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How one can Select the Greatest Donabe (Japanese Clay Pot) • Simply One Cookbook

Certainly one of Japan’s oldest cooking vessels, the earthenware donabe (Japanese clay pot) can be a extremely versatile device in immediately’s kitchen. It’s a one-pot surprise for cooking scorching pot dishes, stews, Japanese rice, and extra. Immediately, I‘ll present you ways to decide on the very best donabe.


Throughout the winter months, the Japanese take pleasure in numerous scorching pot dishes, known as nabe (鍋) or nabemono (鍋物). The preferred nabe dishes you may know embrace Shabu Shabu and Sukiyaki, however there are regional dishes like Ishikari Nabe from Hokkaido that aren’t identified worldwide but.

Sizzling pot dishes are usually cooked in donabe (土鍋), a conventional Japanese clay pot. Today, Japanese earthenware pots can be found to buy on-line and I extremely suggest getting one on your kitchen! I obtain a number of questions from my readers about tips on how to choose the very best donabe. Immediately, I’ll cowl some key factors to contemplate, from the fabric used to your warmth supply to specialised donabe for cooking rice. If you’re on the lookout for tips on how to season your donabe, learn my tutorial publish.

Varioius types of donabe, Japanese clay pots on the table.

What’s Donabe?

Made from particular clay, donabe is a centuries-old cooking vessel from Japan. Whereas these distinctive clay pots are mostly used for warm pot dishes, they’re additionally a necessary and extremely versatile device for on a regular basis cooking. Donabe is great for making soups, stews, and braised dishes. You too can use it for steaming, roasting, and cooking probably the most wonderful rice you’ve ever had!

Donabe holds warmth exceptionally properly, making it a super vessel for cooking dishes that require liquid and lengthy cooking occasions. It’s basically the last word one-pot surprise! I additionally consider it has the very best functionality for cooking rice.

Completely different Varieties of Donabe

Clay pots have completely different traits relying on the fabric used. Let’s perceive the traits of the commonest kinds of pottery.

Banko ware or Banko-yaki (萬古焼) is produced in Komono-cho and Yokkaichi Metropolis, Mie Prefecture, which accounts for about 80% of the nationwide manufacturing of donabe. Banko ware has glorious warmth resistance and may stand up to open flames and dry firing. The floor is easy and shiny with all kinds of designs. Well-liked manufacturers embrace Ginpo and Kagetsu.

Iga ware or Iga-yaki (伊賀焼) is produced primarily in Iga Metropolis, Mie Prefecture. It has excessive warmth resistance and warmth storage properties, making it appropriate for stewed dishes. The pure coloring and distinctive tough texture are enticing. The preferred model is Nagatanien.

Shigaraki ware or Shigaraki-yaki (信楽焼) is made round Shigaraki in Shiga prefecture. It’s made utilizing coarse soil, so it’s extremely warmth resistant and can be utilized on fuel stovetops and direct hearth. It’s fairly sturdy and long-lasting. Well-liked manufacturers are Kanefusa SeitoHechimon, and Kumoigama.

Ceramic pots (セラミック鍋) don’t have the distinctive texture of the earthenware pots talked about above. Additionally they aren’t porous, so there’s no have to season them. Many ceramic pots are purposeful and handy, they usually can be utilized on induction heating (IH) cooktops.

How to Season a Donabe

Select the Proper Donabe Dimension

I like to recommend a No. 9 donabe in case you are cooking for 4 individuals. For different sizes and servings, see beneath:

  • No. 5 (5号, 5-go)—1 individual; 6 inches or 14–16 cm in diameter
  • No. 6 (6号, 6-go)—1–2 individual; 7.5 inches or 17–19 cm in diameter
  • No. 7 (7号, 7-go)—2–3 individuals; 8.7 inches or 20–22 cm in diameter
  • No. 8 (8号, 8-go)—3–4 individuals; 9.4 inches or 23–25 cm in diameter  
  • No. 9 (9号, 9-go)—4–5 individuals; 10.6 inches or 26–28 cm in diameter
  • No. 10 (10号, 10-go)—5–6 individuals; 12 inches or 29–31 cm in diameter

Greatest Donabe for Coil-High Electrical Stoves

Conventional donabe can be utilized solely on open flames (fuel stoves) and most of them are usually not IH (induction heating) suitable. If in case you have an electrical range, you should purchase a transportable butane fuel burner to make use of a conventional donabe. My household makes use of it so we will cook dinner scorching pot dishes on the desk.

Not like standard donabe, this Ginpo Model’s Kikka Blue Donabe is designed to make use of on a coil-top electrical cooktop, however not on induction heating.

It requires no seasoning earlier than use, and can be microwave/oven-safe!

Greatest Donabe for Induction Heating Stoves

KINTO carries modern-style donabe pots that can be utilized on IH (induction heating). My pals use it they usually all find it irresistible.

Greatest Donabe Rice Cookers

You may make scrumptious rice in a daily donabe, however there are some donabe designed particularly for cooking rice. I’ve two manufacturers in my kitchen and I really like them each. I feel it’s value investing in in case you are not utilizing an electrical rice cooker.

  • Hario Gohangama—I LOVE my Hario donabe rice cooker that cooks 2–3 rice cooker cups of rice. I like its performance, too. It has water strains, the glass lid makes it straightforward to see inside, and the whistling cap lets you realize when it‘s nearly carried out cooking. It’s fairly sturdy, so I don’t want to fret about chipping.
  • Nagatanien Kamado-san—I really like the standard design and look of this donabe rice cooker. Nevertheless, it’s extra fragile and chips simply, so I solely apply it to particular events.

How To Season and Look after Your Donabe

How to Season Donabe Japanese Clay Pot-step by step-8

If you buy a brand-new donabe and take it out of the field, it’s essential to season it earlier than utilizing. In Japanese, we discuss with this seasoning course of as medome (目止め). Be sure to season your brand-new Japanese clay pot following my step-by-step donabe seasoning tutorial! The tutorial additionally consists of necessary ideas for tips on how to care on your donabe.

Scrumptious Donabe Recipes

Listed below are among the Japanese scorching pot recipes that you just may take pleasure in cooking in your donabe!

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