Donabe (Classic Japanese Stew)

I was so very happy to have made a successful stew and 3 days later am still thinking of the umaminess of this dish.

Such a simple dish and as usual with the steps simplified.

Donabe (Classic Japanese Stew)

  • Servings: 3-4 persons
  • Print



600g or 6 chicken thighs, skinless

1 carrot, sliced about 5cm thick

1/2 daikon or white radish, sliced about 5cm thick

Black fungus (optional)

1 small sweet potato, peeled & sliced about 5cm thick

1 piece of kombu (about 15cm long, cut into pieces of about 3cm long)

1 vegetable or chicken stock cube

6 shitake mushrooms, fresh, quartered or dried

1 cake soft tofu (optional)

1 tablespoon mirin

1 tablespoon soy sauce

2 teaspoon sugar

1/2 cup sake or white wine


  • If you are using dried mushrooms, you will need to soak them to rehydrate the mushrooms. Save the water that the mushrooms were soaking in.
  • Likewise if you are using dried black fungus (good for cholesterol control), soak & keep the water. Break the black fungus into bite size chunks.
  • Salt the chicken thighs (about 1 teaspoon of salt) and set aside for about 10 minutes.
  • Brown the chicken thighs in some olive oil in a heated claypot or stew pot. When the chicken is browned, remove from the pot & set aside.
  • Fry the carrot, radish & sweet potato in the same claypot for a little bit.
  • Add the mushrooms & black fungus as well as the chicken thighs. Add enough water to just cover the ingredients.
  • Bring to a boil, add the kombu, mirin, soy sauce, sugar, stock cube & sake.
  • Turn down to a simmer when the stew starts to boil. Cover with the lid & allow to stew for at least 30-45 minutes.
  • Add the tofu, roughly cut into chunks. Let boil for about 5 minutes.
  • Taste the umaminess of the stew!!!
  • Serve with white rice or noodles.


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