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Mille-Feuille Nabe (Japanese Hot Pot)

by Yejiskitchenstories

Mille-Feuille Nabe is a Japanese hot pot dish made with layers of cabbage, thinly sliced beef, and greens in a savory broth. It’s delicious, cozy and so comforting— plus it’s so pretty, making it perfect for entertaining guests!

Mille-Feuille means “a thousand layers” (like the French puff pastry dessert — Napoleon) and is made with many layers of cabbage, perilla leaves, and thinly sliced beef. This hot pot dish originated in Japan, but it’s also very popular in Korean cuisine.

I grew up eating this as a child, it was especially perfect for those cold, chilly days! It’s so simple, nourishing, and warming— like a hug for your stomach 🙂

What you’ll need for Mille-Feuille Nabe:

  • Napa cabbage: Any variety of white cabbage works for this recipe, in my opinion! Its crunchy leaves keep their bite after cooking in the broth and give the broth an excellent depth of flavor.
  • Thinly sliced brisket (Chadol Baegi): Thinly sliced beef or pork belly is most commonly used for this hot pot dish, but the choice is yours when it comes to protein. The options are limitless! You can even sub out meat for tofu, seitan, or extra mushrooms!
  • Dried shiitake mushrooms: This gives the broth a deep umami flavor, you can even use a mix of dried mushrooms such as porcini, chanterelles, woodear, etc.
  • Dried dashi/kombu: Also known as, dried kelp, it is often used in Korean cooking when making soups, stocks, broths, and stews. Dried kelp adds an umami-rich flavor to any soup/broth when cooked with other aromatics.
  • Perilla leaves: these are in the same family as mint but have more of a bite to them (in my opinion). I love using perilla leaves when making lettuce wraps for Korean BBQ, it’s so fresh and tasty.
  • Soy sauce: this is used for seasoning the broth, but you can use salt if you’d like. *Pro tip: I also used some soy sauce to make a dipping sauce, combined with some sesame oil and rice wine vinegar.
  • Beech mushrooms (optional): this will be added in the center of the hot pot to eat as an extra topping.
  • Bean sprouts (optional): bean sprouts are added to the bottom of the hot pot. This is optional but it tastes really delicious when cooked together in this dish.
  • Water

How to make this Japanese Hot Pot:

Once you gather the ingredients, this dish is pretty easy to make!

  1. To make the broth, boil together the dried kombu, dried mushrooms, and water.
  2. Makes stacks of cabbage, perilla leaves, and thinly sliced brisket.
  3. Cut the cabbage/meat layers into smaller stacks.
  4. Place some bean sprouts into a small pot and place the cut stack of cabbage layers on top.
  5. Pour the broth over the layers of cabbage and meat and cook until it’s done.
  6. Enjoy by dipping the layers in a dipping sauce of your choice!

Watch how to make this dish

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Mille-Feuille Nabe (Japanese Hot Pot)

Serves: 2-3 servings Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )


  • ½ lb napa cabbage, rinsed
  • 1½ cups bean sprouts, rinsed
  • 1 lb brisket (chadol baeji) , thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup beech mushrooms
  • 15-20 leaves of perilla

For the broth: 

  • 3 whole dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 2 pieces dried kombu (approx. 3"x2" pieces)
  • 3 cups water
  • 1-2 tablespoons soy sauce, or to taste

Dipping sauce: 

  • 1-2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • ½ tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • ½ teaspoon gochugaru (Korean chili pepper powder), optional if you like spicy flavors


  1. To make the broth, boil together the dried kombu, dried mushrooms, and water. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Remove the shiitake mushrooms and slice them to add to the hot pot later. Discard the dried kombu. 
  2. On a cutting board or flat surface, layer the cabbage, perilla leaves, and thinly sliced beef, starting and finishing with the cabbage. Repeat this step with the remainder of the ingredients. 
  3. Slice the cabbage stacks into 3 or 4 smaller stacks. (Depending on the depth of your pot, you may want to adjust it to fit your pot.)
  4. In a smaller pot or dutch oven, layer some bean sprouts on the bottom of your pot. You can also add some mushrooms, and cabbage pieces at this time. 
  5. Place the cut stacks of cabbage on top of the bean sprouts with the cut side facing up. Work from the edge of the pot to the center to arrange the cabbage stacks. Leave some space in the center for the beech mushrooms. 
  6. Pour the broth over the layers of cabbage and meat, and simmer on medium heat until the ingredients are fully cooked.
  7. Serve immediately and enjoy by dipping each layer in a dipping sauce of your choice!


*To save time, you can make your broth ahead of time and store it in the fridge. This broth is also great to use as a base for soups or congee, plus it freezes really well!

**You can swap out or add more vegetables of your choice. That's the beauty of hot pot, any ingredient works for this dish 🙂 

**Some vegetarian alternatives: tofu, mushrooms, tofu skin, potatoes, squash, and pumpkin. 

Did you try this recipe?
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