Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Nah-bay, Bay-bee

One of the best things about winter in Japan (aside from the kotatsu, that fabulous table with a heater under it, covered with a quilt and somehow not the fire hazard one might expect) is 鍋物 (nabe-mono, or just nabe for short, pronounced nah-bay). The roughest translation I could give would be a hot pot of happiness and warmth and joy filled with broth and meat and veggies cooked on your table (usually at home, and bonus points if said table happens to be a kotatsu). You can grab out whatever yummy bits you want as you go and add some more along the way, so even whiny-assed somewhat picky eaters can join. If you really know how to nabe awesomely, you can put some ramen-style noodles in the broth at the end. Oh, it's good stuff.

There are a bazillion ways to make nabe with varying broths and ingredients (again, here will give you some idea). Just the broths alone, I've tried everything from soy milk to curry-ish to kimchi to tomato to soy sauce and a whole bunch in between, and I've never had any nabe that was anything less than fabulously filling and delicious and warming and full of happy.

Every winter (if it sounds familiar, it's because I shared this a couple winters ago as well) our wonderful little group of English-learners in town appears in one of our living rooms with with a hot pot, a table top stove (or a schmancy electric set version) and all the ingredients for a nabe party just for us. We look forward to it all year. Last night was the big night. I still feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Nabe is like getting a big warm hug from the inside when it's a cold winter night outside.

2/366 Nabe Party. Of Love. And Kimchi. 
(Taken on my iPhone, toyed with in Instagram)

3 comments:

  1. That does look glorious and successfully made me very hungry.

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  2. I've now got an overwhelming urge to create a hot pot of happiness and warmth myself. Sounds like it's so good for the soul.

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