I’ve made hot pots before using a chicken broth base but I recently purchased Japanese Hot Pots: Comforting One-Pot Meals because I wanted to try different soup bases as well as other ingredients. My typical hot pots usually consist of a combonation of sliced beef, sliced pork, various fish cakes, rice noodles, bok choy and maybe some seafood. I also wanted to get a Japanese donabe, which I did but didn’t get a chance to season it before we made this salmon recipe. Instead I prepared it in a 5-quart cast iron Dutch oven, which works fine. I prepared it using the recipe for dashijiru stock using kombu (kelp) and Katsuobushi (dried Bonito flakes) mixed with miso and mirin. Although you can’t see it in the picture, there are also bok choy, sliced potatoes, firm tofu, shiitake mushrooms and enoki mushrooms beneath all that salmon. So yummy and we loved the soup. This was enough to feed 4 very hungry people so I’m going to halve the ingredients in the future if it’s just the two of us. It took about 30 minutes to prepare the hot pot, not including the time it took to make the dashi. That took about another 20-30 minutes, I think. Pretty easy though. The kombu dashi stock recipe makes 8 cups, which would be enough for 2 salmon hot pot meals. I’ve got the remainder in the fridge for the halibut hot pot recipe that the Mister picked out.
I think other than the various recipes, what I love about the cookbook is that it walks me through all the various ingredients the recipes use, including pictures. I’m not very familiar with a lot of the Japapnese vegetables so the pictures were a great resource, especially after coming home from the grocery store and trying to remember what each greens were. If you’re interested in Japanese hot pots or what else is in the cookbook , there are a whole lot of information on the cookbook’s website (yes, it has it’s own website). There are videos on the Amazon website as well. It’s okay if you don’t have a donabe or a Dutch oven. A regular heavy pot will work too although I think it’s kind of cool eating out of a donabe. There are also a lot of information out on the web too. Like Kirk’s (mmm-yoso!!) dashi recipe he used for Oden (here) and dahijiru recipe (here). I’ll have to steep my kombu like Kirk does next time since the cookbook only calls for steeping of 30 minutes. Kirk was also kind enough to answer my questions when I was searching for donabes.
On a side note and not necessarily related to hot pots, when I purchased the donabe, I also bought this cute dragonfly cast iron tea pot I’ve been wanting for a while now. Thiskettle works great with all sorts of teas and I love a cup of green tea with my hot pot. Now all I need is some cast iron tea cups, hehe.