The native guide; All about unique Japan, pub-5441866818918003, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 Japanese Cooking Hack: What’s Otoshibuta Drop Lid Used For And Why | Japanmcconnell

Japanese Cooking Hack: What’s Otoshibuta Drop Lid Used For And Why

What's Otoshibuta Drop Lid Used For And Why Food & Recipes

Otoshibuta, aka Japanese drop lid, is already a popular cooking term among cooking enthusiasts.

It’s the cooking item to cook food effectively.

What’s Otoshibuta Drop Lid In Cooking

Otoshi buta is called a drop lid in English that is used by placing it directly on the ingredients while simmering.

Unlike regular lids, it is one size smaller than the diameter of the pot.

Types of drop lid materials include wood, stainless steel, and silicone rubber.

Is An Otoshibuta Drop Lid Necessary?

Indeed, Otoshibuta lid is an essential cooking item in Japanese cuisine, but you can use it for stewed dishes when you don’t want to make the food dry.

It Can Prevent The Ingredients From Breaking Apart

The otoshi buta prevents the simmered food from breaking apart since it let the ingredients hold down gently and prevents the ingredients move around, bumping each other.

It Can Season The Ingredients Evenly

When placing the Otoshibuta directly on the ingredients, the broth is effectively circulated in a pot/pan, which can cook (season) them evenly and quickly without turning over and over.

In addition, it can keep the temperature in the entire pot, which also has the effect of cooking the ingredients evenly.

It Can Prevent The broth From Evaporating.

The longer you cook your dish, the more broth will evaporate and the thicker, which means the flavors become more concentrated, or the dish will be burnt in the worst scenario.

By using a drop lid to prevent the broth from evaporating, you can reduce the risk of burning the ingredients.

Besides, not only it can prevent the broth from evaporating, but also it can keep the ingredients away from drying.

It Can Make The Dish Delicious

Since the otoshi buta has holes, the odor (the habits of food, the unpleasant taste of food such as fishy flavor to gamey flavor) will not be trapped in it, and it also has the role to make delicious dishes.

How To Use Otoshibuta Drop Lid

Which Material To Choose For Otoshibuta Drop Lid


If you want to focus on preventing the ingredients from breaking apart, the best drop lid is made of silicone, which has a soft touch to the ingredients.

In addition, because it has excellent heat/cold resistance, you can use it as a food cover in a microwave oven or as a plastic wrap to store food in a refrigerator.

You may curious why it looks like a pig. It is the pig.

A drop lid is called “Otoshibuta” in Japanese, and “buta” (actually “futa”) literally means “a lid”. But, ‘buta” has another meaning which is “a pig”.

It’s a popular drop lid in Japan, and you can use it as a plastic wrap it will be handy when you use it to open a stubborn jar lid.

It gets really hot when taking it out, you can stick a fork or chopstick in his nose holes to pick up.

The only thing you need to consider about whether to purchase this, it is only 8.5 inches, so you can’t use it for a large pot.

Stainless steel

If you don’t want constant maintenance, use drop lids made of stainless steel, which is resistant to odors and stains.

It is durable, odor and stains-resistant.

It gets very hot during use, so be sure to use something to remove it.

It is the typical drop lid type in Japan, you can adjust its size any between 5.5 inches-9 inches.

The lid can be used as a steamer while placing it on a small plate or a bowl in a pot.


A wooden drop lid is perfect for making full-scale simmered dishes.

You often see professional Japanese chefs use wooden otoshi buta?

Since wood has a moderate thermal conductivity, the temperature inside the pot is kept constant, (it does not get hot and cold quickly) and the dish can be cooked evenly to enhance flavors.

Also, it can prevent the ingredients from breaking up in the pot with a moderate weight. (not too heavy and not too light.)

If you are a cooking enthusiast or a Japanophile, it will be the must item to hold in your kitchen.

However, it requires care after use immediately like other wooden tools, wash, rinse and dry well.


Why is a wooden otoshi buta good?
  • When simmering dishes, the broth will transfer into the wooden inner lid, so even after turning off the heat, the broth from the lid can season the dish.
  • Since it is made of wood, the handle does not get hot.
  • It can remove the scum at the same time when taken out of the pot.

When used for the first time, it may smell specific natural wood.

If you are concerned about the odor, boil it once before use.

As a Japanese traditional tip, use the water after rinsing rice to boil it.

Hinoki is a sacred tree in Japan and has many benefits with its aroma and properties.

Check out how to take care of Hinoki wooden kitchen tools deeper to keep the wooden drop lid longer.

The Best Size For Otoshibuta Drop Lid

Ideally, choose a 0.8-1.2 inches smaller drop lid than the pot.

It is a good idea to have an adjustable drop lid that I introduced above.

It is also attractive that it can be stored in a small space.

When Should You Place The Lid?

Bring the broth to a boil.

Place Otoshibuta drop lid on the dish after skimming the scum off.

How Much Heat To Keep After Placing The Drop Lid

Basically, simmer the ingredients over medium-low or low heat.

The broth shouldn’t be calm.

Keep the heat you can see constantly bubbling with steam.

Do You Need To Use A Regular Lid Over The Drop Lid?

Roughly speaking, you don’t need the lid after using the drop lid.


  • A dish that you want to save the broth
  • When you want to cook the dish quickly
  • When you want to slow-cook the dish

Basically, the lid over the drop lid can trap steam and heat so it can also cook the dish effectively and enhance the flavor.

Contrary, it can keep an odor such as a fishy taste, you shouldn’t use a regular lid when you cook seafood or game meat.

What Can You Use Instead Of A Drop Lid?

If you don’t have Otobshibuta, you can make it with a sheet of aluminum foil, parchment paper, and a kitchen paper towel.

Personally, I prefer to use kitchen paper towels and I believe it is the easiest to make Otoshibuta.

Recipes To Use Papermade Otoshibuta

Copied title and URL