Kimchi nabe in a steel bowl over a bamboo Matt. The nabe is full of vegetables, tofu and meat in a red broth and topped with mung beans.

Kimchi Nabe

Kimchi Nabe is a Japanese Hot Pot made with a variety of vegetables, meat, and tofu in a kimchi flavored stock.  This satisfying dish is a perfect meal on a cold day, and it cooks up in less than 45 minutes.

Kimchi Nabe is a type of Japanese hot pot that uses kimchi to flavor the stock.  You can make it mild by following the recipe as is, or heat it up by adding some kimchi base when preparing it.

Kimchi, despite its Korean origins, is very popular in Japan.  Recipes using Kimchi are can be found everywhere and so I have posted a number of other kimchi recipes on this site including Buta Kimchi, Kimchi-jjigae, and Wagyu Kimchi Fried Rice.

If you have never tried kimchi because you can’t get past the smell or the thought of eating fermented cabbage, then Kimchi Nabe might be a great recipe to start with.  And if you like other types of nabe, then you don’t want to miss out on this one.

The first time I heard about Nabe was when I asked about what Sumo wrestlers eat.  It turns out that one of the most popular dishes eaten by Sumo wrestlers as part of their weight-gain diet is Chanko Nabe.  Of course, the eat it in massive portions and there is no specific recipe, but it did get me looking into other types of Nabe that people enjoy in Japan.

I love Nabe, it’s delicious and can be made with many different bases such as soymilk, dashi, chicken stock, and even tomato soup.  But if you are looking for a hot pot with a kick, then Kimchi Nabe is definitely the way to go.

Like with many hot pots, the recipe can be altered depending on vegetables you have.  You can also add noodles to the stock when most of the ingredients have been eaten and then heat them up at serve them at the end of the meal.  This is the authentic Japanese way to eat Nabe, and if you have room I highly recommend it.

Some of the more popular types of noodles you can use are Harusame (Japanese rice noodles), Ramen noodles, or Udon.

This is another easy meal to prepare, so give it a try and let me know what you think!

Kimchi Nabe

Kimchi Nabe, or Kimchi Hot Pot, is a hot stew that is popular in Japan.  You can cook it inside on the stove, but it also makes a good camping meal.  You can use a Nabe pot with a butane stove to cook it outdoors.  To make a hot pot you can cook the meat first as in this recipe, but you can also make the stock and then boil the meat right along with the vegetables.  But either way, Nabe is a satisfying dish that has been enjoyed in Japan for generations.


10 minutes 45 minutes Serves 8
PREP 10 minutes
COOKING 45 minutes
YIELD Serves 8
Kimchi nabe in a steel bowl over a bamboo Matt. The nabe is full of vegetables, tofu and meat in a red broth and topped with mung beans.


  • 1 lb sliced pork belly
  • 1 lb Napa kimchi
  • 3 bouillon cubes (plus 3 cups water)
  • 1/4 cup Japanese cooking sake
  • 2 TBSP Sesame Oil
  • 1/4 head of Napa cabbage
  • 1 large leek (white part only)
  • 1 bunch of Mizuna
  • 6-8 small bok choy
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 cup of mung beans
  • 300 g fried tofu
  • 3 Trumpet Mushrooms (Eryngi)
  • 3 Shiitake Mushrooms
  • 6-8 Mitsuba Leaves (Japanese Parsley)
  • Kimchi Base (optional to taste)

All the ingredients for Kimchi nabe laid out on a wooden table



  • Peel the carrot.  Wash and cut the ends off then chop the carrot bok choy, Napa, mizuna and leek.  Set aside in a large bowl.
  • Wash the mushrooms and chop the tofu into 1 inch cubes.  Put aside in a second bowl.
  • Wash the Mung beans and mitsuba.  Set aside in a third bowl.

Kimchi Nabe Vegetables in three bowls

  • Slide the pork belly into 2” long strips.

Sliced pork belly

  • Add the sesame oil to a large stock pot.  Heat to medium high and sauté the pork in the sesame oil until browned.
  • Add in the kimchi along with the juices.  Sauté for two more minutes until combined and hot.

Sauté pork and kimchi in a pot

  • Add the water, sake and bouillon cubes.  Bring to a rolling boil.

Pork and kimchi boiling in soup

  • Gradually stir in the Napa, carrot, leek, mizuna and bok choy veggies.  Allow them to cook down and soften before adding more.

Stir in and cook down green veggies

  • Once the vegetables are mixed in, turn down to medium low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Remove the cover and mix in the mushrooms and tofu.  Cover and simmer for 10 more minutes.

Adding tofu and mushrooms to nabeOkay

  • Dish the nabe into a bowl.  Top with mung beans and mitsuba.
  • Serve.
Delicious Kimchi Nabe topped with Mung Beans and Japanese Mitsuba In a steel brown on a bamboo Matt.
Delicious Kimchi Nabe topped with Mung Beans and Japanese Mitsuba


  • For more heat, add 1/4 cup of kimchi base at the same time you add the bouillon and water.
  • When you have finished most of the food and are left with stock, cook up some noodles using the stock and serve them up.  This is the Japanese way to finish up your meal.
  • Refrigerate leftovers and keep them for up to five days. Nabe is delicious when reheated because the flavors of all the ingredients continue to combine over time.

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