Damako-nabe (Japanese hot pot with small rice balls, local dish of Akita)

On a cold day, I feel like making local dishes of the Northern Japan where there are lots of wisdom to survive the freezing winter.

So I made Damako-nabe, a Japanese hot pot with small rice balls which is originated in Akita where it snows a lot in winter.

Ingredients: Cooked rice (japonica rice), 300g chicken thigh, 1/2 burdock root, 1 bunch of seri (Japanese parsley), 1 bag of shirataki (noodles made from konnyaku), 1 bag of atsuage (fried tofu block), 1 banch of maitake mushroom, green onions, soy sauce, sake, mirin


  1. Make small rice balls – mash cooked rice and make small rice balls. It gets easy if you soak your hands in salt water each time you make a ball.
  2. Slice burdock root and cut other ingredients in bite size pieces.
  3. Add water, burdock root and chicken in a pot and cook.
  4. Flavor with soy sauce, sake and mirin, as you like.
  5. Add other ingredients and eat when it’s cooked.


7 thoughts on “Damako-nabe (Japanese hot pot with small rice balls, local dish of Akita)”

  1. I’ve never heard of damako-nabe before! I’m heading up to Aomori tomorrow morning, and I have no idea what to expect. Is it absolutely freezing up where you are?
    Looks like a great way to warm up. I’ll look for something similar in Aomori 🙂

    1. Welcome to my blog, Elle!

      Currently I live in Saitama (just north to Tokyo), but I used to live in Aomori for two years.

      It must be much colder than the eastern Japan, but Aomori has lots of beautiful scenaries and great food.

      Famous winter dishes there include “keno-jiru (soup with a variety of vegetgables)”, “jappa-jiru (miso soup with the head, bony parts, guts of codfish and vegitables)” and “kaiyaki(or kayaki)-miso (scallop and eggs cooked on a large scallop shell with miso broth)”. If you go to the southern part of Aomori, you can enjoy “senbei-jiru (soup with cracker made from wheat flour, vegetables and chicken)” and “hittsumi (soup with flour dough and vegetables)”… It’s fun to visit the local markets there too. They also have great hot springs, especially around Mt. Hakkoda, ice-covered trees called “Monsters”, nice museums, spritual Mt. Osore in Shimokita peninsula… and their unique dialect…Oh, I miss Aomori!!

      Are you going to stay there for a while? Keep warm and enjoy your stay there 🙂

      1. Oh wow, it sounds like there is so much great stuff to do there! I’m only going to be in Aomori for one night, accompanying someone on a business trip. I’m staying in Tokaimura now, so it will be a long eight hour drive up there, starting very early tomorrow morning.
        I have heard about senbei-jiru. I watched a documentary about it on TV. The rest is new to me! I hope I will get the chance to visit a hot spring tomorrow! I’m really looking forward to it 😀

      2. haha yes, it will be a long drive. I’m excited for it though, because it will be my first road trip for this Japan visit. Thanks! 🙂

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