Mille-feuille nabe (napa cabbage and pork hot pot)

“Mille-feuille” means a thousand layers/leaves and often refers to a crisp, flaky French pastry, but in this case, it refers to the many layers of napa cabbage and pork belly in this Japanese-style hot pot. It’s one of our go-to meals in the winter because it’s so simple to make and involves lots of greens and I also like to add in extra veggies and non-meat things like mushrooms and tofu!

Where can I find thin-sliced pork belly?

I’ve had most luck at Asian grocery stores like Ranch 99, H-Mart, and Nijiya!

Do I have to use dashi?

Not at all! Chicken stock would also be delicious, but it will taste a little different.

I used:

  • 1 smaller napa cabbage (~1.25 lb)
  • 1/2 lb thin-sliced pork belly (i like the ones that are a tad thicker than for shabu, and with skin-on)
  • 1/3 block firm tofu
  • 1/2 pack shimeji mushrooms (enoki also yum!)
  • 1 pack udon
  • 1 pack shirataki noodles
  • dipping sauce: ponzu and togarashi

Broth:

  • 1/2 dashi packet (~1-2 tsp)
  • 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp shaoxing wine
  • 3-4 cups hot water
  • salt

To make:

  • layer slices of napa cabbage and thinly cut pork belly and cut into ~3-inch sections, place into your claypot or dutch oven, leaving a little space in the center for tofu and mushrooms
  • add in mushrooms (shimeji, enoki) and other toppings you like (i like tofu)
  • mix dashi with water and season with soy sauce, shaoxing wine, and salt to taste, add broth into the pot so that the cabbage leaves are mostly submerged. it doesn’t need to be fully submerged because the cabbage will shrink down as it cooks
  • bring to a boil and simmer for ~10 minutes until full cooked
  • we liked to have this in front of us on a portable stove so that once we’ve eaten/removed some cabbage and pork sections, we cook udon and shirataki in the dashi
  • serve with dipping sauce on the side!

Other soup-y cold-weather appropriate foods to make: