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Thai-Style Basil Chiken Over Rice

Gapao Gohan

This dish is my homage to a popular Thai dish, pad gaprao (“holy basil chicken rice”; this dish is also popular in Japan, and we call it gapao gohan), and every component (chicken, rice, and egg) is made in a different style of donabe. This simple dish is so easy to make and really satisfying, so I make it quite often.

For the basil chicken, you can make it with any classic-style donabe, but I especially recommend Bistro Donabe. It’s because this donabe can be heated when it’s empty, so you can sauté the chicken more effectively with the intense heat. The sturdy flat lid of Bistro Donabe can also give a nice pressure during simmering. The main seasonings are oyster sauce and Ayu Fish Sauce, they bring really nice layers of umami flavors. While most Asian fish sauce (such as nan pla) has distinctive salty flavor, Ayu fish sauce is much more round and richer in umami. You can still use regular Asian fish sauce, but in that case, I suggest you use less amount of it.

For the fried egg, you can use a regular pan, but my choice of equipment is always Donabe Egg Baker. It’s so handy and you can make an individual serving (up to two eggs) fried eggs in a short time.



Salmon, Shiitake and Watercress in Smokey Garlic Black Vinegar Sauce

With just three main ingredients (salmon, shiitake mushrooms, and watercress) and simple preparation, this sizzling dish makes a very satisfying meal. The garlic black vinegar flavor is further enhanced with smoked soy sauce, but if you don’t have it, you can make it with regular high quality soy sauce, too. Make sure to drink up any remaining sauce, or dip some freshly-cooked donabe rice, as it’s so tasty.


Steamed Halibut with Daidai Chive Sauce

Mushi-Zakana to Daidai Asatsuki Sauce

Whenever I get a very fresh piece of fish, my favorite way to prepare is to make it as simple as possible to best appreciate the natural flavor of the fish. Steaming fresh-quality fish filet in donabe takes no time and it’s always a treat for me. Once you have a sauce ready, it creates a great main course. I like steaming halibut for its rich flavor and texture but it’s basically you can steam any fish of your choice. Daidai Chive Sauce is a quick sauce for which the only ingredient you need to chop is the chives. It’s full of flavor and great with steamed fish. Quick Daidai Citrus Ponzu can go well with the steamed fish, too.


Soy-Simmered Beef and Burdock

Gyu to Gobo no Shigure-ni

Beef and burdock always make a great combination, and this dish is no exception. This is a traditional Japanese dish, and is very popular as a home dish, especially as you can make it with inexpensive komagire cut beef (basically thin end-cut or scrap meat). By simmering the thin slices of beef and burdock together in the sweet soy-based sauce, the dish creates the wonderful rich and earthy flavor. I love to add a generous amount of ginger for the additional layer of flavor. I often enjoy serving this over plain rice to make a rice bowl dish. It’s so good!


Make Your Own Steamed Chicken Pho

Inspired by a popular Vietnamese noodle dish, this is my Japanese version of it and the dish totally takes advantage of the unique versatility of the donabe steamer, Mushi Nabe. I can do steaming and simmering in one pot, and it makes a great presentation at the table, too. I also love serving it hot pot style, so you can cook a small batch of noodles to serve at a time and continue to cook and serve until done. Then, you can choose and enjoy different toppings for every batch, if you like. You can be creative and serve with a wider variety of toppings, too. The broth has layers of umami flavors with the dashi, reserved chicken juice and Ayu fish sauce. This dish is always so comforting and fun at the same time. Instead of serving with a sliced lemon, you can also try with a splash of Pure Hon-Daidai Citrus Juice. The bright aroma of the daidai citrus will completely upgrade the dish to another level!


Daidai Chive Sauce

Daidai Asatsuki Sauce

Very aromatic Daidai Citrus Juice and the umami-rich Ayu Fish Sauce create such a brightly refreshing flavor, and the generous amount of chives gives the nice herbal touch to the sauce. The golden sesame oil brings nutty character. This sauce takes no time to make, and it’s very versatile. So, enjoy with simple steamed fish, chicken, tofu, etc.


Chinese-Style Steamed Fish

Sakana no Chuka-Mushi

This colorful treat is an easy one-pot dish with a lot of flavors. I like to use black cod for its fatty texture for this dish, but you can also make it with other kinds of fish such as yellowtail, sea bass, salmon, etc. The sizzling sound and aroma of the smoking sesame oil when it’s poured over the fish stimulate your appetite so much. With the umami-rich sauce and aromatic toppings, this dish can become a healthy and satisfying main course.


Braised Chicken in Brown Rice Black Vinegar Sauce

Tori No Kurozu-ni

The main ingredients of this dish are just chicken and shiitake mushrooms, yet this dish can make such a hearty meal. The meat is so succulent and falls off the bone easily even with chopsticks. The special black vinegar from Kyoto gives the umami-packed layer of flavors to this easy one-pot dish.


Spicy Pork Sesame Hot Pot

Buta no Goma-Suki

The marinade has such a rich flavor, and the creamy sesame paste makes it so aromatic. Once you have all the ingredients ready, all you need to do is just piling up the ingredients and build your excitement while waiting for the dish to cook. I love that I can taste so many different ingredients in this one dish, but you can always substitute or omit most of the ingredients as you like.


Chicken Wings & Daikon Hot Pot

Teba Daikon Nabe

Chicken wings and daikon are a classic combination in Japanese cooking. By pan-frying these ingredients before adding to the broth, the flavor of this simple dish enhances dramatically. Because the chicken is already marinated in shio-koji, this dish doesn’t require much more seasoning. Feel free to use fingers to savor the wings, as it’s part of the fun of this dish!


Nao Man Gai (Chicken Over Rice)

Naoko-style Asian Chicken Rice

This dish is inspired by kao man ghai, a very popular Thai-style chicken rice dish, (or the Singapore-style is known as Hainanese chicken rice), and I made it in my donabe Japanese version with mostly Japanese ingredients. So, I call it Nao Man Gai! The rice is cooked with rich Japanese chicken stock with chicken on top, so the rice tastes really special even on its own. The chicken is sliced and served on top of the rice along with two kinds of special sauces. Don’t forget to make non-boiled “boiled eggs” by placing eggs on the inner lid of Kamado-san when cooking the rice. The eggs are ready when the rice is ready, and they taste so good with the dish!


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