I bought my nabe pot at the local recycle shop for 300 yen. Since I am lazy and wasn't exactly sure which vegetables I should buy for my first endeavor, I bought a pre-made nabe set (鍋セット) and some pre-made soup mix from a popular restaurant chain Aka-kara (赤から) that is a nice blend of spicy and sweet. Add some tofu and some thinly sliced pork and I was ready to go. Nabe is usually done table-side but I don't have a fancy set-up in my apartment so I put it on the stove with the burner on low, threw everything in together, and waited until it was good and cooked. It was so so delicious! And I cooked some rice to soak up the remaining broth. Yummy!
My second go at nabe was some chanko nabe, made from another pre-made set from the grocery store. It was only okay, but I'm not entirely sure I made it correctly either. The base is usually made from miso but I used chicken consomme instead and dipped the veggies in the sauce that came with the package. It was a little too salty for my taste and I had this niggling feeling that maybe I was supposed to cook with the sauce, not just use it as a dip, but since I can't really read the instructions, I just guessed.
My third go was the piece de resistance. I went all out and made sukiyaki nabe (すき焼き鍋). I bought some thinly sliced premium beef (from right here on the Atsumi peninsula) the same nabe set as before, pasteurized eggs, and tofu. None of this was cheap, but I hoped it would be well worth it. I made the broth myself from sake, soy sauce, sugar, and water. The first night I was a little heavy handed on the soy sauce and it was a little to salty tasting but the second night (because there are always tons of leftover veggies) I got it just right. Once everything was cooked, I cracked an egg in my bowl and then dipped the veggies and meat in the raw egg. It tasted awesome. I seriously think that sukiyaki nabe might be my favorite Japanese dish of all time.
And after. It tasted great.