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Pork Meatball Hot Pot

Niku-dango Nabe

Juicy pork meatballs with vegetables, ready in a short time


Classic-style donabe (medium-size)


2 - 3


For the meat balls

  • 14 oz (400 g) ground pork
  • 1 medium to large egg
  • 1/4 medium onion, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon katakuriko (potato starch)
  • 1/2 tablespoon finely grated ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sake
  • 3 cups (720 ml) Asian or Japanese chicken stock or your choice of dashi stock
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) sake
  • 6 medium leaves napa cabbage, cut into wide strips (separate the bottom and leafy upper parts)
  • 2 tablespoons usukuchi shoyu (light color soy sauce)
  • 2 scallions, thinly-sliced at an angle
  • 4 oz (120 g) enoki mushrooms, trimmed off and broken apart by hand
  • 1 1/2 oz (50 g) bean thread (cellophane noodles), cut into 4" (10 cm) long
  • 4 oz (120 g) nira (garlic chives), trimmed and cut into 3" (7 cm) long
  • 1/2 to 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil


  • Yuzu-kosho or shichimi togarashi (optional)


    1. In a bowl, combine all the ingredients for the meatballs and knead well until smooth and shiny by hand. Cover tightly and keep refrigerated for 30 minutes.
    2. Combine the stock, sake, and the bottom part of the napa cabbage in a donabe. Cover and set over medium-high heat. As soon as it starts boiling, turn down the heat to simmer. Add the soy sauce, remaining napa cabbage, scallions and enoki mushrooms.
    3. Quickly form the meat mixture into 13 to 15 balls by hand and add to the broth. Cover again and simmer for 4 – 5 minutes or the meat is almost cooked through.
    4. Add the bean thread, and nira. Cover again and simmer for 1 – 2 minutes or until everything is cooked through. Drizzle some sesame oil to finish.
    5. Serve immediately at the table with yuzu-kosho or your choice of condiments.Adding a pinch of salt will help reducing bitterness of brown rice.

    Meat balls are added and ready to cook.

    About the measurements used in our recipes

    For rice measurement, traditional Japanese rice measurement is used.
    • 1 rice-cup = 3/4 US cup = 180 ml
    Other conversions (US to metric measures)
    • 1 cup = 240 ml1
    • inch (1") = 2.5 cm
    • 1 ounce (1 oz) = 30 ml