Mille-Feuille Nabe is a beautiful and delicious Japanese-style hot pot made from layers of napa cabbage, paper-thin beef/pork, pakchoi, and mushrooms, cooked in savory dashi broth.
There are different kinds of hot pot recipes out there, but this Mille-Feuille Nabe is absolutely the prettiest. For some reason, this style of hot pot became very popular lately, so I had to try it too!
This dish is perfect for entertaining your family and friends, not only because of its signature presentation but also because it is so easy to make and can be prepared a day ahead! The best part about the hot pot is it requires just a few ingredients compared to shabu-shabu or sukiyaki, and it tastes equally delicious!
The vegetables and meat are stacked, cut, and delicately slipped into a pot with the cut side up. When you are ready to cook, add the dashi broth to cover the ingredients, simmer for a few minutes, and you are done! All the ingredients are cooked at once, so you don’t have to wait while the food is being cooked at the table.
What is Mille-Feuille Nabe?
Meaning “a thousand layers” in French, the mille-feuille is known for its seemingly countless layers of puff pastry. But have you ever heard of Mille-Feuille Nabe? Mille-Feuille Nabe literally translates to “a thousand layers hotpot” and refers to the layers and layers of ingredients used to make this dish. It looks similar to shabu-shabu at first. However, unlike shabu-shabu, this dish is prepared in advance and is ready to enjoy at the table.
Components of Mille-Feuille Nabe
- The layers. The layers are made from stacks of vegetables and meat. For the vegetables, napa cabbage is the basic ingredient here. I also use pak choi leaves and mushrooms for more color and texture. Meanwhile, thinly sliced beef/pork is used for the meat options. It needs to be paper-thin because the meat needs to be able to cook in a short time.
- Soup base. Traditionally, dashi broth is used. It creates a clean and light taste with a rich umami flavor. You can alternatively use other soup bases with any ingredients you prefer.
- Measure your pot. If you are making this dish for the first time, it could be difficult to estimate the size of the pot you need for. I personally use a 9×4-inch/23×10 cm pot when making this recipe. I don’t recommend using a larger pot because you will risk having loose layers. If you only have the bigger pot, I recommend buying more mushrooms for the filler, just in case you run out of the layers.
- Pack the layers tightly. The most important thing when making Mille-Feuille Nabe is to pack the vegetables and meat tightly. When they are cooked, the ingredients will release water and shrinks. As a result, the layers get loosen during the cooking process.
- Start layering from the outside. I personally find it easier to start packing the layers from the outer layers. This way, I can use the mushrooms for the filler in the center.
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