David chang in a chef's coat smiling
The Versatile Japanese Pot David Chang Says You Should Have In Your Kitchen
For chef David Chang, the donabe pot is the perfect tool for one-pot cooking. Translated from Japanese as “clay pot,” the donabe has been used in Japan since the 8th century.
The donabe is an ancient earthenware slow-cooker whose porous clay builds heat slowly, then retains that high temperature for a long time. It works similarly to a portable hot pot.
Chang told GQ that the donabe is “the epitome of what I like,” i.e. endlessly useful cookware. Braising and steaming fish are two of his favorite uses for the pot.
The donabe is oven safe, so you can use it much like a casserole dish for roasting meats or stews. It works particularly well when making Japanese, Korean, and Chinese dishes.
Try making the traditional donabe meal shabu-shabu, a hot pot dish that has diners dipping their uncooked seafood, beef, and vegetables in a roiling hot broth until tender.
To make rice with a donabe, soak your rice, then heat the rice with water in the donabe on medium for 14 minutes. Finally, remove the rice and let it steam for 20 minutes.
The donabe can be used for French braised short ribs, German-inspired beer-steamed brats and onions, or any recipe that requires a generously long cook time.
The donabe can also double as an attractive, heat-retentive dish to bring to a potluck. Depending on the size, a donabe can run from $70 to $200.