One of the brightest cookbooks of the season is “Donabe: Classic and Modern Japanese Clay Pot Cooking” by Naoko Takei Moore and Kyle Connaughton. Moore, an Echo Park resident, is also an importer of traditional ceramics from Iga, in Japan’s Mie prefecture, where the making of ceramics can be documented back to the 7th century.
The earthenware cooking vessels she brings in are made by Nagatani-en, a family firm founded in 1832. You can find their donabe at her website Toiro Kitchen. Many of them are featured in the book. The donabe come in many versions, including a thick-walled, double-lidded pot which makes perfect Japanese rice. There are traditional donabe for soups and stews, a grill version and even a stovetop smoker with a water seal to keep the smoke from invading your kitchen.
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