What is Donabe? What is its benefit? and what kind of delicious food can you make from this Japanese traditional crafts?. We would like to give you some detail information about Donabe in the 'Exploring Donabe' article series. This part will talk about the general of HowtoTakeCareofYourDonabe
Before you start using the donabe, we will show you the medome method as a way to handle those small cracks. It can prevent cracking and odour transfer, as well as helping you to keep your donabe for a long time.
Things you need: ・Water ・Wheat flour (the amount of wheat flour is about 10% compared to water)
Dissolve the wheat flour in water. Mix it well until the wheat flour completely dissolved.
Pour the mixture into the donabe. Leave it there for about 8 minutes and boil it. Please watch it carefully because there is a possibility that the mixture will be spilled out from the pot.
Warm the Donabe with low heat. Turn off the heat when the mixture got boiled up. Cool down the donabe.
After the donabe is all cooled down, throw away the mixture and wash it. Rinse it with water and dry the donabe. The medome method is done. ※If there’s remaining moisture, it’s best to dry the donabe under the sun to avoid mold.
How to clean Your Donabe
Because the donabe is sensitive to sudden temperature changes, please cool down firmly after use.
If you cleaned the donabe from any liquid (soup, broth, etc) beforehand, it will be able to cool down more quickly.
● Wash it gently
Since the donabe can get easily scratched, you should not use metal scratches and better to wash it with a soft sponge.
● Wash it with detergent
Since the donabe has a nature of absorbing moisture, using detergent is not really recommended.
If you need to use detergent to clean things such as dirt sticking to the donabe, it will be no problem if you wash quickly in a short time. However, don’t soak it in dishwashing detergent, as it may damage the donabe and detergent may penetrate to the donabe.
How to Clean a Burnt Donabe
There might be case when your donabe got a burnt spot after using it for several times. In that case, you can use a plastic spoon or baking soda to fix it.
● Using baking soda
Pour water into the Donabe about half of the pot and add 2 to 3 teaspoon of baking soda.
If you boil it for about 30 minutes, bubbles will come out and remove burnt. Stop the fire and cool down the donabe, don’t forget wash away the bubbles.
● Using plastic spoon
If the baking soda didn’t work, rubs the burnt spot with a plastic spoon. If it’s still a light burnt, there’s a big chance that the baking soda will work.
That’s why, if you spotted a light burnt, you should immediately clean it with baking soda.
What Should You Do when Mold Grows in Your Donabe?
Because donabe can easily absorbs moisture, no matter how dry it is kept, the rainy season and so on could trigger it to absorb moisture in the air and may mold it. Especially for the Iga-yaki donabe and Banko-yaki donabe that needs extra attention.
Even when you face the situation such ‘Ouch! My donabe got molded!’ don’t immediately throw away your donabe.
If you do the maintenance properly, you can use it without problems. This time we will use tea leaves for mold sterilization.
Things you need: · Tea Leaves (Appropriate amount) · Water (about 80% of the donabe)
Wash the donabe and try to remove the mold properly. Wipe the area that exposed to fire, remove the moisture.
Insert tea leaves into water and put them on fire. Warm thoroughly with low heat and turn on medium heat when the whole pot warmed up.
When the water got boiled, set into low heat, and boil about 10 minutes.
Rinse the donabe thoroughly and dry it.
What Should We Do if The Donabe Got Smelly?
If you cook a dish with ingredients that has a strong smell, the smell may stick to the donabe.
In such case, as how we would do with mold removal, if we simmer the tea leaves, the tea will be able to absorb the bad smell.
Ceramic donabe has a special characteristic which is hard to get smelly. So if you are worried about odour-transfer, ceramic donabe is recommended for you.
What Should We Do if The Donabe Got Broken or Scratched?
If your donabe got broken, there are ways to repair it, such as with glue, etc.
But there’s a possibility that the chemical ingredients of the glue will penetrate the donabe and affecting the dish, which is very dangerous.
Wrap the side that is broken with a sandpaper to avoid it from hurting your hand. After you repair it, while you keep using it, the colour will gradually change into a familiar colour. The broken part/scratch became a good charm of your donabe.
How to Store The Donabe
Unexpectedly, how to store donabe is not widely known.
If you perform an incorrect storage method, it might cause your donabe to get mold.
We will show you the right way to store donabe for a long time.
After use, wash the pot with water and dry it under the sun in a well-ventilated place. It will dry completely for 2-3 days.
If you want to dry the donabe faster, warm it in a microwave for about 1 minute, then it will be okay if you only dry it for one day under the sun. ※Please also read the precaution carefully as the microwave oven is not really compatible with the donabe
Wrap the donabe with newspaper when you want to store it. If you put in a box or wrap it with a plastic wrap, it will accumulate the moisture and will cause molding.
So, it’s best to wrap it with newspaper when you want to store your donabe. The newspaper will absorb moisture from outside and prevents dust in the air from invading your donabe.
Let's keep it in a well-ventilated place such as a cupboard or a closet. It is good to avoid the place such as below the sink area or such, because moisture tends to accumulate there.
How was the part 3 of the article series ‘exploring donabe’? Did it help you to know about how to take care about your donabe? You might think that ‘it takes a lot more time and effort to take care of donabe’ than you thought before.
Because it’s an earthenware pot that can be used for a long-term, we think there is no other choice but to keep up with the trouble. We think that if you take care of your donabe very carefully like your own child, you will have more attachment for your donabe compared to other kitchen utensils.
We would really happy if you can use our article as a reference to help you taking care of your donabe.