Nabemono are a type of dish rather than a recipe. There are two types: casserole nabe and fondue nabe.
Nabemono are hearty and invigorating dishes. Nabemono is a winter dish that Japanese people eat at home with family or friends. The preparation of nabe is almost ceremonial: the family appoints a nabe bugyo, or “nabe master”, who takes charge and decides the order in which the ingredients are cooked.
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A very versatile dish, nabe can be made from anything, but here are some basic recipes:
Mizutaki Nabe (水炊き): this nabe is recognizable for its delicious broth with chicken and kombu seaweed.
Kaki nabe (かき鍋): nabe with oysters, eaten mainly in December.
Udon-suki (うどんすき): nabe with udon noodles.
Ishikari nabe (石狩鍋): the main ingredient of this nabe, salmon, comes directly from Hokkaido.
Chanko nabe (ちゃんこ鍋): The nabe of sumo wrestlers, full of protein and energy. It only takes chicken meat as this animal stands on two legs, unlike cows and pigs that do it on four legs, which represents a humiliating way to lose in sumo. It is also not advisable to use fish as it is an animal without any “arms” or “legs”.
Probably the most popular and well-known nabe is shabu shabu (しゃぶしゃぶ), a kind of low-fat fondue as the elements (meats, vegetables, fish cut into thin slices) are immersed in the bubbling water (the dashi a fish stock).
When cooked they make the “shabu-shabu” sound. Once cooked the ingredients are dipped in different sauces such as ponzu (citrus vinegar) or gomadare, sesame sauce. sukiyaki (すき焼き) is a sweeter version of shabu shabu, whose broth is made from dashi, soy sauce and sugar.