Cooking with a donabe, or a Japanese earthenware pot, is exciting for first-time users. There’s always that thrill of getting to use something that you wouldn’t normally use in everyday cooking.
Donabe are made of a special clay that’s used over an open flame in Japanese kitchens. They are used in the preparation of several dishes such as shabu-shabu and nabe (hot pot dishes). Many chefs believe that owing to the heat distribution of the clay, the taste of dishes is enhanced just by use of donabe.
But how exactly do you use and care for your hot pot? We help you with using and seasoning a donabe, so that you can have the perfect cooking experience.
1. Before using a new donabe, fill the pot with water and add a cup of steamed rice. Simmer rice porridge on low-medium heat for half an hour. Then, remove from heat and let it cool. Discard the rice and rinse the pot. Dry with a clean cloth and air dry well.
2. Make sure the bottom surface of your donabe is dry before every use.
3. Never start cooking in donabe over a high flame. Start low, and slowly increase heat.
4. Make sure you don’t heat an empty donabe as it will result in damage.
5. After cooking in donabe, let it cool before washing. Do not soak in soap, but wash thoroughly with a soft, clean cloth.
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