"Nabe Ryouri". Japanese hotpots

Great on cold winter evenings, hotpots are universally popular. Not only are they a great way to use up those leftovers, they also provide a very sociable dining experience, which make them the ideal choice for when friends come over to dinner or for huge family gatherings. Hotpots are cooked on a portable gas ring placed in the centre of the table. The cooking pots, or "DONABE"are crafted to resist the heat from a naked flame and come in many different sizes .For big parties, you may even find 3 or 4 big pots being cooked at the same time. Meat, fish, vegetables and beancurd are all cooked together in a flavorsome soup and diners transfer what they want to eat into their own bowls a little at a time.
There are countless varieties to choose from. Tastes differ from region to region and from person to person. In Japan, soups are usually soy sauce or miso based, although recently spicy Korean style "Kimchee Nabe" have become popular. Pictured here is a soup made from soy bean milk which has emerged as a favorite in an increasingly health-conscious society. Anything goes in the way of ingredients too. You can buy especially created sets at the local supermarket or just throw in whatever's sitting in your refrigerator!

A good nutritional balance along with a good sense of color makes for the perfect hotpot. (Remember that in Japan, the way a dish looks is almost as important as the way it tastes!)
Hotpot cuisine can be found all over Asia and indeed the world. However it must be said that Japan's "nabe" culture is fairly unique in that it is a shared dining experience, designed to give everyone participating a sense of warmth and companionability, as well as a full stomach!

Artistic Nippon by Yoshikawa Toki Co.[Home]