Rurubu.com reports on a Kyoto restaurant serving flaming sake nabe.
Nabe is both the name for a heavy pot and styles of cooking done in one, usually simmering ingredients in a broth, and it’s a popular warm winter dish that can be enjoyed by a family or group. It’s also one of the main dishes at the Kyoto restaurant Yuruiya, which reopened in the Karasuma area in October 2017 after renovation. It serves obanzai (traditional Kyoto side dishes) to go with sake, and has also developed its own style of nabe featuring pork dipped in sake.
It stocks selected sake from all 39 of Kyoto’s breweries, carrying a total of 73 styles from 48 lines. A glass will set you back JPY 380, a two-hour all-you-can-drink option costs JPY 2,500, or add three side dishes, rice and sake kasu (sake lees) soup for JPY 5,000.
Yururiya offers 45 types of nabe, from the standard to the unusual. The sake nabe, recommended in winter, uses Japanese pork dipped in sake – like a deluxe pork shabu-shabu – and costs JPY 2,800 per person (orders taken for 2 or more people). The sake is of course from Kyoto, but the specific one used varies day by day. The sake is heated in the nabe and then set on fire, glowing brightly in the low light of the restaurant. As the flames die down the alcohol is burned off, and when the fire goes out the nabe is ready and it’s the right moment to dip the pork. The author recommends trying the cooked pork with another famous Kyoto product, Hanabishi ponzu sauce.
When the pork is finished, the nabe can be filled with stock and used to cook seafood such as shrimp or tuna, and vegetables like local Kujo green onions and mizuna, turning it into a kind of chowder.