Happy Donabe Life

Tag Archives: Event

Donabe Cooking Class Report (August 2019)

September 5, 2019

On August 24 and 25, before the summer ended, we hosted donabe cooking classes at TOIRO.

Everything was prepped and ready!
Showing the guests how to cook rice with donabe rice cooker, Kamado-san
Steamed Market Vegetables, Served with Creamy Sesame Tofu Dipping Sauce
Steamed Large Shrimp & Rapini in Donabe Steamer, Mushi Nabe
Served with Ginger Yuzu-kosho Sauce
Chicken Tomato Sukiyaki
Shime (finishing course) was Kiwami Udon!
Smokey Shoyu Butter Corn & Hijiki Rice

I was so glad everybody enjoyed the class and all the dishes so much. We hope to host more classes later this year, so please stay tuned.

Happy Donabe Life.


Ume-Shu Dinner Party

July 18, 2019

The Ume-shu (plum liqueur), we made last year turned 1 year old and finally become ready to drink, so I hosted Ume-shu dinner party the other day. It was such a lovely celebration with the wonderful Team TOIRO and friends.

We tried our 2018 Ume-shu and Kinkan-shu (kumquat liqueur), plus my 2012 vintage Ume-shu (2 kinds: one of them was made with Okinawa black sugar).

Everybody tried different kinds in different ways. The basic way of enjoying Ume-shu is on the rocks. It’s also nice with sparkling water and ice.

I also made different dishes to enjoy with Ume-shu.

Soba Salad with Kale & Mix Seaweed
Ahi Tuna Poke

Miso-Marinated Cream Cheese on Watermelon Radish

Market Crudités with Firefly Squid Dipping Sauce and Kanzuri Shuto

Ginger Hijiki and Roasted Vegetable Salad

Time for the donabe main courses. I made Sesame Miso Hot Pot with Tasmanian Ocean Trout and Hokkaido Scallops. To finish, a couple of slices of butter was dropped to the broth.

Octopus and Corn Rice was made in Kamado-san.

Dessert was Matcha Almond Milk Kuzu-Mochi (kudzu jelly) with Okinawa Black Sugar Syrup, Kinako (roasted soy powder) and Anko (sweet azuki paste).

We also drank a lot of wine and had so much fun!

Happy Donabe Life.

by Naoko

Donabe Cooking Class at Chateau Hanare

June 7, 2019

We had our first collaboration donabe cooking class event with Chateau Hanare on May 25, and it was a big success! Chateau Hanare is a Japanese restaurant, located next to Chateau Marmont in West Hollywood. It’s a beautiful place and they serve authentic Japanese food in an elegant setting. I’ve been a fan of this restaurant since they opened last summer.

The 20 seats filled up immediately after the event was announced a couple of weeks prior, and by the time of the event date, there were about 50 people on the waiting list. We are so grateful for such demand and are sorry to those who couldn’t get in this time. But, we want to do this again.

We made 5 different dishes, all in donabe! The class was done in a demonstration style, so the guests could sit back and enjoy learning these donabe recipes. We also enjoyed many interactions with the guests.

After all the dishes were made, all the dishes were served in courses and everybody enjoyed the lunch.

Here’s my oil sardine donabe rice. I’m glad everybody liked it! Here’s the entire menu of the class.

Homemade Soft Tofu with Mushroom Ankake Sauce.
Sake-Steamed Clams and Vegetables
Hot Pot of Meat, Seafood & Assorted Vegetables in Hatcho Miso Broth
Oil Sardine & Ginger Rice
Hojicha Custard Pudding

Chateau Hanare’s executive chef, Abe-san was truly a master! I really enjoyed cooking with him. The class was so much fun, and I look forward to another collaboration with Chateau Hanare!

Naoko (Mrs. Donabe)

Made In Gifu Launch Reception

April 20, 2019

Last Saturday, April 13, we launched Made In Gifu: Traditional and Modern Crafts from Gifu Japan. We hosted an early evening reception to celebrate the launch of this special collection, and so many people come to the event!

Many were already waiting outside before the reception started.


We offered Taste of Gifu samples.


So many happy people.


I was so glad everybody loved Miso-Marinated Cream Cheese canapés.


The event was filled with so much love and happiness by the wonderful people.


We want to thank everyone who came to the even to show your support to us and the wonderful crafts from Gifu. Thank you! Made In Gifu Collection is now available both in our website and West Hollywood location. Availability is limited, so please check them out now!

Happy donabe life.

Naoko (a.k.a. Mrs. Donabe)

TOIRO Spring Festival 2018

March 11, 2018

Since we opened our brick-and-mortar shop last October, we hosted our first big festival on March 4 (Sun). We called it TOIRO Spring Festival. We offered spring theme menu to sample and celebrated the new season with people who attended. At the event, we had special guests from Japan, people behind Stork Rice, from Toyooka, Hyogo Prefecture. Their rice is very special and we were so excited to feature Stork Rice at the event.

It was a day after Hina Matsuri (Girls Day in Japan), so we also had a traditional display of Hina Matsuri. It was a special kind Saori has taken over from her mother.

We are a team of 6 girls…Yuko, Hiroko, Fumi, Saori, Miki, and I. We prepared everything from scratch in our tiny kitchen. With 3 units of Kamado-san, we cooked so many batches of rice all day to make so many onigiri (rice balls)!

Hundreds of people showed up to the event to celebrate with us, learn and support the wonderful Japanese food culture. The shop was so packed the whole time and people kept coming in!!

Luckily, we had a handful of volunteers, including Miki’s sweet husband and daughter, Aria!

We were so happy to see everybody’s smile and also so touched by all the support we received by them. What a happy donabe event it was! We made almost 500 onigiri, and all were gone by the end!

I was having so much fun!!

TOIRO Spring Festival
Sunday, March 4
1 pm – 4 pm


Onigiri with Natural Stork Rice & Mochi Mugi Barley

Onigiri with Natural Stork Rice (Brown Rice)

-Tajima Beef & Dried Baby Sardine Condiment (Soy Flavor)
-Tajima Beef Furikake
-Walnut Miso
-Slow-Roasted Tomato & Smoked Soy Sauce
-Plum Salt & Salt-Marinated Cherry Blossom

Smoked Tasmanian Ocean Trout with Sansho & Daidai Citrus Vinaigrette

Steamed Vegetables with Shichimi-Flavored Black Sesame & Mayo Dip

Cream Cheese Canapé with Crystalized Shoyu & Katsuobushi

Matcha & Cherry Blossom Cookies


Organic Mecha (Young Shoot) Grean Tea by Jugetsudo
Matcha Latte with Almond Milk and Matcha by Jugetsudo
Kimino Yuzu Sparkling Yuzu Juice

After the event, we had a small wrap party with wine and donabe dishes at the shop in the evening.

More donabe cooking!

I feel so lucky to be in the same team with such amazing ladies and share the mission of bringing the wonderful Japanese food culture to people in America. The real girl power!

Happy donabe life.


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