Easy methods to Select the Greatest Donabe (Japanese Clay Pot) • Simply One Cookbook


One in all Japan’s oldest cooking vessels, the earthenware donabe (Japanese clay pot) can be a extremely versatile instrument in at present’s kitchen. It’s a one-pot marvel for cooking scorching pot dishes, stews, Japanese rice, and extra. At this time, I‘ll present you the way to decide on the most effective donabe.


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

Scorching pot dishes are sometimes cooked in donabe (土鍋), a standard Japanese clay pot. Nowadays, Japanese earthenware pots can be found to buy on-line and I extremely suggest getting one in your kitchen! I obtain a number of questions from my readers about how one can choose the most effective donabe. At this time, I’ll cowl some key factors to think about, from the fabric used to your warmth supply to specialised donabe for cooking rice. In case you are in search of how one can 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 an important and extremely versatile instrument for on a regular basis cooking. Donabe is superb for making soups, stews, and braised dishes. It’s also possible to use it for steaming, roasting, and cooking probably the most superb rice you’ve ever had!

Donabe holds warmth exceptionally effectively, making it a great vessel for cooking dishes that require liquid and lengthy cooking occasions. It’s primarily the last word one-pot marvel! I additionally consider it has the most effective functionality for cooking rice.

Totally different Forms of Donabe

Clay pots have completely different traits relying on the fabric used. Let’s perceive the traits of the commonest varieties 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. Widespread 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 engaging. The most well-liked 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 fireplace. It’s fairly sturdy and long-lasting. Widespread 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 practical and handy, and so they can be utilized on induction heating (IH) cooktops.

How to Season a Donabe

Select the Proper Donabe Measurement

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

  • No. 5 (5号, 5-go)—1 particular person; 6 inches or 14–16 cm in diameter
  • No. 6 (6号, 6-go)—1–2 particular person; 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 usually are not IH (induction heating) appropriate. If in case you have an electrical range, you should purchase a moveable butane fuel burner to make use of a standard donabe. My household makes use of it so we will prepare dinner scorching pot dishes on the desk.

In contrast to typical 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 mates use it and so they all adore it.

Greatest Donabe Rice Cookers

You may make scrumptious rice in an everyday 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 believe it’s price 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 traces, the glass lid makes it simple to see inside, and the whistling cap lets you already know when it‘s nearly completed cooking. It’s fairly sturdy, so I don’t want to fret about chipping.
  • Nagatanien Kamado-san—I really like the normal 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 Take care of Your Donabe

Once you buy a brand-new donabe and take it out of the field, you have to season it earlier than utilizing. In Japanese, we discuss with this seasoning course of as medome (目止め). Ensure that to season your brand-new Japanese clay pot following my step-by-step donabe seasoning tutorial! The tutorial additionally consists of vital suggestions for how one can care in your donabe.

Scrumptious Donabe Recipes

Listed here are a few of the Japanese scorching pot recipes that you simply would possibly get pleasure from cooking in your donabe!



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