The weather outside is frightful, but a Japanese hot pot is so delightful! This traditional Japanese dish is a great winter warmer and a fantastic communal dish that everyone will enjoy. It comprises of a communal pot which is kept warm on a mini portable gas stove. The pot contains a range of ingredients, and is usually somewhat like a stew with thin slices of meat that will cook quickly, however, the Japanese hot pot is really whatever you want it to be!
You can use any ingredients you like to make your hot pot, and you can even add noodles or rice. Generally (as with most things Japanese) the base is a good dashi stock.
Even though hot pot can be a creation of your own imagination, if you're new to Japanese flavours, you might want to try some of these Youtube tutorials out first so you get a good idea of how to balance flavours and textures for a good hot pot. Obviously you want plenty of umami!
Here are some of our favourite hot pot tutorials!
Salmon Hot Pot
This hearty nabe recipe can be made with delicious British salmon which is now in peak season. It also contains potatoes, sweetcorn, mushrooms and lots of leafy green vegetables which makes it comforting but also a great way of getting lots of nutrients during the winter months!
Dango-Jiru Soup Recipe
Dango-jiru is a delicious chicken and vegetable Japanese soup that can be served in a communal hot pot style. It's made with delicious doughy dumplings too, which are shaped into long strands, making this a fantastic wintery soup!
Oyster and Pork Kimchi Nabe
If you like your nabe hot and spicy, then perhaps you might like this Korean kimchi nabe. It's made with big chunks of pork and oysters, and has a firey kick from the traditional chilli fermented cabbage kimchi!
Hoto Noodles Recipe
Feeling under the weather? So many of us get run down with flu this time of year, so it's important to feed our bodies with plenty of nutrient-rich food. All the vitamins will help your body fight of infections better! This hoto noodle soup is an extremely healthy hot pot recipe which will leave you feeling fighting fit.
Mizore Nabe is a seafood nabe with oysters and salmon, they're cooked lightly in broth, so retain a lot of their healthy oils and vitamins! This nabe is rich with mixed vegetables too, and contains tofu, so there are lots of healthy proteins in this delicious dish.
Oden is perhaps one of the Japanese nabe you have heard of often in the UK. It's a popular hot pot made with quite a few delicious ingredients! Oden is made with Japanese fish cakes, tofu, boiled eggs, cabbage rolls and much more! The ingredients can be quite stodgy, but this is a filling and very satisfying dish!
Buri Shabu-Shabu is a hot pot made with Yellowtail, which is a very popular fish in Japan. The base of this dish is made with a dashi that has a lot of lemon juice in it, which imparts a unique flavour.
Chanko Nabe / Sumo Stew!
This simple nabe will be pleasing to most - there aren't any extremes of Japanese flavours, so if you're introducing someone to Japanese food for the first time, they're sure to love this.
Thousand Leaves Hot Pot
If you're looking for a true show stopper for your dinner this beautiful hot pot would be perfect for impressing guests.
Which is your favourite hot pot? Let us know in the comments below.