Japanese Hot Pots: Comforting One-Pot Meals

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  • Edition: Original
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2009-09-22
  • Publisher: Random House Inc
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Wholesome, delicious Japanese comfort food, hot pot cooking satisfies the universal desire for steaming, gratifying and hearty meals the whole family can enjoy. InJapanese Hot Pots, chef Tadashi Ono and food journalist Harris Salat demystify this communal eating tradition for American home cooks with belly-warming dishes from all corners of Japan. Using savory broths and healthy, easy-to-find ingredients such as seafood, poultry, greens, roots, mushrooms, and noodles, these classic one-pot dishes require minimal fuss and preparation, and no special equipment-they're simple, fast recipes to whip up either on the stove or on a tableside portable burner, like they do in Japan.

Author Biography

TADASHI ONO is the executive chef of Matsuri in New York City. He has been featured in the New York Times, Gourmet, Food & Wine, and other prestigious publications.

writes about food and culture for the New York Times, Gourmet, Saveur, and other publications. He is the coauthor of Takashi’s Noodles. He lives in New York City.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. vii
Introductionp. 1
The Basicsp. 5
Basic Recipesp. 29
Daship. 30
Japanese Chicken Stockp. 32
Napa Cabbage-Spinach Rollsp. 33
Ponzup. 34
Momiji Oroship. 35
Japanese Rice for Shimep. 36
Vegetables and Tofup. 37
Mushroom Hot Potp. 39
"Needle" Hot Potp. 40
Kyoto Vegetable Hot Potp. 42
Tofu Hot Potp. 45
Kabocha Pumpkin Hot Potp. 47
Rustic Soba Noodle Hot Potp. 48
Hand-Pulled Noodle Hot Potp. 51
Fish and other Seafoodp. 53
Salmon Hot Potp. 55
Monkfish Hot Potp. 56
Halibut Hot Potp. 59
Sea Bass Shabu-Shabup. 62
Whole Fish Hot Potp. 64
Yellowtail and Daikon Hot Potp. 66
Black Cod and Soy Milk Hot Potp. 67
Kyoto Mackerel-Miso Hot Potp. 69
Old Tokyo Tuna-Belly Hot Potp. 71
Sardine Dumplings Hot Potp. 72
Hiroshima Oyster Hot Potp. 75
"Sleet" Hot Potp. 77
"Snow" Hot Potp. 78
"Strawberry" Hot Potp. 81
Squid Hot Potp. 82
Fukagawa Clam Hot Potp. 83
Crab Hot Potp. 85
Pirate Hot Potp. 86
Bay Scallops and Sea Urchin Hot Potp. 87
"Anything Goes" Hot Potp. 89
Odenp. 91
Chicken and Duckp. 93
Hakata Chicken Hot Potp. 95
Nagoya Chicken Sukiyakip. 96
Old Tokyo Chicken Hot Potp. 98
Akita Hunter Hot Potp. 101
Chicken and Milk Hot Potp. 103
Sumo Wrestler Hot Potp. 105
Chicken Curry Hot Potp. 107
Duck and Duck Dumpling Hot Potp. 108
Duck Gyoza Hot Potp. 111
Beef, Pork, Lamb, and Venisonp. 113
Beef Sukiyakip. 114
Beef Shabu-Shabup. 117
Shabu-Sukip. 120
Yokohama Beef Hot Potp. 123
Beef and Taro Root Hot Potp. 124
Pork Shabu-Shabup. 126
Pork Miso Hot Potp. 127
Pork and Greens Hot Potp. 128
Hakata Pork Intestines Hot Potp. 130
Pork Kimchi Hot Potp. 131
Sake Brewer Hot Potp. 133
Lamb Shabu-Shabup. 134
Venison Hot Potp. 136
Resourcesp. 139
Indexp. 143
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.


Hot pots,what the Japanese callnabe(nah-beh), are a fundamental style of Japanese home cooking, which means, by definition, they’re simple, fast, and easy to prepare. Many of us, though, have almost no point of reference for Japanese food beyond the local sushi bar, so cooking this cuisine can sometimes seem exotic and intimidating. But here’s a secret: with a little know-how, Japanese food is a cinch to make, especially these comforting dishes. In the pages that follow, we’ll walk you though everything you need to know, from understanding essential ingredients and seasonings to choosing the right cookware to learning basic techniques. So very soon, whipping up a gorgeous hot pot will become as second nature as roasting a chicken.

What is a Japanese Hot Pot?

Japanese hot pots are a delicious medley of foods poached in broth inside a single cooking vessel, a tempting combination of vegetables, tofu, noodles, seafood, poultry, or meat. They’re usually enjoyed in the colder months, but many of these dishes are also eaten year round. They evolved in Japan as wholesome, economical, and complete one-pot meals, especially with rice or noodles added at the finish as is customary. Compared to Western foods, they’re heartier than soup but not as dense as stew.

Think of hot pots as a mingling of tasty layers: broth, foundation ingredients (basic foods found in every dish), main ingredients, natural flavorings like soy sauce and miso, and accents and garnishes like wasabi. Each of these enhances the others and together they create the dish. And because the ingredients and flavorings cook in broth, they impart their essence to the liquid as well as to the other foods in the pot. So everything is nuancing everything else all the time--which is why these dishes produce such delightfully vibrant tastes even though they’re so easy to make.

Let’s take a peek at each of the layers to understand them better.

Broth (and Dashi)
Japanese hot pots come in three basic styles, based on the broth--water and kombu, flavored stock, or a thick broth. In the first, water simmers with kombu, a remarkable kelp (see “The Power of Kombu,” page 6). Foods poached in this liquid are then dipped into a sauce to add taste. In the second, stock is combined with flavorings like soy sauce or miso (a fermented paste) to create a complex broth that infuses the foods simmering in it. No need to dip. Finally, there’s a thick broth closer to a sauce than a stock, substantial enough to stand up to boldly flavored foods like beef, venison, or oysters.

Japanese-style chicken stock (page 32), mushroom stock, or even sake can form the basis of a hot pot broth, but dashi is the most common. For good reason. The Japanese word for “stock,”dashiis both a generic term and one synonymous with the classic stock made from kombu and dried, shaved bonito (a variety of tuna). This is the dashi we refer to throughout the book.

Kombu and bonito are both naturally preserved ingredients, and both remarkable. Giant kelp that can grow several yards long, kombu is dried into ribbons the thickness of cardboard. Bonito undergoes a more extensive transformation, the fish first filleted and boiled, then smoked, covered in mold, and sun-dried to the hardness of oak, a technique dating from the 1600s. All this culinary alchemy concentrates the ample umami naturally found in both ingredients (see “The Umm in Umami,” opposite page). And when they combine in dashi--incredibly--their flavor compounds synergize and pack an even greater palate-pleasing wallop.

Making dashi is straightforward: You soak and heat the kombu in water to extract its essence, remove it, then steep the bonito flakes in the liquid, like tea (see Dashi, page 30). Compared to a traditional Western stock, where bones, roots, and herbs are slow-simmered to tease

Excerpted from Japanese Hot Pots by Tadashi Ono, Harris Salat
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