooked with miso (traditional Japanese condiment), soy sauce, and dashi (Japanese broth).

Nabe is a very homestyle type dish, usually cooked within a group of friends or families. It is served in a large steaming pot filled with many ingredients—vegetables, tofu, meat, seafood, potatoes, cabbage, fish, shrimp, mushrooms, and just about anything else you want to put in. Nabe usually sits in the centre of dining tables and diners can choose anything from the pot. It's not just about eating; it's a very spiritual process filled with conversation and a friendly atmosphere.

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