Nabe (or nabemono) is the pot used in Japan for one-pot stews, which are placed in the middle of the table usually on a portable stove so the dish is kept hot, but also allows you to keep adding more food and keep eating.
In Japan a “shared pot” is an important aspect of building closer relationships, hence the phrase Nabe (w)o kakomu (鍋を囲む、"sitting around the pot" which implies that sharing nabemono will create warm relations between the diners who eat together.
Their is a huge variety of nabe dishes, plus its the sort of thing you can adapt to whatever ingredients you have at home. Saturday night we opted for a pile of typical Japanese vegetables along with udon noodles and some meatballs made from pork mince, spring onions and ginger:
These were then all cooked in the nabe, the water having been already seasoned with konbu (kelp) and served in individual bowls with ponzu (citrus based sauce similar to soya sauce) and some more spring onions, plus grated Japanese white radish:
Of course no meal in house tends to escape the Cook Japan rice cooker, so at the end of the meal the previous days leftover rice was mixed with the remaining liquid in the nabe along with an egg to make zosui/ojiya, a fabulous end to any nabe…