Tsukune Miso Nabe (Chicken-Meatball Hot Pot in Miso Broth)

Tsukune Miso Nabe (Chicken-Meatball Hot Pot in Miso Broth)

Naoko Takei Moore makes this comforting hot pot of ginger-spiked meatballs, mushrooms and tofu in a donabe, or Japanese clay pot. She sells them at Toiro, her Japanese cookware shop in Los Angeles, and has written a book on the topic, “Donabe: Classic and Modern Japanese Clay Pot Cooking” (Ten Speed Press, 2015). The traditional cookware can be used to cook rice, steam foods and even set up to work like a small grill. It’s a wonderful, versatile piece of equipment, though if you don’t have one, you can use another heavy-bottomed pot with a lid, and still turn out a beautiful meal. Have this hot pot on its own, or with a side of warm rice.
  • Total:
  • Serves: 4 persons



  1. Step 1

    Prepare the meatballs: In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients for the meatballs, and knead with your hands until the mix is smooth and shiny. Cover, and refrigerate until ready to shape and cook.
  2. Step 2

    Prepare the hot pot: Place a large donabe, Dutch oven or other heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat and bring the dashi to a simmer. Add the mirin and tamari. Whisk in miso. (You can put the miso in a strainer and hold it directly in the broth as you whisk, so it dissolves smoothly.)
  3. Step 3

    With wet hands, shape the chicken mixture into tablespoon-size balls to make about 30 meatballs, then drop them into the simmering broth. Add the mushrooms and tofu. (If using very delicate tofu, wait and add it with the greens.)
  4. Step 4

    Bring the broth back up to a simmer, turn the heat down to low, and cover. Simmer gently until all the ingredients are cooked through, about 10 minutes.
  5. Step 5

    Add the greens, and cover for 1 more minute, then serve with sesame and togarashi.