Chicken Meatball and Miso Donabe


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

My Asian Kitchen

My Asian Kitchen

By Jennifer Joyce

Published 2018

  • About

Donabe should translate to ‘warm and fuzzy blanket’ because it soothes your soul. The name actually refers to the earthenware pot that’s used to make steaming hot pots, rice and stews. Crafted from a highly durable clay that can sit over a flame without cracking, it is prized for maintaining an even temperature while cooking and staying hot at the table and is perfect for social gatherings.


  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 tbsp miso
  • 1 tsp hot chilli sauce
  • 2 tbsp Japanese light soy sauce
  • 60 ml 2 fl oz) mirin
  • 700 ml 24 fl oz) stock
  • 4 carrots, cut into slim batons
  • 4 bok choy or other greens, halved
  • 150 g ( oz) small shiitake mushrooms


  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 tbsp Japanese soy sauce
  • 2 spring onions (scallions), finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • steamed rice, yuzu juice or yuzu kosho, chopped green spring onions (scallions) and togarashi spice mix, to serve


To make the meatballs, start by puréeing the chicken in a food processor to the texture of mince. Remove and place in a medium bowl. Add the soy, spring onion, cornflour and ginger, then give it a good grinding of black pepper. Roll into small meatballs, about 3 cm ( inches) wide. You can now pan-fry the meatballs using 2–3 teaspoons vegetable oil until browned on all sides or just poach them in the hot broth.

Pour the sesame oil into a donabe or heavy, large saucepan with a fitted lid. Sauté the garlic over medium–low heat and then add the miso, chilli sauce, soy and mirin. Cook for 1 minute or until the miso melts into the liquid. Pour in the stock and bring to a boil. Add the meatballs and carrots, cover and turn the heat down to a low simmer. Cook for 8 minutes and then add the bok choy. Let simmer for 2 minutes, add the mushrooms and then bring the pot to the table. The bok choy should have an al dente texture.

Serve in shallow bowls with a bowl of rice for everyone and a small bowl of yuzu juice or yuzu kosho, chopped green spring onions and togarashi spice mix, to sprinkle over.