toiro kitchen

News from toiro kitchen

Posted on: June 22nd, 2016

Our Ibushi Gin on Food & Wine magazine

Food and Wine (June 2016)
Our Ibushi Gin donabe somoker is featured in the June 2016 issue of Food & Wine magazine! Really cool article about special donabe dishes including donabe s’mores by Chef Tim Hollingsworth’s Otium, one of the hottest restaurants in the US right now. Congratulations to the chefs, and thank you so much for creating so many amazing dishes with our donabe!

Ibushi Gin donabe smoker product page is here.

Posted on: April 11th, 2016

New Recipe on Naoko’s Happy Donabe Life Channel on YouTube

My new donabe cooking video is now on YouTube! It’s Udon Noodle and Clam Hot Pot, very simple and tasty one pot donabe recipe. Please check it out and hope you will try it home. Happy Donabe Life.

Posted on: March 10th, 2016

DONABE Cookbook is nominated for 2016 IACP Cookbook Awards!

IACP Photo
Naoko’s first cookbook, DONABE – Classic and Modern Japanese Clay Pot Cooking is nominated for 2016 IACP (international Association of Culinary Professionals) Cookbook Awards in the International category. This highly competitive category has only 4 nominees and DONABE is in this short list! Naoko’s autographed copy of DONABE Cookbook is available here. (Above photo by IACP) has an article about the news here.

Posted on: February 18th, 2016

Naoko’s DONABE Article on Food52

Food52 (17-Feb-16)
Naoko’s story about donabe smoker, “Ibushi Gin” is on a popular gourmet & recipe website, FOOD52! As soon as the article came out, Ibushi Gin got sold out (again!), but it’s expected to restocked in April. Please email us if you would like to be on a waiting list. Thank you!

The Japanese Tool Essential for Smoking at Home

Posted on: February 15th, 2016

Movie “CRAFTED” Won The Taste Award!

The Taste Award
The movie, “Crafted”, directed by Morgan Spurlock, featuring the ‪our ‎donabe‬ producer family Nagatani-en has won the Best Documentary/ Short Film at this years The Taste Awards!! Naoko was part of the project and coordinated the filming in Iga, Japan. You can now watch the film on Amazon Prime.  (Photo by Kyle Connaughton)

Posted on: January 30th, 2016

Naoko’s donabe cooking is featured on PBS video clip!

PBS Farm to Table Family (28-Jan-16) news
Naoko’s donabe cooking is featured in the latest clip of  PBS “Farm To Table Family” video series! This is how we enjoy donabe hot pot in California.They made such a cool video and it’s only 3 minutes, so please check it out.

Posted on: January 28th, 2016

DONABE Cookbook Dinner Event in San Francisco on Feb 11!

I am doing a special dinner event to celebrate the release of my cookbook: DONABE – Classic and Modern Japanese Clay Pot Cooking at Izakaya Rintaro in San Francisco on February 11! Chef/ Owner, Sylvan, is my good friend, and he and the team will collaborate with us to make donabe dinner courses. Izakaya Rintaro is chosen as one of America’s Best New Restaurant 2015 by Bon Appétit Magazine.

Set menu is offered at $65/ person. Reserve online or call 415.589.7022
(above photo by Rintaro)

Posted on: January 17th, 2016

We were featured on Japan Times!

Japan Times (15-Jan-16) news
Great story about donabe cooking and culture on Japan Times. This is from the trip I organized for the photoshoot for DONABE Cookbook, and the article shares the donabe dining experience with the family at Nagatani-en and also introduces my DONABE Cookbook!

Posted on: January 5th, 2016

DONABE Cookbook is #1 Best Seller

Amazon JP DONABE ranking (3-Jan-16) news
We are so thrilled that Naoko’s DONABE Cookbook is the #1 best seller in the Japanese cookbook category in Amazon Japan (as of January 3, 2016)! You can order Naoko’s autographed copy of the book from here. Happy Donabe Life.

Posted on: January 3rd, 2016

Our donabe on Bon Appétit website

Bon Appetit online (21-Dec-15) news
Our donabe is in the story of Bon Appetit Magazine’s website! It’s a great story and also features comments from myself.

Posted on: December 19th, 2015

Our donabe on the cover and inside Bon Appétit magazine!

Bon Appetit (Jan 2016) news Bon Appetite (January 2016) 3 news

We are so excited that our donabe is not only on the cover of the latest issue of Bon Appétit magazine but also featured in 3 full color full pages inside! The latest January 2016 issue is titled, “HEALTHY-ISH”, and our Kamado-san and Mushi Nabe donabe appear in the feature titled, “THE NEW HEALTHY 2016 – JAPANESE HOME COOKING” starting from page 82. Happy donabe life!

Posted on: December 19th, 2015

Naoko’s interview on KCRW GOOD FOOD show

KCRW GOOD FOOD (12-Dec-15) news

Naoko was on a very popular radio show, GOOD FOOD, on KCRW in LA! She talked about donabe cooking, culture, her DONABE Cookbook, etc., with the host Evan Kleiman. You can check out the article about Naoko and her donabe cooking on KCRW’s website. Her full interview is in the link below.

Posted on: December 17th, 2015

So many great reviews on Naoko’s DONABE Cookbook

LA Times (4-Dec-15) news

In the last (less than) 2 months since Naoko’s first cookbook, DONABE – Classic and Modern Japanese Clay Pot Cooking was published, the book has been receiving great reviews from various major media. Thank you!!

The top cookbooks of 2015 by San Francisco Chronicle

Best cookbooks of 2015 by Brooklyn Magazine

Favorite new cookbooks of 2015 by Los Angeles Times

15 best cookbooks of 2015 by Gear Patrol

Best cookbooks of 2015 by Leite’s Culinaria

Best food books of 2015 by Plate

The perfect book gift for the most difficult people on your list by The Sacramento Bee

16 new cookbooks for the traveler who loves to eat by Travel + Leisure

And, here’s a full article on The Sacramento Bee about Naoko’s DONABE Cookbook including her comments.

Happy donabe life!


Posted on: December 15th, 2015

Our Donabe Steamer, Mushi Nabe, on LA Times!

Posted on: December 3rd, 2015

Lots of New Products from Iga, Japan!

We have new products, all hand-made Iga-yaki donabe and pottery from Nagatani-en, in Iga, Japan. The items include special hand-knead and hand-shaped donabe, donabe-shaped mini condiment bowls, sake cups, beer mugs, sake pourer, etc. Please check out our product page.
Baby donabe serving (news)

Posted on: October 27th, 2015

DONABE Cookbook on sale now!

DONABE cover (news)
Naoko’s first DONABE Cookbook is finally published!
The book features many simple and delicious donabe recipes from Naoko’s home kitchen.
We offer copies with Naoko’s autograph inside!

Posted on: September 5th, 2015

Donabe Smoker, Ibushi Gin is featured on Otium: Chapter One

Our Iga-yaki donabe smoker, Ibushi Gin (and myself) is featured in a short film about Chef Timothy Hollingsworth’s upcoming Otium restaurant in LA! The film is beautifully produced by Life & Thyme. Otium is one of the most exciting new restaurants, opening this year in the US, and Chef Hollingsworth is an extremely talented chef…you can tell by watching this almost 4-minute trailer…so, please check it out.

Otium Trailer - Life & Thyme (3-Sep-15)
Click on the image for Life & Thyme’s website link.

Otium Trailer - LA Times (3-Sep-15)
And, here is LA Times’ article about the film.

Posted on: July 8th, 2015

Featured recipe: Fluffy Quinoa

Quinoa (recipe)
Plain quinoa becomes so fluffy and flavorful when cooked in Kamado-san!
Check out our fluffy quinoa recipe here.

Posted on: June 27th, 2015

Congratulations to our American friends

Steamed vegetables (recipe)
Tasting especially special. #LoveWins

Posted on: June 23rd, 2015

CRAFTED, now available to watch on Amazon

Crafted movie (news 2)
A short documentary film, CRAFTED, by director Morgan Spurlock is available to view on Amazon.
Nagatani-en’s 7th generation, Yuji Nagatani is one of the artisans featured in the film. I’m so proud to be part of the project as well as to bring Nagatani-en’s authentic Iga-yaki donabe and beautiful Japanese donabe culture to America since 2008!

See behind-the-scene photos of the shooting in Iga, in Naoko’s blog.

Posted on: June 16th, 2015

Our donabe on Morgan Spurlock’s documentary film, CRAFTED

Crafted movie (news)
Now it’s official. I’m so proud the Iga ‪#‎donabe‬ master, Yuji Nagatani (7th generation of Nagatani-en), is featured in CRAFTED, a documentary film directed by Morgan Spurlock. It was such an honor and pleasure to be part of the production in Iga, Japan. Please check out the trailer, linked below. Donabe to the world!

For Director Morgan Spurlock’s interview about the movie on KTLA Morning News, click here.

Posted on: March 15th, 2015

DONABE Cookbook Update!

TSP Catalogue - DONABE (Cover)
We have a sneak-peak of our upcoming DONABE Cookbook in Fall 2015 release catalogue from TEN SPEED PRESS! Please click on the link below for the PDF catalogue page. The DONABE Cookbook is scheduled to publish in October 2015.

DONABE Cookbook catalogue page

Posted on: March 11th, 2015

New recipe: Dashi-flavored Fish and Napa Cabbage

With Tagine-style donabe, “Fukkura-san”, this delightful one pot dish is complete in no time.

Steam-fry barramundi
Check out Tagine-style donabe, “Fukkura-san” product page

Check out Dashi-flavored Fish and Napa Cabbage recipe

Posted on: December 8th, 2014

Premium Japanese Short Grain Rice by Tamaki Farms is Now Available!

Uruguay Rice news
This rice is a premium Japanese short grain variety, (a type of Koshihikari variety), grown in Uruguay by two Japanese rice masters, Ichiro Tamaki and Mori Onodera. We are proud to share this excellent rice with you. Perfect to cook in our double-lid donabe rice cooker, “Kamado-san”! This rice can cook perfectly shiny and fluffy. And the texture will be nicely chewy.
Visit our products page to order/ more information.

Posted on: November 17th, 2014

Kamado-san donabe on Martha Stewart Living!

MSL news

Our donabe rice cooker, “Kamado-san” is in this year’s holiday gift guide selection by Martha Stewart Living!
It was selected as one of the BEST in the FOOD & DRINK gifts category. We are so thrilled.

Visit our Press Page
Visit Kamado-san product page

Posted on: November 9th, 2014

New Recipe: Dried Mushroom Risotto

With the shallow Kyoto-style donabe, you can make the perfectly delicious risotto in easy steps. This donabe dish has become a regular item at our home.

Dry mushroom risotto (recipe top)
Check out Kyoto-style shallow donabe product page.

Check out Dried Mushroom Risotto recipe.

Posted on: October 11th, 2014

New donabe recipe: Chestnut Rice

Kuri gohan

It’s a seasonal delight. Chestnut rice is my favorite autumn rice dish. It tastes so nice when made in donabe.
Check out Chestnut Rice Recipe

QOLA cover
This dish was also featured on a cover of QOLA magazine, a culture magazine for Japanese people in LA. I also cooked a mini donabe dish of dashi-simmered lotus root, abura-age, and spinach. It was a happy donabe photoshoot! Visit our Press Page


Posted on: September 29th, 2014

New items for your Happy Donabe Life

First introduction to the US. Made by 260+ year-old artisan dyer in Niigata, Japan. The following items are now available.

Apron - news

“Sashiko” Stitch Apron with “Hanten” Pockets.


Tenugui - news

Hand-dyed “tenugui” multi-purpose cloth in two designs.

Links for these items are found in our products page (scroll down to the bottom).

Posted on: July 21st, 2014

Summer Holiday – No shipping period

Due to summer holiday, we are unable to ship from July 21 until July 31.

Shipping will resume on August 1. We appreciate your patience, meanwhile!

Posted on: June 29th, 2014

New donabe recipe: Ratatouille with Sun-dried Vegetables

Ratatouille (recipe page top)
Here’s another tomato theme donabe recipe, great in the summertime.
Just sun-drying the vegetables for half day can make a great difference in the richness in both flavor and texture.
Check out Ratatouille with Sun-dried Vegetables recipe

Posted on: June 23rd, 2014

New donabe recipe: Preserved Lemon Meat Sauce

Meat tomato sauce (news)
One of my all time favorite pasta dishes, rustic Japanese-style spaghetti meat sauce is upgraded with a hint of preserved lemon flavor.
The preserved lemon adds a layer of rich flavor, rather than lemony tartness. It’s so lovely.
Check out Meat Tomato Sauce with Preserved Lemon recipe

Posted on: June 17th, 2014

New donabe recipe: Shio-koji Chicken in Preserved Lemon Tomato Sauce

Chix in preserved lemon tomato sauce (recipe page top)
Soup & stew donabe, “Miso-shiru Nabe”, makes this extremely easy and delicious dish.
Check out Shio-koji Chicken in Preserved Lemon Tomato Sauce recipe

Posted on: April 23rd, 2014

New Product: Rectangular mold for donabe steamer

Nagashi-kan - W300
This is a traditional Japanese mold for making “tamago tofu” (steamed egg custard), “yokan” (azuki bean jelly), steam cake, etc.
The size is perfect to fit large-size donabe steamer, “Mushi Nabe” (ZW-18 and ZW-19)
The removable inner tray lets a content unmold easily.
Product info page
Green tea steam cake recipe


Posted on: March 6th, 2014

New Product: Natural Wood Cross Trivet

Wood trivet - W300 Wood trivet 2 - W300
Stylish easy assemble-type natural wood trivet for your happy donabe life.
With the attached string, it stores conveniently on a hook.
Available in two colors and two sizes.
Handmade in Gifu, Japan.
Go to product page

Posted on: March 5th, 2014

New Product: Wood ladle (with holes) for donabe

tofu ladle 300

Perfect for scooping tofu, etc. in donabe hot pot dish.

Stylish design with curbed handle.

Product details page

Posted on: January 7th, 2014

New Product: Ring trivet for donabe

Trivet news
Perfect for medium and small size donabe.
This classic straw trivet is very durable and also pretty.

Go to the product page

Posted on: January 3rd, 2014

New Recipe: Sweet Red Bean Paste (“Anko”)

I love making donabe dessert with homemade “Anko”.
Check out Sweet Red Bean Paste recipe

Posted on: December 12th, 2013

Donabe Steamer New Recipe: Steamed Whole Fish

Steamed Tai
With Donabe Steamer, “Mushi Nabe”, you can make gorgeous steamed whole fish in extremely easy steps!
Check out Steamed Sea Bream Recipe

Posted on: December 4th, 2013

Donabe Cooking Class: Japanese New Year Dishes

December 14 (Sat): Starting at 11 am

“Osechi Ryori” – Japanese New Year Dishes ($75)

Click for more details/ sign up


Posted on: November 18th, 2013

toiro kitchen on “pen” magazine

pen front_edited-1

Japanese popular high-end trend magazine, pen, introduced our donabe and Naoko’s donabe cooking class in its Nov 2013 issue.

“DONABE is a rising trend in LA”!

Link to our press page

Posted on: November 1st, 2013

Sesame roaster, “Horoku”, now available in 2 colors


For roasting sesame seeds, tea leaves, coffee, etc. This authentic Iga-yaki sesame roaster will become an essential item in your kitchen.

Go to “Horoku” product page

Posted on: September 28th, 2013

Multi-function nabe, “Yorozuya-san” – Back in stock


Hot pot, steaming, deep-frying, etc.

Induction-safe multi-function pot, “Yorozuya-san” is back in stock in limited quantity.

“Yorozuya-san” product page


Posted on: August 24th, 2013

New donabe recipe: Smoked Hiyashi Chuka

Popular Chinese-style cold noodle dish has upgraded flavor with donabe smoked toppings.

Smoked hiyashi chuka
Go to Smoked Hiyashi Chuka recipe

Posted on: August 16th, 2013

“Kamado-san” was featured on the Art of Eating Magazine

Double-lid donabe rice cooker, “Kamado-san”, was featured (with a color photo) on the latest issue of the Art of Eating Magazine, which is one of the most prestigious culinary publications in the world.

Go to Press Page

the Art of Eating (June 2013) cover for news 2

Posted on: August 12th, 2013

New recipe: Ground Pork & Okra Curry

We have added a new donabe recipe!


Ground Pork & Okra Curry

Posted on: August 8th, 2013

New videos on Happy Donabe Life Channel

We added new donabe cooking videos!

Japanese Mabo Tofu


Brussels Sprouts & Tofu Skin in Miso Sauce

Naoko’s Happy Donabe Life – YouTube Channel

Posted on: August 6th, 2013

Donabe & Japanese Cooking Class – New Date is Announced

This is the only upcoming class before October, as Naoko is out of town most of September. So, hope you can come!

August 31 (Sat): Starting at 11 am

End of Summer Shojin (Japanese temple-style vegan) Dishes

Enrich your mind and body with the temple-style summer donabe menu. You don’t have to be a vegetarian or Buddhist to enjoy Japanese “Shojin” dishes. Shojin cuisine runs in the core of traditional Japanese diet. Hope these shojin dishes will make your body feel nicer while tasting the natural rich flavors of the cuisine.

  • Classic “Goma-dofu” (sesame jelly)
  • Spinach in black sesame sauce (“goma-ae”)
  • Grilled eggplant and okra with grated mountain yam (“yaki nasu”)
  • ”Yu-dofu” (simmered tofu) with shaved seasoned kombu
  • Ginger corn rice
  • Pairing wine

Sign up today!

Posted on: July 10th, 2013

New Product: Iga-yaki Tea Incense Burner, “Cha-Koro”

Made from 100% historic Iga clay
Available in 2 colors
Posted on: July 6th, 2013

Donabe YouTube channel

We have launched a donabe cooking channel on YouTube

Naoko’s Happy Donabe Life

Posted on: July 4th, 2013

Donabe & Japanese Cooking Class

July 13 (Sat) and July 20 (Sat): Starting at 11 am

Summer Shojin (Japanese temple-style vegan) Dishes

Enrich your mind and body with the temple-style summer donabe menu. You don’t have to be a vegetarian or Buddhist to enjoy Japanese “Shojin” dishes. Shojin cuisine runs in the core of traditional Japanese diet. Hope these shojin dishes will make your body feel nicer while tasting the natural rich flavors of the cuisine.

  • Classic “Goma-dofu” (sesame jelly)
  • Spinach in black sesame sauce (“goma-ae”)
  • Grilled eggplant and okra with grated mountain yam (“yaki nasu”)
  • ”Yu-dofu” (simmered tofu) with shaved seasoned kombu
  • Ginger corn rice
  • Pairing wine

Sign up today!

Posted on: June 30th, 2013

Double-lid donabe rice cooker, “Kamado-san”, in all 4 sizes

Finally, we have all 4 sizes of Kamado-san available. In addition to our best-seller standard 3 rice-cup size, we have 5 rice-size (for a larger group), 1 rice-cup size (single or 2 serving), and 2 rice-cup size (just a little smaller than out standard-size).

Go to “Kamado-san” Product Page

Free Shipping with order of $350 or more!


Donabe RecipesHappy Donabe Live Blog
Happy Donabe Life YouTube

Authentic Donabe (Japanese clay pot) products from Iga, Japan

With very easy preparation, you can cook the premium quality rice over stove-top with no need to even adjust the heat level twice. This donabe rice cooker, “Kamado-san”, is made by Nagatani-en, which has been a producer of Iga-yaki clay pottery in Iga, Japan since 1832. “Kamado-san” has been a best-seller donabe rice cooker in Japan and has been utilized in both households and also many restaurants.

toiro kitchen is proud to present “Kamado-san” and other authentic Iga-yaki donabe products.