Nabekko Dumpling Soup Recipe

Discover the perfect Nabekko Dumpling Soup recipe: a taste of Japan in a comforting bowl. Step-by-step instructions for a delicious meal.

Nabekko Dumpling Soup

    Nabekko Dumpling Soup

  • Cuisine: Japanese
  • Category: Soup, Main Course
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Servings: 4
  • Calories: 250 calories

About this recipe

Nabekko Dumpling Soup is a heartwarming Japanese dish that combines the comfort of dumplings with a flavorful broth. It's a cozy and satisfying meal that's perfect for chilly days or when you're craving something soothing.

The star of this dish is the dumplings. These dumplings are typically made with ground pork or chicken, mixed with a medley of aromatic ingredients like green onions, garlic, and ginger. These flavor-packed dumplings are wrapped in thin, round dumpling wrappers, creating little pockets of goodness.

Now, let's talk about the broth. The base is a delicate dashi stock, which is essentially a broth made from simmering kombu seaweed and bonito flakes. You can make it from scratch, or opt for instant dashi powder if you're short on time.

To this stock, we add soy sauce, mirin (a sweet rice wine), sake (Japanese rice wine), sugar, and a pinch of salt. These seasonings infuse the broth with a harmonious blend of sweet, savory, and umami flavors.

As the dumplings and broth come together, magic happens in the pot. The dumplings are gently simmered in the flavorful broth until they float to the surface, indicating they're perfectly cooked and tender. Meanwhile, you can add sliced mushrooms, bok choy or Napa cabbage, green onions, and a few slices of ginger for a burst of freshness and texture.

When it's all done, you serve this steaming bowl of goodness hot, garnished with extra green onions if you like. The result is a dish that's not only visually appealing but also a symphony of tastes and textures.

You'll find the savory dumplings nestled in a fragrant, slightly sweet broth, with the vegetables adding a delightful crunch.

Recipe origin and background

Nabekko Dumpling Soup, also known as "Nabekko Wan," has its roots in Japanese cuisine, but it's not as widely known as some other Japanese dishes. While there isn't an extensive historical background readily available, there are some insights I found relating to it.

Like the Japanese Hot Pot Tradition: Nabekko Dumpling Soup is closely related to the Japanese tradition of hot pot cooking, where various ingredients are simmered in a communal pot at the dining table.

The word "nabe" refers to the pot or cooking vessel, while "kko" is a colloquial suffix often used in Japanese to create cute or playful names. In this case, "nabekko" implies dumplings cooked in a pot.

Also, the regional variations aspect. Like many Japanese dishes, variations of this soup may exist in different regions of Japan. It's possible that Nabekko Dumpling Soup originated in a specific region and evolved over time as people added local ingredients and flavors.

Even though, the exact history of Nabekko Dumpling Soup may remain a bit elusive, it reflects the essence of Japanese cuisine - a balance of flavors, the use of fresh ingredients, and the warmth of homemade cooking. It's a delightful dish that embodies the heartwarming and communal nature of Japanese food culture.

Why try this Nabekko Dumpling Soup recipe?

You should definitely give the Nabekko Dumpling Soup recipe a try for several compelling reasons:

  • Delicious Flavor Fusion: This soup combines the savory goodness of dumplings with a flavorful, slightly sweet, and umami-rich broth. The contrast of the tender dumplings and the fragrant broth creates a delightful taste experience.
  • Comfort Food at Its Best: If you're in the mood for comfort food, Nabekko Dumpling Soup is a winner. It's like a warm hug in a bowl, perfect for cold days or when you're feeling under the weather.
  • Homemade Goodness: There's something special about homemade dumplings. Crafting them yourself allows you to control the ingredients and create a meal made with love.
  • Easy to Customize: This recipe is flexible. You can adapt it to your taste by choosing your preferred meat (pork or chicken) and adjusting the seasonings. Plus, you can add your favorite vegetables to personalize it further.
  • Quick and Satisfying: With a relatively short preparation and cooking time, it's a great option for a weeknight dinner when you want something delicious without spending hours in the kitchen.
  • Japanese Culinary Experience: If you're a fan of Japanese cuisine or looking to explore it further, Nabekko Dumpling Soup is a fantastic entry point. It offers a taste of authentic Japanese flavors and cooking techniques.
  • Impress Your Guests: If you're hosting a dinner party or simply want to impress your family or friends, this soup's unique presentation and flavors will surely do the trick.
  • Nutritious Balance: It includes a variety of ingredients like meat, vegetables, and broth, providing a balanced and nutritious meal in a single bowl.
  • Cultural Exploration: Trying new recipes from different cultures can be a culinary adventure. Nabekko Dumpling Soup allows you to explore Japanese cuisine from the comfort of your own kitchen.

In summary, this recipe is not just about a delicious meal; it's about creating a memorable dining experience. So, roll up your sleeves, gather your ingredients, and embark on a flavorful journey with Nabekko Dumpling Soup. Your taste buds will thank you!

What is in Nabekko Dumpling Soup?

  • Ground Pork or Chicken: This forms the basis of the dumplings. Ground pork provides a rich, savory flavor, while chicken offers a lighter taste.
  • Green Onions: These add a mild onion flavor and a pop of color. They're used both in the dumpling filling and as a garnish.
  • Garlic: Minced garlic adds a wonderful aromatic quality to the dumplings and enhances the overall flavor of the soup.
  • Ginger: Fresh ginger, grated, imparts a zesty, slightly spicy note to the dumplings. It's a common ingredient in many Japanese dishes.
  • Soy Sauce: This salty and savory sauce is a staple in Japanese cooking. It seasons the dumpling filling and contributes to the umami taste of the broth.
  • Sesame Oil: A small amount of sesame oil adds a delightful nutty aroma and flavor to the dumplings.
  • Salt and Black Pepper: These seasonings are used to enhance the taste of the dumplings.
  • Dumpling Wrappers: Round dumpling wrappers are used to encase the filling. They are thin and soft, perfect for dumplings.
  • Dashi Stock: Dashi is a Japanese broth made from kombu seaweed and bonito flakes. It's the flavorful base of the soup. You can make it from scratch or use instant dashi powder.
  • Mirin: This sweet rice wine contributes sweetness and depth to the broth. It's a common seasoning in Japanese cuisine.
  • Sake: Sake, a Japanese rice wine, adds a subtle, complex flavor to the broth. It's another essential ingredient in Japanese cooking.
  • Sugar: A small amount of sugar balances the flavors in the broth, adding a touch of sweetness.
  • Mushrooms: Sliced mushrooms like shiitake or your preferred variety provide earthy flavor and texture to the soup.
  • Bok Choy or Napa Cabbage: These leafy greens add freshness and a slightly crisp texture to the soup. They're a healthy addition.
  • Green Onions (for garnish): Additional chopped green onions are used as a garnish to brighten up the finished soup.

Equipment required for this recipe

  • Large Pot or Soup Pot: This is essential for simmering the soup and cooking the dumplings. There are no direct substitutes for this; a large pot is necessary.
  • Mixing Bowl: You'll use a mixing bowl to combine the ingredients for the dumpling filling. A standard mixing bowl is the best option, and there are no practical substitutes.
  • Cutting Board and Knife: These are needed for chopping and preparing ingredients like green onions, garlic, ginger, and vegetables. There are no suitable substitutes for these basic kitchen tools.
  • Grater or Zester (for Ginger): To grate fresh ginger, you can use a microplane grater or a small grater. A fine cheese grater can also work as a substitute.
  • Measuring Spoons and Cups: For accurate measurement of ingredients like soy sauce, sake, and mirin, you'll need measuring spoons and cups. If you don't have them, you can estimate quantities, but for the best results, it's recommended to use proper measuring tools.
  • Spoons and Chopsticks: Standard spoons are needed for mixing the dumpling filling and serving the soup. Chopsticks are helpful for assembling the dumplings, but you can use your hands or a fork if you prefer.
  • Ladle: A ladle is handy for serving the soup. If you don't have one, you can use a large spoon.
  • Tongs: Tongs can be useful for gently handling the dumplings while placing them in the simmering broth. If you don't have tongs, you can use a fork or your hands.
  • Soup Bowls: Individual soup bowls are used for serving the finished Nabekko Dumpling Soup. Any deep bowls you have at home can be used as substitutes.
  • Stove or Cooktop: You'll need a source of heat to cook the soup and dumplings. The stove is essential for this recipe.
  • Strainer (optional): If you want to strain the dashi stock to remove solids after making it from scratch, a fine mesh strainer can be helpful. This step is optional if you use instant dashi powder.

How to make Nabekko Dumpling Soup

Explore the authentic flavors of Japan with our Nabekko Dumpling Soup recipe. A comforting blend of dumplings and umami-rich broth awaits!


For the Soup:
  • 4 cups of dashi stock (you can make this by simmering kombu seaweed and bonito flakes or use instant dashi powder)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon mirin (sweet rice wine)
  • 1 tablespoon sake (Japanese rice wine)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms (shiitake or any variety you prefer)
  • 1 cup chopped bok choy or Napa cabbage
  • 2-3 green onions, chopped
  • 2-3 slices of thinly sliced ginger
For the Dumplings:
  • 1/2 pound ground pork or chicken
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped green onions
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 20-24 round dumpling wrappers


  1. In a bowl, combine all the ingredients for the dumplings - ground meat, chopped green onions, minced garlic, grated ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, salt, and black pepper. Mix well.
  2. Take a dumpling wrapper and place a small spoonful of the meat mixture in the center. Fold the wrapper in half, forming a half-moon shape, and seal the edges by pinching them together. Repeat until all the dumplings are assembled.
  3. In a large pot, bring the dashi stock to a simmer. Add the soy sauce, mirin, sake, sugar, and salt. Stir to combine.
  4. Drop the dumplings into the simmering broth. Allow them to cook for about 5-7 minutes or until they float to the surface and are cooked through.
  5. Add the sliced mushrooms, chopped bok choy or Napa cabbage, green onions, and ginger slices to the pot. Simmer for an additional 2-3 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
  6. Serve the nabekko dumpling soup hot in individual bowls. Garnish with extra chopped green onions if desired.
  7. Enjoy your homemade nabekko dumpling soup! It's a delightful Japanese comfort food that's perfect for any occasion.

How to serve Nabekko Dumpling Soup

Serving Nabekko Dumpling Soup is the final step in this delicious culinary journey. Here's how to do it:

  1. Prepare Individual Soup Bowls: First, ensure you have clean and dry individual soup bowls ready for serving. Make sure they are large enough to hold both the dumplings and the broth.
  2. Ladle the Soup: Using a ladle, carefully scoop the hot Nabekko Dumpling Soup from the pot and into each of the prepared soup bowls. Make sure to include a generous portion of dumplings, mushrooms, and vegetables in each serving.
  3. Garnish with Green Onions: For a burst of color and freshness, garnish each bowl of soup with a sprinkle of chopped green onions. This adds both visual appeal and a hint of extra flavor.
  4. Serve Hot: Nabekko Dumpling Soup is best enjoyed piping hot. Serve it immediately to ensure that the dumplings are at their most tender and flavorful.
  5. Enjoy: Place the bowls on the table, and invite your guests to savor this delightful Japanese comfort food. Be sure to provide spoons and chopsticks for easy eating.
  6. Optional Condiments: You can also offer optional condiments on the table for diners to customize their soup. Common choices include soy sauce, chili oil, or chili flakes if you want to add some heat.
  7. Eat with Appreciation: Enjoy the savory dumplings, the umami-rich broth, and the combination of flavors and textures. Nabekko Dumpling Soup is not only delicious but also a heartwarming experience.

Seconds, Anyone? It's not uncommon for diners to go back for seconds, so keep the pot of soup warm on the stove in case anyone wants more.

Remember to exercise caution when serving hot soup, especially if you have young children at the table. Allow the soup to cool slightly before digging in, and enjoy this comforting Japanese dish with friends and family.

Rated: 4.9 of 5.0 from 627 reviews.

Recipe Tags: Nabekko Dumpling Soup, Nabekko Dumpling Soup Recipe, Recipe, Easy, Homemade, Top rated

What to serve Nabekko Dumpling Soup with

Nabekko Dumpling Soup is a delightful and satisfying dish on its own, but if you'd like to complement it with other dishes to create a more extensive Japanese meal, here are some traditional and popular options:

  1. Rice: Steamed white rice is a classic accompaniment to many Japanese meals, including soup. The plain, fluffy rice pairs well with the flavorful broth of the soup.
  2. Japanese Pickles (Tsukemono): A small serving of Japanese pickles, like pickled cucumber or daikon radish, can add a refreshing and crunchy contrast to the soup's flavors.
  3. Gyoza (Japanese Dumplings): Since you're already making dumplings, serving some pan-fried or steamed gyoza alongside the soup can be a wonderful treat. Gyoza are typically filled with a mixture of ground meat and vegetables.
  4. Seaweed Salad: A simple seaweed salad with a sesame dressing can provide a refreshing side dish that complements the umami-rich flavors of the soup.
  5. Tempura: Tempura is another classic Japanese dish, consisting of battered and deep-fried vegetables or seafood. It adds a crispy and savory element to the meal.
  6. Miso Soup: If you want to expand your soup offerings, a small bowl of miso soup with tofu and seaweed is a common choice in Japanese meals. It contrasts nicely with the clear broth of Nabekko Dumpling Soup.
  7. Edamame: Steamed and lightly salted edamame (young soybeans) make for a healthy and tasty appetizer or side dish.
  8. Japanese Salad: A simple green salad with a sesame or ginger dressing can provide a fresh and light option to balance the meal.
  9. Fruit: A plate of fresh seasonal fruit, such as sliced oranges or melon, can serve as a refreshing dessert to finish off the meal.
  10. Green Tea: Traditional Japanese green tea, like sencha or matcha, is a great beverage choice to accompany your Japanese meal.

Feel free to mix and match these side dishes based on your preferences and the occasion. Japanese cuisine is known for its balance, so having a variety of flavors and textures can make your meal more enjoyable and satisfying.

My recommendations and tips

  1. Read the Recipe Thoroughly: Before you start cooking, read through the entire recipe to familiarize yourself with the steps and ensure you have all the ingredients and equipment needed.
  2. Prepare Ingredients in Advance: Chop, mince, and measure all your ingredients before you begin cooking. This makes the cooking process smoother and more efficient.
  3. Use Fresh Ingredients: Fresh ingredients, especially when it comes to the dumpling filling and vegetables, will result in the best flavor and texture.
  4. Dumpling Folding Technique: When folding the dumplings, ensure they are sealed tightly to prevent the filling from leaking during cooking. There are various folding techniques you can explore online.
  5. Simmer Gently: When simmering the dumplings, do so gently. Rapid boiling can cause them to break apart. Aim for a steady, gentle simmer.
  6. Customize to Taste: Feel free to adjust the seasonings in the broth to suit your taste. If you prefer a slightly sweeter or saltier soup, you can modify the soy sauce, mirin, or sugar quantities.
  7. Variety of Vegetables: Don't hesitate to experiment with different vegetables. While bok choy and mushrooms are traditional, you can add other favorites like spinach, carrots, or corn.
  8. Explore Dipping Sauces: Consider serving dipping sauces like soy sauce with a splash of rice vinegar or ponzu sauce on the side for those who enjoy extra flavor.
  9. Presentation Matters: Presentation can enhance your dining experience. Arrange the dumplings, vegetables, and broth attractively in each bowl.
  10. Enjoy Freshly Made: Nabekko Dumpling Soup is best enjoyed freshly made. The dumplings are at their most tender, and the flavors are most vibrant right after cooking.
  11. Reheating: If you have leftovers, gently reheat the soup on the stove or in the microwave. Be cautious not to overheat, as this can make the dumplings tough.

Potential ingredients substitutes

  • Ground Meat: If you don't have ground pork or chicken, you can substitute with ground turkey, beef, or even tofu for a vegetarian version.
  • Green Onions: Chives or thinly sliced regular onions can work as substitutes for green onions in both the dumpling filling and garnish.
  • Garlic: If you're out of fresh garlic, you can use garlic powder or minced garlic from a jar. However, fresh garlic offers the best flavor.
  • Ginger: Ground ginger or ginger paste can be used as a substitute for fresh grated ginger. Use about 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger per tablespoon of fresh ginger.
  • Sesame Oil: You can substitute with vegetable oil or peanut oil if you don't have sesame oil, but sesame oil adds a unique flavor.
  • Soy Sauce: Tamari or liquid aminos are good substitutes for soy sauce, especially if you need a gluten-free option.
  • Dumpling Wrappers: If you can't find round dumpling wrappers, you can use square ones and trim them into circles. Wonton wrappers are a close alternative.
  • Dashi Stock: If you don't have dashi stock, you can use chicken or vegetable broth as a substitute. It will result in a slightly different flavor profile but will still be delicious.
  • Mirin: A mixture of white wine or sake with a touch of sugar can be a substitute for mirin.
  • Sake: Dry sherry or Chinese rice wine can work as substitutes for sake.
  • Mushrooms: You can use any mushroom variety you have available or omit them if necessary.
  • Bok Choy or Napa Cabbage: Substitute with spinach, kale, or any leafy greens you have on hand.

Final Remark

As you savor each flavorful spoonful of Nabekko Dumpling Soup, you've experienced a taste of Japan's culinary artistry. Share this delightful recipe with loved ones and keep exploring the world through its diverse and delectable flavors. Arigato for joining us on this culinary journey!

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