Winter in the UK brings lots of wonderful things; Christmas, time with loved ones and sharing soul warming food… Japan isn't any different. In winter, the people of Japan enjoy cooking with a traditional Japanese clay pot to create family favourites such as sukiyaki, shabu shabu, and a range of donabe recipes which are delectable types of stew/hot pots. Don`t let the idea of not owning a donabe pot stop you from tantalising those taste buds with authentic Japanese nabe! Luckily Supermarkets in the UK now-a-days stock an array of Japanese ingredients to make your Japanese food journeys come to life! And if you`re really feeling authentic, why not treat yourself to a real donabe pot which is available at ZakZakka!
Chanko Nabe and ingredient
Here`s one recipe to tempt you! It`s a fan-favourite of most Japanese families and a big hit with sumo wrestlers; Chanko Nabe. It`s a mix of chicken, pork, seafood and fish, vegetables and stock all simmered to perfection. Who said eating vegetables is hard work? Those with kids won`t hear a moan or groan with this recipe.
Prep Time Cooking Time Total Time Serves
45 minutes 15 Minutes 1 hour 4
For The Broth
50ml Sake (I found drinking Sake on Sainsburys website, can be used as a substitute for cooking sake)
800ml Chicken stock or chicken soup (have fun and experiment with your favourite soups or stocks)
1 ½ tsp Crushed garlic
2 tbsp Ginger juice
100g miso paste
8 Chicken or turkey meatballs
1 Cod fillet
170g Pork belly slices
4 Skinless & boneless chicken thighs
400g Medium-firm tofu
½ head of Chinese leaf cabbage or pak choi
2 Spring onions
4-6 Shiitake mushrooms (or substitute with your favourite mushrooms)
2 packs Udon Noodles (or your favourite noodles)
Dipping (not necessary but tastes fab!)
Ponzu or sesame dipping sauce
First, wash all your veg. Chop the Chinese leaf cabbage longways twice, then into about 4cm bits. Pop them neatly around the sides of your nabe pot.
Prep your other veg but add them later. Slice your spring onions diagonally, onion from stem to root, cut the tips off the shiitake mushrooms and cut a shallow cross on the caps, slice the tofu into 2cm cubes, grate the carrot and slice into 1cm slices. If you have shape cutters, then you can use them to make cute carrot shapes.
Cut your chicken thighs and cod fillet into bite-sized pieces. If the pork isn`t thin enough, then slice it as thin as possible. Add the chicken, cod, pork, prawns and meatballs into the centre of the nabe.
Add the spring onions, then onions, then mushrooms, then tofu and lastly carrots on the top.
Peel then grates the ginger into a bowl then strain to get only the ginger juice.
Measure out the sake, mirin, miso, crushed garlic and your favourite stock. I used a few cubes of Japanese chicken stock and mixed it with boiling water to get 800ml. Check out your supermarket for a chicken stock or soup and make 800ml out of it by adding boiling water. Add all these ingredients to your nabe.
Place on the hob and simmer at a medium heat for 10-15 minutes. You can either use on the stove or if you have a cassette grill, use that on your dining room table. When serving I like to place the pot on a trivet on the dining table so that we can keep dishing out the food as we sit and eat. You can add the ponzu or sesame dipping sauce for an extra taste. Be sure to dish up some broth with the food.
Once everything has been eaten, return the nabe pot with remaining broth to the stove and on a medium heat, add the udon noodles. Cook for a few minutes and enjoy finishing the delicious broth with some tasty noodles. A true hearty, Japanese dish!
I hope you enjoyed my take on Chanko nabe. If you liked my fancy rainbow cherry blossom clay pot and want one of your own, you can get them online from ZakZakka, we are selling two types of beautiful, Japanese-esque nabe pots; the cherry blossom and dahlia patterns. Both are unique and both scream “JAPAN”. Be sure to treat your new clay pot before using it for the first time by boiling a mixture of water and 1-2tbsp of flour in it. Allow it to cool then wash and use. Happy munching!