The Kiritanpo Nabe I had in Akita
Kiritanpo is a cylinder-shaped rice cake. It's a speciality food of Akita region, Japan.
Kiritanpo nabe is hot pot with Kiritanpo. In Akita, this nabe is usually made with a chicken-based broth. The chicken used is usually Hinai jidori (比内地鶏), a specialty of Akita - especially flavourful and low in fat. Besides chicken meat, lots of vegetables like cabbage, leek and mushrooms, as well as konnyaku, are also typically added to the hotpot.
I made this nabe for dinner tonight.. but I kind of "cheated" because I used some vacuum-packed Kiritanpo and Hinai Jidori stock concentrate to make the nabe. I had bought a couple of packets of these "instant Kiritanpo nabe" back from Akita. All I had to do was to add some chicken meat and vegetables.
If you are interested to make this nabe at home, this website give a pretty good guide on how to make it. You'd have to make your own Kiritanpo though, by mashing up cooked rice and then wrapping the rice around wooden sticks before toasting.
An easier way would be to make Damako Nabe (Rice Ball Hotpot) instead. The rice balls can be made rather easily. The recipe on this website looks easy enough.
"Instant" Kiritanpo Nabe
Home-made Kritanpo Nabe with extra vegetables and mushrooms
My favourite part of the nabe - the Kiritanpo, of course.. and the leeks. Yummy!