Wintertime in Japan, let's eat Nabe (stew) to warm up the body - Eastern Japan
Japan is where you can feel and enjoy the seasons’ transitions with the food you eat. Especially during wintertime, you are sure to experience the richness of Japanese culinary culture with Nabe, which are hearty dishes plentiful in local flavors. While you are travelling Japan, Nabe, a hotpot that warms you from head to toe is highly recommended. Here, we introduce you to various local Nabe stews from the eastern part of Japan.
Ishikari Nabe (Hokkaido)
Ishikari Nabe is a local delicacy of Hokkaido that is said to have originated near the Ishikawa River, where massive numbers of salmons run up during spawning season. Thick slices of raw salmon chopped to the bones, other bony parts of salmon, onion, cabbage, daikon radish and more are simmered in miso, and the veggies become richly soaked with the salmon broth. You won’t have enough of the savory stew. Enjoy the different tastes of Ishikari Nabe as each restaurant has their own secret recipes using subtle seasonings such as sake cake, butter, or milk.
Kiritanpo Nabe (Akita Prefecture)
“Kiritanpo” is a skewer made by pounding freshly cooked rice until somewhat mashed, then wrapped it around a cedar skewer and toasted. Kiritanpo, Hinai-jidori Chicken, local vegetables such as burdock and Seri (Japanese parsley) are simmered in soup of chicken and soy sauce broth. Kiritanpo Nabe is a typical local delicacy of Akita Prefecture. The burdock and Seri are flavorful, and the soup soaked Kiritanpo delicately loosens in your mouth make you want for more.
Anko (Anglerfish) Nabe (Ibaraki Prefecture)
Anko(Anglerfish) is considered as a high-class food material, and said to have been presented to the Shogunate from the Mito Domain during the Edo Period. Anko Nabe is an Ibaraki specialty, which uses everything from the fish’s meat from liver, gills, and to the fins. The Anko Nabe can be different flavors by using different kinds of soup.A richly flavored miso dobujiru, which is liver oil made from toasted Anko liver and miso simmered together, or a more light and refined kind of soup made of soy sauce. In any case, each kind of Anko Nabe has plenty of collagen, favored especially by ladies.
Dojo (loach) Nabe (Tokyo)
There is an old saying “one loach is the same as one eel,” meaning one Dojo is as nutritious as one eel. A Dojo Nabe, a local favorite of downtown Tokyo, is simmered in Warishita soup made from soy sauce, sake, sugar, etc. Having the Dojo’s sweet, plump meat with plenty of green onion and special spices such as Sansho (zanthoxylum) powder and Shichimi (blend of seven spices) is a stylish way of enjoying the dish.
Hoto (Yamanashi Prefecture)
Kneaded flour that is cut into thick noodles are simmered in miso along with plenty of vegetables such as pumpkin, nappa cabbage, carrots, and aroids to make a pot of hearty Hoto. The more the ingredients are simmered, the more sweeter the vegetables get. You won’t get enough of Hoto. Depending on families’ or restaurants’ recipes, there are pork or chicken Hoto, or even Kimchi flavored Jjigae Hoto as well.
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