Japanese Food

Mille-Feuille Nabe (Japanese Hot pot)

One major advantage of living in a diverse city like Tokyo is getting to try different types of cuisine. For example, we recently learned about a hot pot (also called nabe) you can cook in your own home. We were skeptical at first (“How is this any different from the hot pots we already have?”) but when we tried it out for ourselves, we were pleasantly surprised. (…)

As most of you will know, a nabe is a hot pot dish which is popular in Japan. It comes in many different varieties and has a versatile selection of ingredients. One of these is the Mille-Feuille Nabe which is a Japanese hot pot dish. It consists of a thick layer of potato, an egg-based sauce, a thick sauce, and other ingredients.

The Nabe Mille-Feuille is a beautiful and delicious Japanese hot pot of layers of napa cabbage, thin beef/pork, pak choi and mushrooms cooked in a rich dashi broth.

There are several hot pot recipes, but this nabe mille-feuille is the best. For some reason this type of hot pot has become very popular lately, so I had to try it too!

This dish is perfect for hosting family and friends, not only because of its distinct presentation, but also because it is so easy to make and can be prepared a day in advance! The best thing about hot pot is that you only need a few ingredients compared to shabu shabu or sukiyaki, and it’s just as delicious!

Place the vegetables and meat in the pan in an orderly fashion, cut side up, and pile on top of each other. When everything is ready, add the dashi broth to coat the ingredients, simmer for a few minutes, and you’re done! All the ingredients are cooked at the same time, so you don’t have to wait for the dish to be prepared at the table.

What is a nabe mille-feuille?

Mille-feuille means a thousand layers in French and is known for its countless layers of puff pastry. But have you ever heard of the Mille-Feuille hub? Mille-Feuille literally means a thousand layers of hot pot and refers to the layers and layers of ingredients used to prepare this dish. At first glance, this dish looks like a shabu-shabu. Unlike shabu-shabu, however, this dish is prepared in advance and can be eaten at the table.

Thumbwheel hubSpare parts

  • Puff pastry. The layers consist of piles of vegetables and meat. As for the vegetables, the main ingredient here is napa cabbage. I also use bok choy leaves and mushrooms for extra color and texture. Thinly sliced beef/pork is used in meat dishes. It must be good, because the meat must be cooked in a short time.
  • Soup base. Traditionally dashi broth is used. It gives a clean, light taste with a rich umami flavor. You can also use other soup bases with the ingredients of your choice.

Professional advice

  • Measure your pot. If you are making this dish for the first time, it may be hard to gauge how big the pan should be. I personally use a 9×4 inch/23×10 cm pan for this recipe. I don’t recommend using a larger pan, or you’ll end up with loose layers. If you only have one big pot, I recommend buying more mushrooms for the filling in case you run out.
  • Stack the layers on top of each other. The most important thing when preparing the nabe mille-feuille is to pack the vegetables and meat well. As ingredients cook, they release water and shrink. This helps to loosen the layers while baking.
  • Start with the exterior installation. Personally, I find it easier to start with the outer layers. This way I can use the mushrooms for the center garnish.

More light Japanese food

While you’re here, don’t forget to try these recipes!

Performance: 4 servings

Leaf hub

Mil fei nabe is a beautiful and deliciously seasoned Japanese-style dish made from layers of napa cabbage, fine beef/pork, pak choi and mushrooms, cooked in a rich dashi broth.

Cooking time
15 minutes

Cooking time
15 minutes

Total time
30 minutes


  • 500 gr. thick, white Rind-/Schweinefleisch
  • 6 large grass leaves n n l e s
  • 12 large Bok Choy leaflets
  • 1 Pack Simeji-Pilze
  • 3 shiitake mushrooms


Dressing Sauce


  1. Mix all the ingredients for the broth. Set it aside.
  2. Place the beef/pork slices on the Napa cabbage leaf. Place 2 leaves of bok choy on top and place more slices of beef/pork on top. Continue stacking the leaves until you have a stack of 3 layers of napa cabbage leaves and 3 layers of bok choy leaves. (*see video for clarification)
  3. Make a second serving with the remaining napa cabbage, beef/pork and bok choy.
  4. Cut each stack into 3-4 pieces.
  5. Start on the outside of the pot and work your way to the center. Then fill the center with shimeji and shiitake mushrooms. Make sure they are well packaged, as they will fall apart at the start of cooking.
  6. When everything is ready, pour the broth into the pot. Fry the ginger so that it is submerged in the broth.
  7. Heat a frying pan over medium-high heat. Cover and cook until the pork belly is tender and the cabbage is soft, about 10 minutes. Remove foam and grease from the surface.
  8. Serve with optional ponzu and shichimi togarashi.


For this dish I use a 23×10 cm pan. I don’t recommend using a larger pan, or you’ll end up with loose layers. If you only have one big pot, I recommend buying more mushrooms for the filling in case you run out.

You can replace the bok choy with more napa leaves or other large leafy vegetables.

If the layers are too loose, you can use a smaller pan or add more ingredients in the middle.

Have you cooked with this recipe?

Leave a star rating or review in the comments and tag it on Instagram. This provides useful feedback for both me and other readers. Have fun cooking!

This source has been very much helpful in doing our research. Read more about mille-feuille nabe bon appetit and let us know what you think.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Japanese hot pot called?

As you know, Japanese cuisine is renowned for its healthiness and its abundance of fresh and seasonal produce. However, many diners do not realize that many of the most delicious dishes are cooked at the table. Japanese hot pot is a perfect example. The Japanese hot pot is a soup, simmered over a burner at the table, to which diners add a variety of small dishes that add a unique touch to the dining experience. Japanese hot pot is also called “Mille-feuille Nabe” because the ingredients of the hot pot are stacked up in layers, just like a “Mille-feuille” pastry. If you ask any Japanese, they’ll tell you that the origin of the hot pot is in China. They have a tradition of eating hot pot, and the Japanese brought the tradition to Japan.

What is the difference between nabe and shabu shabu?

A fusion of Chinese hot pot and Japanese shabu shabu, Japanese Nabe is a type of communal one-pot dish where guests cook their own food at the table. The food is cooked in a pot of boiling water, and then dipped in a sauce. The food is typically thinly sliced and cooked within minutes, giving it a texture that falls somewhere between raw and cooked. Nabe is a Japanese hot pot dish that contains thinly sliced meat, seafood, and vegetables, which are boiled in a large pot at the dining table. The word nabe, which literally means ‘pot’, describes the utensil the food is cooked in. Shabu shabu, another Japanese hot pot dish, is similar to nabe, but with a key difference: the ingredients are cooked using a dipping broth, rather than the boiling water typically used in nabe dishes.

How do you cut a Napa cabbage in a hot pot?

Cabbage is available at almost any grocery store, and because it is so versatile, it is one of the most popular vegetables that home cooks use. While recipes calling for Napa cabbage are plentiful, its leaves are much larger than those of other cabbages, which can make it difficult to cut. If you want to make the process easier, you can use your hot pot to cut an entire head of cabbage at once. Alternatively, you can use a heavy knife and saw motion to cut the cabbage quickly. The following article will explain how to cut a Napa cabbage in a hot pot. You might think this is stupid, and that the only way to cut a cabbage is with a knife, but you’d be wrong. You can also cut a Napa cabbage in a hot pot, and it’s a lot easier than you’d think. In Japan, a hot pot is a common cooking method for vegetables. It’s a quick way to cook your vegetables, and it’s also a lot more fun than boiling them in a pot. In order to cut a Napa cabbage in a hot pot, you need to do the following: 1. Fill the hot pot with water 2. Add the cabbage 3. Make

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