Happy Donabe Life

Shio-Kombu Pork & Napa Cabbage Mille Feuille

This is such a simple dish as all I need to do is to pile up napa cabbage and pork slices (this time, I used pork shoulder, but pork belly is also good), cut them and stuff in a donabe . The seasoning is basically just the Shio-Kombu, and it releases so much umami flavors to the dish! The donabe cooks the ingredients evenly in just 15 – 20 minutes over stovetop, and you don’t need to do anything to it, meanwhile. Both the napa cabbage and pork become so tender!

The dish is already so tasty on its own, but I like to drizzle a small amount of ponzu or a dab of yuzu-kosho.


Classic-style Donabe (Medium to medium-small size)

Bistro Donabe is used in this recipe


2 hearty servings


  • About 10 oz (300 g) napa cabbage (medium-size full leaves)
  • 8 oz (220 g) pork shoulder, very thin slices
  • 2 tablespoons sake
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) dashi or water
  • a small knob ginger, cut into very fine shreds
  • 2 oz (60 g) shimeji mushrooms or your choice of mushrooms
  • 1/3 oz (10 g) shio-kombu
  • Ponzu


  1. Place a piece of napa cabbage leaf on a cutting board. Spread 1 or 2 slices of the pork (depending on the size) over the napa cabbage. Layer with napa cabbage and pork slices two more times, and place another piece of napa cabbage. Set aside.
  2. With the remaining napa cabbage and pork, repeat the same process. The last set might be less layers than the other sets depending on how many napa cabbage leaves and pork slices you have, and that’s okay.
  3. Cut each set (from the bottom side) into about 2” (5 cm) pieces, and start to fill the donabe from the outer side, by facing the cut side up. For the top end pieces place them top end up. Make sure to pack up tightly.
  4. Pour the sake and water, and spread the ginger and mushrooms evenly over the napa cabbage and pork. Spread the shio-kombu in the center.
  5. Cover with lid, and set over medium heat. Cook for 15 – 20 minutes, or until everything is cooked through and the napa cabbage is very soft.
  6. Serve the dish into individual bowls at a table (with the soup), and enjoy with a drizzle of the ponzu, if you like.

Get the ingredients ready.

Pack the donabe with the napa cabbage & pork layers, and top with some shio-kombu.

In just about 15 minutes over medium-heat on the stove. The dish is ready.

So juicy and tasty.


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