Kotobuki Trading Company Clay Rice Cooker (Donabe) $89.95

One of Japan’s oldest cooking vessels, the donabe first came about in Japan’s Iga province. It was originally fashioned from the highly porous clay distinctive to the region, which is known for its ability to stand up to high cooking temps, slowly building heat and maintaining it for longer than a typical pot.

We’ve always loved clay cookware for its ability to make food delectably moist by circulating steam and for how it absorbs and redistributes flavor. This makes your dishes better and better the more you use it (think of how a loved and well-cared for cast-iron pan develops a seasoning that is full of character—same idea).

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​The donabe is often used for rice dishes—including takikomi gohan (seasoned steamed rice with meat and vegetables) and nabe (hot pot) dishes.
Rinse and (if you’d like) soak your short grain rice then combine with a bit less water than normal (1 cup of rice to 200 milliliters water, just under a cup) and set over medium until steam appears. Cook for a minute before reducing heat to low for another 6 to 8 minutes. Another 10 to 15 minutes off heat and the rice is done. Only use on a gas stovetop or in an oven.

Kitchen Notes

This rice cooker is only compatible with a gas burner, unless used with a diffuser. Do not microwave. Do not subject to temperature shocks—start the pot on low heat to warm and gradually increase to your cooking temperature. It’s not meant to be preheated empty.

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