What's new

Welcome to Japan Reference (JREF) - the community for all Things Japanese.

Join Today! It is fast, simple, and FREE!

Question What kind of cooking pot is this? Is it a “Donabe”?

Colle101

Registered
Joined
12 Oct 2020
Messages
3
Reaction score
1
Hello everyone! I am new to this forum. I could not find the answer anywhere on the internet, so I thought maybe asking in a forum will help me. I hope you can help me figure out what type of cooking pot this is, and what it is used for.

I got this cute little cooking pot from a Japanese thrift store. It seems like the amount of food it can cook is only good for one person. I did a little research and it looks like a “Donabe”. But I am confused, because some donabe have a spout(like the one I have). But most do not. That is my first question. What is the difference between donabe with spout and one without?

I found that they come in many sizes too. Are different sizes for different kind of foods? Are there donabe that is only for rice? What kind of donabe do I have? Or is it even a donabe?

If you can provide more information about donabe, related or unrelated to my questions, I will appreciate those too! Thanks in advance.

699165F9-CE88-4C1A-BAE7-E66095CA2275.jpeg
 
Last edited by a moderator:

thomas

Unswerving cyclist
Admin
Joined
14 Mar 2002
Messages
11,076
Reaction score
2,342
Donabe (土鍋) simply means "clay pot". I guess there are all kinds of designs and types, with or without spouts. Here's a related image search.

I don't claim any expertise, but your pot seems to meet the definition of a donabe. :)
 

Colle101

Registered
Joined
12 Oct 2020
Messages
3
Reaction score
1
Donabe (土鍋) simply means "clay pot". I guess there are all kinds of designs and types, with or without spouts. Here's a related image search.

I don't claim any expertise, but your pot seems to meet the definition of a donabe. :)
Thanks for your reply and for the additional information! As I was browsing the image search, I noticed that the majority did not have spouts. I had to scroll far down to find one that had it. It was also small like the one I have and it was used to cook rice.

Now I wonder if only the small ones get to have spouts because they’re easy to lift and pour, unlike big heavier pots.
 

thomas

Unswerving cyclist
Admin
Joined
14 Mar 2002
Messages
11,076
Reaction score
2,342
Now I wonder if only the small ones get to have spouts because they’re easy to lift and pour, unlike big heavier pots.

Yes, that's what my wife suggested, too. And I forgot: Welcome to the forum! :)
 

Toritoribe

松葉解禁
Moderator
Joined
22 Feb 2008
Messages
17,189
Reaction score
3,381
Actually, big donabes with a spout exist.;) For instance, the following one is 22cm in diameter (28cm with the ears).

donabe sosogiguchi.jpg donabe sosogiguchi2.jpg

A spout also functions as a steam hole. There is no hole on your lid, unlike the following one without a spout, right?
donabe.jpg
 

Colle101

Registered
Joined
12 Oct 2020
Messages
3
Reaction score
1
Welcome to the forum! :)
Thank you, I’m glad to be here!

A spout also functions as a steam hole. There is no hole on your lid, unlike the following one without a spout, right?
Oh you’re right! There is no hole on the lid of my donabe! Thank you for explaining about the spout. It’s such a clever design! But now I’m curious... Donabe with a spout seems very useful, but it is not as popular as the spoutless version. I wonder why that is. Interesting to see a bigger donabe with spout by the way, thanks for showing me!

If you don’t mind, I have a few more questions. What kind of foods are most often cooked in a donabe? Is it used daily in Japanese households?
 

mdchachi

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
6 Mar 2003
Messages
3,982
Reaction score
1,343
In my experience donabe isn't used to contain liquidy foods that you would want to pour out so there's really no need for a spout. I'm no expert but the first dish that came to mind is kamameshi. Also chanpon which is sort of a soup but it's packed with so much stuff that you wouldn't pour it. And thirdly chawanmushi. And finally, here is a generic image search for donabe cooking so you can see the kinds of dishes that go in there. It wouldn't surprise me if my wife has some donabe tucked away somewhere but I don't recall seeing any in our home. Typically I've seen them at restaurants or traditional bed/breakfasts. I would wager most households don't use them regularly. Maybe special occasions. My wife makes chawanmushi about once a year (but she doesn't use donabe for it). Man you're making me hungry...
 
Top Bottom