Jun 27, 2016

In Japan, we love hormone. But just what is it? (Motsu Nabe)

I ate motsu nabe (もつ鍋) for dinner tonight. There isn’t really much of a custom to eat ホルモン overseas, as I understand it. It’s pretty common in Asia though.  Hormone (short term for internal organs) is very popular in Japan. Why? Because it’s cheap and delicious.

I’ve heard that the term hormone derives from the Kansai region of Japan, at a time when these internal organs typically weren’t eaten. Instead they would be thrown away - 放る物 / hōru mono (lit, throw away things/stuff). I can’t confirm this to be true, though.  

Anyway, tonight’s dinner was motsu nabe, with the main ingredient being hormone.  

From the picture you’ll see it looks kind of grotesque. Almost a bit phallic (in a weird way). Actually, inside it’s quite fatty, and has a sweet taste, once you get chewing.  

The picture above is of small intestine, the outer ‘skin’ of which is very rubbery, and difficult to bite through. Breaking down the main ingredients of this nabe; small intestine, stomach, heart, cabbage, leek, burdock, and garlic.  

The soup is a salt base, so not so heavy. There were also a some pieces of yakitori (grilled chicken) in there. Overall, this dish left me feeling pretty oily/greasy!  I think my body has increased its store of fat after this! Still, it tasted pretty good.

A serving for one cost around 1190 yen (~$12). We ordered two servings, and filled it out with some veggies. It ended up being enough to fill four of us. And we were pretty full! We also probably over ordered on the ‘internal organs’, which is perhaps the reason for a bit of a smell of something you would do in a toilet! Let’s not say anymore about that though!

I’m wondering if in America or Europe there is actually any culture of eating this kind of food.



English learner, wants to communicate with people from around the world!! ;)