When I went looking for 660 Curries at the library, I stumbled on Japanese Hot Pots: Comforting One-Pot Meals. It’s a beautiful book with gorgeous photos and clear recipes, that makes you eager to try them. On the book’s website, the authors, Tadashi Ono & Harris Salat, show how quickly it can go. They emphasize four basic steps: Prep. Broth. Build. Cook. More than once they make my favorite, Chicken Mizutaki. (That’s my latest effort in the photo.)
I love, love, love these hot pots. So far, I’ve made about a half dozen recipes and all but one were delicious. (the outlier was merely okay.) Many of them are variations on the same basic method, which reminds me of Bittman’s three dish theory. Generally, I can actually put together the pot in half an hour, and it’s done by the time I finish washing up.
If you’re not in such a hurry, you can enjoy the hot pot at leisure, simmering your favorite bits in a bubbling broth. They make all sorts of suggestions for different kinds of noodles and rice you can cook separately, cook in the broth, or just pile in a bowl and ladle soup over them. And all those noodles and hot broths are just the thing for fighting off this ridiculous winter.