Most nabemono are stews and soups served during the colder seasons. In modern Japan, nabemono are kept hot at the dining table by portable stoves. The dish is frequently cooked at the table, and the diners can pick the cooked ingredients they want from the pot. It is either eaten with the broth or with a dip. Further ingredients can also be successively added to the pot.
There are two types of nabemono in Japan: lightly flavored stock (mostly with kombu) types such as yudōfu (湯豆腐) and mizutaki (水炊き), eaten with a dipping sauce (tare) to enjoy the taste of the ingredients themselves; and strongly flavored stock (typically with miso, soy sauce, dashi, and/or sweet soy types such as yosenabe (寄鍋), oden (おでん), and sukiyaki (すき焼き), eaten without further flavoring.
The pots are traditionally made of clay (土鍋, donabe) or thick cast iron (鉄鍋, tetsunabe). Clay pots can keep warm for a while after being taken off the fire, while cast iron pots evenly distribute heat and are preferable for sukiyaki. Pots are usually placed in the center of dining tables and are shared by multiple people. This is considered the most sociable way to eat with friends and family.
Benkei no na jiru: (na means green vegetables, and jiru means soup). The ingredients: duck, wild boar, chicken, beef, pork, daikon radish, carrot, mizuna (a kind of Chinese cabbage), hiru (a kind of shallot), and dumplings made from buckwheat and rice.
Nabemono are usually eaten with a sauce sometimes called tare, literally "dipping". Several kinds of sauce can be used with additional spices, called yakumi. Typical yakumi include grated garlic, butter, red pepper, a mixture of red pepper and other spices, roasted sesame, or momiji oroshi (a mixture of grated daikon radish and red pepper).
Ponzu: The common ponzu is made of soy sauce and juice pressed from a bitter orange, sweet sake, and kombu (kelp) stock.