Our popular donabe steamer, Mushi Nabe, with rustic modern design
Our popular donabe steamer, Mushi Nabe, with rustic modern design This donabe steamer, Bistro Mushi Nabe has the authentic rustic Iga-yaki look with a modern design. The knob is square-shape, and there are Nagatani-en's "iga-mono" logos etched on the handles.
This donabe steamer, Bistro Mushi Nabe, is designed to cook the ingredients with the fast steam along with the effect of FIR (Far Infrared Rays). As a result, the ingredients can cook fast while maintaining the natural flavors and nutrients of each ingredient inside.
For fish or meat, its excess fat tends to drain through the steam grate during cooking. Therefore, the Donabe Steamer can give an option for cooking lean. Because the heat penetrates to the core of each ingredient very fast with the FIR effect, you can enjoy the desirable texture of the food when it’s just cooked. Vegetables such as asparagus and broccoli tend to maintain a crispy texture, while meats can be succulent when ready.
Enjoy the Steam Dishes,
Right Out of The Donabe,
and Right on the Table
Donabe steamer, Bistro Mushi Nabe, is designed so that you can enjoy the family-style tabletop steaming in an intimate setting. Just like doing a Japanese-style one-pot meal, have all the ingredients ready on the table, and enjoy savoring freshly steamed dishes as you cook! (*You will need a portable gas burner for cooking tabletop.)
Multi-purpose donabe for steaming, soup, stew, and roasting. Its flat bottom can be heated empty.
Basic Steaming Instructions for the donabe steamer, Bistro Mushi Nabe
- Fill the donabe with water, about 70% full.
- Set the steam grate and cover with lid. Bring to a boil over medium-high or high heat.
- Uncover (be careful with the hot steam when opening the lid), and arrange the ingredients on the steam grate. Cover with lid and steam until the ingredients are cooked to your desired doneness.
Use the Donabe Steamer, Bistro Mushi Nabe Cold
Bistro Mushi Nabe can work as a portable “fridge” by taking advantage of the porous donabe body which can absorb moisture. To maximize the effect, soak all parts of Bistro Mushi Nabe well with cold water, and pat dry. Fill the base of Bistro Mushi Nabe with ice cubes, set the grate and spread more ice cubes on the grate. Decorate with ingredients and cover with lid. The inside of Bistro Mushi Nabe becomes insulated with cold air. It stays cold for a long time with the effect of “heat of vaporization” (a little science here…when the moisture in the wet donabe evaporates, the energy spent for the evaporation cools down the donabe as a result). It’s ideal for serving the cold food such as sashimi, fresh vegetables with dip, fruit salad, etc.
Use as a Classic-style Donabe without the Steam Grate
By removing the steam grate, the Donabe Steamer, Bistro Mushi Nabe, can work as an all-purpose classic-style donabe to enjoy hot pot, braising, etc.
Bistro Mushi Nabe can be Heated when it’s Empty
Unlike most donabe, this donabe can be heated without any liquid inside. So, this donabe is also ideal for sautéing or roasting, too. Also, the flat bottom makes it easier when you align ingredients in layers. This is an extra versatile donabe.
For Easy Handling of Hot Steam Grate, tongs are included in the package
True “Terroir” of Iga
Iga region, where this donabe is made, used to be the bed of Lake Biwa about 4 million years ago. The clay from this region is naturally highly heat-resistant and has been used for open-flame cooking for many hundreds of years. This clay consists of a high level of pre-historic fossilized microorganisms that leave the clay porous when fired. The porous body gives the donabe remarkable heat-retention ability. The donabe gradually builds the heat when it’s heated, then it cools down very slowly after the heat is turned off. This, along with the glaze that promotes the far infrared rays (FIR – the same effect as how the glowing charcoal cook ingredients without direct flame) when it’s heated, allow the donabe to produce a gentle, steady heat that penetrates to the core of each ingredient. The effect is ingredients are cooked evenly with all the flavors sealed inside.
Authentic Iga-yaki pottery by Nagatani-en
Iga-yaki (Iga-style) pottery is one of Japan’s most highly-regarded traditional ceramics and is said to have originated in Iga, Mie-Prefecture in the late 7th Century. This donabe is made by Nagatani-en, a leading producer of authentic Iga-yaki pottery since 1832. At Nagatani-en, each donabe is made by hand with care and it takes about 2 weeks to produce an individual donabe. Nagatani-en’s Iga-yaki products have been loved by both professionals and home cooks in Japan.
Your donabe develops its character as it ages
As you use your donabe over and over, it develops character and that’s something to be welcomed.
- The very thin cracks could appear on the surface (glaze) of the donabe. It’s called “kannyu” in Japanese and the cracks run like veins. They are the naturally developed cracks on the glaze and won’t affect the function of the donabe.
- Once you start using the donabe, the bottom part starts to change its color and black spots (like burned spots) could appear. It’s also the part of developing the character and the donabe is safe to use. However, if the bottom part seems to get too black too quickly, the heat you use might be too high. In this case, we suggest that you use the donabe over lower heat level.
All the donabe and Iga-yaki products made by Nagatani-en are hand-crafted with care, so every piece is unique and no two pieces are identical. There are slight variations within the color/ shade, shape/ curve, and patterns, among pieces, and that makes each piece so special. Also under different lighting and angle, the actual color shade and nuance may also appear slightly different from the photos in the product page.
Ideal for 2 – 4 people
- Size: 11” diameter x 7” high (27 cm diameter x 17 cm high) – including lid
- Capacity: 2 qt (2,000 ml)
- Weight: 7.5 lbs (3.4 kg)
Origin: Iga, Japan
Included in the package: Donabe (bowl and lid), steam grate, tongs for steam grate, and English instruction sheet.
Usage and Care
- Ideal for gas stove top use. This donabe is not suitable for electric or induction cooktop.
- This donabe can be heated while it’s empty.
- Oven-safe (up to 500℉/ 250℃). This donabe is not suitable for microwave.
- Hand wash only.
- Before the first use, this donabe must be seasoned (How to Season Donabe).