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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.


Tuna Hot Pot

Negi-Ma Nabe

One day, a very good customer of ours stopped by at our shop to give us a block of fresh tuna he just caught from fishing in the Pacific Ocean. How sweet of him! It was super fresh sashimi quality, so we tried some as sashimi with different kinds of soy sauces we have, then for the remaining, I decided to make a donabe hot pot with it. Tuna hot pot in donabe is a popular dish in Japan, and it’s typically made as a combination with negi (Japanese green onion). It’s called Negi-Ma Nabe. The name is short for Negi (green onion) Maguro (tuna) Nabe (hot pot).

This dish is very simple, and all you need is good quality dashi, tuna (obviously!), green onion (for the name’s sake) and any other ingredients you like to add. I like it with my ponzu.

For the shime (finishing course), I like making quick ojiya (porridge) with freshly-cooked donabe rice


Simmered Egg-Drop Chicken & Asparagus with Sansho Berries

Tori Asparagus Tamago-toji

This dish is a variation of Chicken & Tofu Hot Pot with Egg dish, and this dish is less soupy and the broth plays a role more as a seasoning for the ingredients. The combination of chicken, egg, and asparagus almost never go wrong, especially when asparagus is in high season in the spring time. The dish is topped with Salt-Pickled Sansho Berries, which bring such beautiful accent to the dish, but if you don’t have them, you can sprinkle some Sansho Powder, and it’s also very good for this dish.


Shrimp and Rapini Chirashi Sushi

Chirashi Sushi (sushi rice with scattered toppings) is a great dish for celebration, and I make this colorful dish for Japanese New Year or other party occasions. The most unique part about this dish is that the rice is seasoned with daidai citrus juice, instead of rice vinegar to make the sushi rice. Daidai is a Japanese citrus that is similar to orange but with brighter aroma and flavor. When the rice is seasoned with daidai juice, the beautiful aroma of daidai spreads around it and it’s so appetizing.

Egg crepes, rapini and shrimp create beautiful colorful visual and and the flavors are also wonderful together, too. Feel free to substitute them with other toppings of your choice for fun.


Smoked Chinese-style Cold Noodle

Smoked Hiyashi Chuka

Smoked toppings give such a tasty and unique upgrade to the popular summer dish. This dish has not only been a summer hit at my home, but I actually like to make it whenever I want all year round. The yuzu-flavored broth is so refreshing and creates a nice balance with the smoked toppings. For me, Yuzu-Kosho is an essential addition to add a nice kick to this dish, but it’s totally optional for those who prefer a less spicy flavor.


Turmeric Rice with Mochi Mugi Barley

With the bright color and aromas, this dish can stimulate your appetite so much. Once you sauté the spices with rice and Mochi Mugi barley, just add the stock (or water) and let the Kamado-san do the work for you. The entire process is done over medium-heat. It’s so flavorful and I love the bouncy texture of the barley in the dish, too. This dish is especially great with Pork Keema Curry, and when I make this combination, I always end up having second (and sometimes even third) bowl. If you wish to make it without the Mochi Mugi, reduce the stock (or water) amount by 1/2 cup (120 ml), then reduce each spice’s amount a little bit.


Egg Drop Vegetable Soup

Kakitama-jiru

This soup is full of flavors and very satisfying. The addition of the black vinegar gives the nice umami-rich accent to the dish. The fluffy egg with vegetables make wonderful layers of textures, too. I like to sprinkle some sansho powder to the soup for extra kick, but it’s totally optional.


Matcha & Salt Madeleine

Matcha Moshio Madeleine

This one-pot donabe madeleine is always so tasty and it’s hard to stop eating it. I make it with Bistro Donabe, as its extra thick body and the flat bottom allow the heat to distribute gently and also make a nice presentation when it’s sliced. The authentic matcha flavor is complemented with the mineral-rich moshio sea salt. When I serve this with freshly-whisked matcha, I’m in heaven.


Make Your Own Shoyu Ramen Hot Pot

Okonomi Shoyu Ramen Nabe

Making ramen is easy and fun, especially if you cook and serve as donabe hot pot right at the table. I like adding the chopped nira (garlic chives) to the ramen right before serving, but if you can’t find nira, you can substitute with thinly-sliced green onion and serve as a topping, instead. Enjoy with a couple of simple toppings or a make a platter of a wide selection of toppings to choose from for fun.


Egg-topped Garlic Chives & Shiitake

Nira Shiitake Tamago-toji

Nira (garlic chives) and shiitake mushrooms are quickly simmered in kombu & shiitake dashi-based broth, then finished with eggs. I like the very soft and slightly runny stage of the eggs, so let it cook for a short time once the eggs are added. This dish is great as an appetizer (served as a soup), side dish, or I also like to pour over rice. If you can’t find nira, you can substitute it with spinach or pea shoot. You can also add rehydrated dry shiitake used to make the dashi for extra flavor and texture.


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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