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What is the staple winter food in Japan?

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What can you imagine about Japanese food? There are a lot of famous foods in Japan. For example, Sushi, Tempura, Sukiyaki, and so on… I would like to share something about staple meals you would find in the Japanese home, especially during winter season. According to the calendar it is almost spring. However, we still need warm meals.


In the winter, we eat a meal cooked in a pot at the table. We call it Nabe Ryouri. ‘Nabe’ means pot. ‘Ryouri’ means cooking. I know some countries have this similar style of meal. But we have many recipes for this type of cooking. There are various regional dishes, trends in Nabe cooking from year to year, and certain dishes for people depending on their profession.
Local dishes
Ishikari Nabe” from Hokkaidou.
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Ishikari Nabe uses salmon. Hokkaidou is famous of fresh sea foods.
Kiritanpo Nabe” from Akita.
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Kiritanpo is made of rice.
Motsu Nabe” from Fukuoka.
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Motsu means giblets.
Trends in Nabe
Actually, there isn’t only one trend in pot cooking from this year. But I would love to share the new hit thing of the year at this time.
2006~2007 Tounyuu Nabe “Soy beans Nabe”
2007~2008 Curry Nabe
2008~2009 Tomato Nabe
2009~2010 Cheese Nabe
Professional
Sumo wrestlers eat “Chanco Nabe”.
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Japanese people like to mix Japanese food with food from other countries. (Actually, this is true for other things as well.) There is the same tendency in the Nabe culture.
Here is some example.
Kimuchi Nabe” is from Korea.
“Tomato Nabe” and “cheese Nabe” are from Italy and so on.
Tagine Nabe” is from Morocco. And there are more…
One good point about Nabe is that one can enjoy eating meals with everybody together talking.
In one-pot cooking these are the common steps:
1. boiling ingredients thoroughly into the soup
2. eating ingredients
3. after eating ingredients, we add rice or noodles or pasta, whichever you like.
We call it “Shime”. Shime means closing dish. You can choose the Shime that best fits the soup, for example pasta is good for western style Nabe, rice and noodles are good for Asian style Nabe.
All the styles of Nabe which I have shown just now are becoming staple recipes, so we can eat them everywhere. We love pot cooking because it warms the heart and body!
Please try to cook special American pot cooking!!

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