Mille-Feuille Nabe

by MJ

Mille-Feuille Nabe is the perfect hot pot to make for date night or entertaining as it has great presentation, delicious and can be assembled ahead!

Mille-Feuille means “a thousand layers” and refers to the classic French dessert (aka Napoleon) made with layers of puff pastry and cream.  Nabe refers to a Japanese hot pot dish.  Mille-Feuille Nabe originated from Japan and refers to hot pot made with a thousand layers of cabbage leaves.  

This dish became popular in Korea and made with Korean broth ingredients such as dried anchovies, kelp, dried mushrooms, radish, green onion, onion and garlic.  Feel free to use your favorite broth or adjust broth ingredients to your preference.

This dish is also great to make ahead by making the broth and pre assembling the cabbage layers in the pot to place in the fridge. When ready to serve, boil the broth and finish cooking or cook at the table if you have a portable burner!

While I enjoy making shabu shabu, I prefer this version as it requires less ingredients and can be prepped ahead to save time. 

For the layers you’ll need:

  • Napa cabbage leaves 
  • Perilla leaves or any other greens such as kale or swiss chard. Or omit if you prefer cabbage and meat layer only.
  • Thinly sliced beef or pork belly

 (I added Perilla Leaf Kimchi for this Korean version)

Some Tips: 

  • If you can’t find thinly sliced meat (shabu shabu or bulgogi cut) place the meat in the freezer for about an hour and slice thinly as possible with a knife.
  • When assembling the layers in the pot, pack them tightly as the cabbage will shrink during cooking. 
  • Don’t worry if the layers become loose while arranging in the pot, as it’s easier to adjust after all the layers are in place. 
  • Adding the mushrooms in the center is great for filling in empty space. 
  • If the layers are loose and you’re out of ingredients: transfer to a smaller pot or add more mushrooms or other vegetables in the center. 
  • Serve the dipping sauce in individual bowls so each person can dip their own and add optional spices or ingredients to their preference.
  • Once you’re finished with the hot pot,  pour in the remaining broth and cook your favorite noodles with any leftover vegetables or meat to enjoy a second course.
  • Or save the leftover broth to use for recipes during the week. 

Mille-Feuille Nabe ( A Thousand Layers Hot Pot)

Serves: 2
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat
Rating: 4.1/5
( 7 voted )


  • 15-18 napa cabbage leaves (depending on pot size) 
  • 1/2 lb thinly sliced beef or pork belly 
  • 20-24 perilla leaves or other greens such as kale, swiss chard, spinach, etc.
  • Napa cabbage, bok choy or bean sprouts (for the bottom layer of the pot) 
  • 1/2 pack enoki, seafood or oyster mushrooms


  • 6 cups water 
  • 1  piece dried kelp (around 4x2 inches) 
  • 2 dried shiitake mushrooms 
  • 6-7 dried anchovies, head and insides removed 
  • 1 inch thick slice of Korean radish ( or daikon) 
  • 1/4 onion 
  • 1 green onion (white part) 
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, smashed 
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce 
  • Salt and pepper to taste 

Dipping Sauce 

  • 3 Tablespoons soy sauce 
  • 2 Tablespoons rice vinegar 
  • 1 teaspoon honey or sugar
  • Optional green onions or minced garlic 
  • Optional citrus: lemon zest 
  • Optional spice: gochugaru or chopped chili pepper



Optional step: In a pot, soak the kelp and dried mushrooms in water for 20-30 minutes before adding in the remaining ingredients. (prep and chop ingredients while it’s soaking)

Otherwise, add the water, kelp, mushrooms, anchovies, radish, onion, green onion and garlic into a pot and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the kelp and continue to simmer for about 15 minutes. Discard all the ingredients, then add soy sauce, salt and pepper to taste. 

While the broth is boiling, make the dipping sauce and the cabbage layers.

DIPPING SAUCE:  Combine ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.


Lay 1 napa cabbage on a work surface. Place 2 perilla leaves (or any other greens) on top of the cabbage, then top with 1-2 slices of meat.  Repeat the layer with cabbage, perilla leaves, meat and cabbage on top.  (start and finish with napa cabbage).

( You can also choose to make 1 layer only as it may be easier to eat) 

Repeat the process with the remaining cabbage, perilla leaves and meat (set aside any leftover ingredients to add with optional  noodles later on).    

Before cutting all the cabbage layers, lay some napa cabbage, bok choy, bean sprouts or any other vegetables in the bottom of the pot. Then cut one cabbage layer into 3-4 pieces.

The amount of vegetables added to bottom of the pot and cabbage pieces will depend the height of your pot.

Test one layer stack to see how it fits and if you can close the lid.  Then adjust the amount of vegetables or cut the remaining cabbage layers into pieces to fit the pot.

Arrange the remaining layers, cut side up,  in the pot. Work from the outer edge to the center, arranging the white parts of the cabbage for the outer layer and the soft leaves for the middle.   Leave some space in the middle of the pot to add the mushrooms.


Pour in enough broth to cover the cabbage layers. (Reserve the remaining broth to boil the noodles or to use for recipes during the week).

Cover with a lid and bring to boil.  Reduce heat to medium and simmer until the beef is cooked and the cabbage is tender, about 10 minutes.

To serve: grab a layer, dip in the sauce and enjoy!

Optional: Pour in some of the reserved broth and bring to a boil.  Cook your favorite noodles with any leftover meat or vegetables to enjoy a second course!

Did You Make This Recipe?
Would love to see your dish! Tag me on Instagram at @lovekoreanfood_.

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