There are things we want, and there are things we need. Donabe by Naoko Moore and Kyle Connaughton was definitely the former. I won’t lie. When I picked it up, I expected to treat it more like a coffee table book but I think I completely underestimated it.
Why did I want this book? A handful of years ago, I read Naoko Moore’s blog regularly. I don’t even remember how I found it. But I did, and I’d dream about buying a donabe (particularly the rice cooker donabe) to make all sorts of Japanese inspired recipes.
You might be asking what is a donabe? It’s the Japanese word for clay pot.
And now, you might be asking if I ever bought one? Um, no. To be fair, I never bought one because most of them are not recommended for an electric stove… of which I have. D’oh!
But still, I enjoyed Moore’s blog even though I rarely used any of the recipes she posted.
Oh. Maybe I do know how I found her blog. I learned to make shio koji and I think I was researching for more background information.
Moore use shio koji a lot. She even included a recipe for it in her new cookbook.
Right, back to the cookbook.
Donabe-owner or not, I think I’m going to have to cook a lot of these recipes. I think most of it should be ok for normal pots and pans. The exceptions to this are the recipes meant for the rice cooker donabe and the donabe smoker. But I imagine that the rice cooker donabe recipes can be made in an electric rice cooker. I’ll have to experiment. I don’t have a smoker though, so those recipes are unlikely to ever see the light of day in my kitchen.
Thankfully, there are a lot of soup recipes (I love a good nabe) and steamed recipes. These should all be ok to make in my kitchen. So, things on the to do list (besides more shio koji)?
- Kyoto-style saikyo miso hot pot
- Chicken hot pot
- Duck and tofu hot pot (well, minus the tofu because I’m allergic)
- Chicken meatballs in hot sesame miso broth
- Simmered pork shoulder
- Salmon chowder with miso soy-milk broth (I plan on using whole milk)
- Pork and vegetable miso soup (maybe mostly because I love watching Shinya Shokudo)
- Steamed yellowtail shabu-shabu (looks very simple and delicious)
- Steamed enoki mushrooms wrapped in beef
- Green tea seam cake
- Steamed-fried salmon and vegetables in miso sauce
Obviously, it looks I’m going to get a lot more use out of this book than I originally anticipated.
While most of the recipes are Japanese, there are also some recipes with Chinese or Western influences.
Oh, and the pictures are really lovely. I get hungry just looking at them. At the end of the day, I’m really quite pleased to own a copy of Donabe. Maybe one day, I’ll get around to buying that rice cooker donabe for myself.
(Haha, but right now I really want a nice carbon steel skillet. That might be a story for another day.)
Disclaimer – I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. I’m not getting paid for this post.