Anyone want to gift me a clay pot?

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.

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