The things you might not know! The correct way to eat & manners for “Nabe Ryori(鍋料理)” – All about the Japanese hot pot!


"Nabe Ryori(鍋料理)" (steamboat/hot pot style dishes) is a Japanese cuisine which use a pot to boil vegetable, meat and fish all together. It is a favorite dish for Japanese family especially during the cold winter. Sukiyaki, shabu-shabu, Motsu Nabe are the examples of the “Nabe Ryori”. Today, we are going to introduce you on the manners and eating instruction of “Nabe Ryori” and the history of this cuisine.


How to cook “Nabe Ryori” and how to eat it deliciously

First of all, put in fish and meat to create a nice soup base. Then put in those ingredients which need longer cooking time, such as radish and carrot. Subsequently, put in the bean curd, shiitake mushroom, etc. which are easier to be cooked. Once all the ingredients are well-cooked, your “Nabe Ryori” is done.The sauce to dip is different depending on the ingredients. For “Yosenabe”, they usually dip “Ponzu(ポン酢)”, a sauce which made from citrus juice, vinegar and soy sauce. Besides, for the pork meat steamboat, they usually dip the pork meat with sesame sauce.
After Japanese finished eating the main ingredients in the pot, they will put in either rice, udon or Ramen to cook with the soup left inside. It is the way to complete the meal.


Manners which might surprise you! Please use the “communal serving chopstick”!

There is a basic manner that people who sit nearer to the pot should put in ingredients and observe the cooking condition inside the pot. So, seating location is important. You don’t have to care about the sequence to scoop the food from pot if you are eating with friends and family. However, it is important to take care about the sequence of food serving if you are eating with your boss, manager, seniors or your company partners or customers. You have to use a separate chopstick instead of using your own chopstick to take the food inside the pot. Some of the Japanese will reverse their chopstick(逆さ箸) but this is not a proper manner for Japanese. Therefore, please remind yourself not to do that during your meal.


This is so interesting! “Nabe Ryori” has been eaten since BC

“Nabe Ryori” has been eaten from 131th BC to 4th BC. Since then the Japanese already started to put all ingredients in a pot and boil the ingredients to enjoy steamboat. By that time, they are not surrounding the pot, instead they divided the food in advance and eat separately. From the end of Edo Period(江戸時代) (Latter of 18th Century ), Japanese started to bring out the “Hibachi” and “Shichirin” (traditional portable clay cooking stove using charcoal) to the dining area and enjoy the “Konabedate”, a steamboat for 1-2 persons.


Japanese hot pot started from the trend of beef hot pot during Meiji Period

During the “Civilization” of Meiji Period, the meat dishes which has been prohibited in the past has been encouraged. The “Sukiyaki”, dish with beef has received good responses among the Japanese. Furthermore, round table and gas stove has become common among the Japanese. This has resulted the “Naberyori”, where a group of friends and family can enjoy and gather around the steamboat together, becomes more common.

In recent years, there are few steamboat menus from Western such as tomato steamboat and stew-steamboat, all of these “Nabe Ryori” has become the favorites dishes of Japanese too. What are the “Nabe Ryori” in your country? Please share with us!


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