A professional rice cooker, Donabe Casserole

by Keiko Miki October 09, 2019 3 min read

A professional rice cooker, Donabe Casserole

Donabe has been used to cook traditional Japanese cuisine. The donabe means a clay pot in Japanese and its history traces back to the Jomon period.

With the growing interest in food in Japan recently, donabe has been drawing attention. This pot is often used to cook stew and even steamed or boiled dishes. It's also vital to boil tasty rice. If you experience that rice cooked with the donabe, you can no longer enjoy rice cooked with electric rice cookers, say some people.

The secret of good taste is to keep the heat and have the effect of far-infrared rays.

The taste of BBQ you must know. The deliciousness of meat and vegetable is educed by far-infrared rays emitted from the charcoal fire, which helps the heat pass the core of ingredients slowly. This keeps moisture in the ingredients to make the outside crispy with the inside being chewy. Like this, the donabe can cook mouth-watering rice.

At first glance, donabe seems difficult to handle but it's a friendly cookware that anyone can use if you get a clear point. In this blog, we will tell you everything about the characteristics, charm and care.

Merits of using donabe

Merits of using donabe

An electric rice cooker automatically controls all the processes with one touch of a button. Then, why should you choose donabe? The answer is simple and clear.

"It's all for making food delicious"

If you have a meal, you want to eat delicious food, don't you? Donabe dishes offer juiciness which you cannot taste anywhere else. Another benefit is that you can cook well with the donabe because the heat is evenly transmitted.

To go further, high heat retention is perfect for cooking with remaining heat. If you boil soup in a metal pan, the heat can destroy the cells of vegetables and the shape. Meanwhile, donabe avoids this problem as it cooks on lower heat for longer hours, so it tastes better and keeps more beautiful condition. Plus, the pot does bring out the broth of the ingredients and save energy to cook. Now you know the donabe has so many merits. 

Among those cooking, rice is the best evidence of amazing donabe.

Rice cooked with donabe is clearly different from the one cooked with an electric rice cooker. Recent rice cookers have improved the functions a lot. You can even see those that reproduce donabe rice and yet there is a big wall between genuine donabe rice and the replica.

Donabe shows a unique finish. I'd say this is the most attractive part of donabe cooking.

Before using donabe

Before using donabe

There are lots of invisible cracks and holes on the surface of donabe. Please keep in mind that you should deal with them before using it. Otherwise, the cracks and holes can cause bad smell and mold while using.

Having said that, the method is quite simple. Once you wash the donabe with water, pour rice water into the pot up to 70-80% and simmer for about 10 minutes without the lid. Then, turn off the heat and just let it cool naturally. Rinse it with running water. In this way, the cracks and holes are filled with rice starch, which prevents other food elements from standing there. This process is called Medome.

We introduced the common method of medome but the method may depend on the type of donabe. Please try to follow the provided instructions.

To use donabe longer

To make donabe last longer

To maintain the sanitary condition of donabe, it's ideal to carry out medome regularly. Besides, try to avoid dropping impact and rapid cooling. 

Don't use wire wool or abrasives that damages the surface of the pot. All these events can lead to cracks and damages to donabe. 

When storing, make sure that your donabe is completely dry. Don't store it in a humid place as it absorbs lots of moisture.

Although there are several points to remember for handling donabe, it always offers us delicious meals as long as we follow these rules. Donabe will be turning to a deeper texture as your own favorite pot.

Remember donabe is breathing like wood so treat it gently and carefully. Then, your donabe does a great job as you expect.

Keiko Miki
Keiko Miki



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