Motsu Nabe simmers it up with some of the more interesting beef and pork cuts

Flavorful bits of meat, simmered up tender.

Flavorful bits of meat, simmered up tender.

Around the world, there is a culinary tradition of slow cooking tougher cuts of meat, and Japan is certainly no exception in this regards. In a land where tableside cooking is a popular pastime, and innards are hailed for being flavor packed with good “mouth feel,” it is simply a matter of fate that Motsu Nabe, or “innards hot pot,” should be wildly popular here. Is enjoying this dish also a fait accompli for you?

Motsu Nabe is a hot pot dish generally made with beef or pork innards, some garlic, mild chili pepper, and leafy greens. Naturally, being the stew that it is, variations abound. Traditionally, the soup is soy sauce based, but sometimes a miso stock is used instead. Since the innards optimally require slow cooking, they actually come to your table pre-cooked and cut into bite-sized pieces. Your job is not so much to cook the meat but rather to simply heat it up and fuse those garlic, chili, soy sauce and other flavors. Being sure not to overcook them, you will find the vegetables make for a nice flavor and texture contrast.

All the ingredients come laid out on plates, and everyone shares that same cauldron. Each diner is given a small bowl of their own to dish out portions into and, optionally, spice things up a bit more before eating. If the soup stock starts to get too strong, hot water is at the ready. If the soup starts tasting too thin, there is more stock at hand. All your innard soup needs are taken care of. Finally, after eating up all the delicious meat and vegetables, soba or other noodles are usually cooked up in the delightful dregs to complete the meal.

Looking to try motsu nabe in Tokyo?
Japan Gourmetpedia recommends using our sister site, Tokyo Dinner Ticket, to find the perfect restaurant.


Motsu nabe at restaurant Koganeya in Shinjuku

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