Nabe () is the term used to describe Japanese hot pot dishes as well as the hot pot itself. Nabe is a popular winter dish that is typically cooked and eaten at the table. Common ingredients found in nabe include vegetables, mushrooms, meat and seafood. The liquid in a hot pot is either a seasoned and flavorful broth, which cooks the ingredients and doubles as a soup base, or a simple and light broth, which is only used to cook the ingredients.

Popularly eaten at home, hot pot dishes are also served at some restaurants or as part of a ryokan dinner. When enjoying a hot pot dish, each diner gets a small personal bowl into which the cooked ingredients are scooped with a serving ladle. Depending on the nabe type, condiments like ponzu, grated radish (daikon-oroshi), yuzu kosho, mustard and shichimi are often provided for diners to personalize the final flavor to their tastes.

  • Yose-nabe
  • Sukiyaki
  • Shabu Shabu
  • Oden
  • Chanko-nabe
  • Motsu-nabe
  • Yudofu

Regional nabe varieties

Nabe dishes can be found all across Japan, and each region has its own take on the dish. Kiritanpo-nabe, for example, is an Akita specialty that contains local chicken meat and mashed rice shaped in hollow tubes, while Ishikari-nabe from Hokkaido contains salmon in a miso-based broth, and Mizutaki-nabe is a chicken-based hot pot dish from Fukuoka.

Game meat can also be prepared for hot pot. Wild boar hot pot (botan nabe) is one of the more common game meat nabe dishes, while deer (momiji nabe), horse (sakura nabe) and bear (kuma nabe) hot pot dishes are more exotic. Pufferfish hot pot is known as tecchiri and is a popular way to enjoy the poisonous fish. Shimonoseki in Yamaguchi Prefecture is famous for its pufferfish, and there are many restaurants serving the delicacy in the city.