The structure of the donabe, or earthenware pot
Shape of a regular donabe
The donabe is made of fired pottery, so both the basin and the lid are heavy.
The donabe is so popular you can say that most Japanese households at least have one.
It accumulates heat quite well and keeps the temperature level throughout all the ingredients, so it’s an ideal piece of cookware for many households. It can be used to easily make various dishes.
Standard dishes made in donabe
Japan’s staple food, white rice!
www.flickr.com; photo by Miki Ishijima
If you put a certain amount of dried rice in this pot with the same amount of water and simply boil it, it seems like it is more delicious than if you make it in a rice cooker.
Rice cooked with ingredients
All this is is rice with soy sauce or dashi along with ingredients. Dishes made in a small pot with everything directly added can be found sold as-is as lunch bento.
Traditional Japanese party dish: nabe, or stew
It’s not just rice, but also soup, vegetables, and seafood or meat added together to become what is considered the standard “nabe.”
It’s not just rice, but adding udon to the soup and ingredients to make nabeyaki udon is also a standard meal. While in the west, in Kouchi prefecture, they have their famous nabeyaki ramen, it looks much like nabeyaki udon.
There’s still way more! Donabe recipes
Because the donabe has such a high level of thermal efficiency, you can boil, bake, steam, and saute in ti for a limitless number of recipes.
photozou.jp; photo by Nodzucchi (のづっち)
Since you can put it directly in the oven, you can make gratins and doria to your heart’s content.
You can bake bread, too
Surprisingly enough, you can even make bread in it!
More than a metal pot, the donabe has a high thermal effeciency and is perfect for stewed foods as well as other types of meals.
Definitely try one yourself!