in the kitchen: winter hot pot + sukiyaki

the kaiseki dinner presentation when we stayed at a ryokan in Japan last year

i consider November through March to be prime cozy eating season.

one of my favorite go-to easy winter meals is hot pot (aka shabu-shabu or steamboat). essential ingredients: the freshest medley of favorite veggies, seafood, and protein (if you want to indulge, get some quality thin cuts of lamb or wagyu beef), cooking broth, add some mushrooms and vermicelli noodles, and just cook everything tableside. savor with some favorite dipping sauces (i'm partial to Sriracha and Chinese bbq sauce), and it's magic on a frigid winter's night.

on a particularly dreary evening last week, i decided to finally buy a proper electric skillet for hot pot/sukiyaki. easily the most excitement-inducing thing i've bought recently. inspired by our trip to Japan last year, i also got a copy of Tadashi Ono's Japanese Hot Pot cookbook. can't wait to dive in and test out some of the recipes!

one of my favorite meals during our Japan trip: 
the amazingly good local Tajima beef during the hot pot portion of the kaiseki

what have you been cooking lately? do you have any favorite winter recipes?


  1. Oh yummy - one of our favourites dishes in our house! We love it with rice ho fun noodles too (more substantial). We have one of those electric all in one hots (just plug it in, pour in the stock and go) that's divided in the centre so you can keep one side for veggies and the other for proteins.

    1. the electric skillet/hotpot might be one of the most useful appliances in my kitchen now :)

  2. That all looks amazing! I get lazy with Asian cuisine because I live a few blocks from my city's Chinatown so I just walk over and don't have to worry about doing the dishes! Pot pies are one of my favorite wintry meals, I really like these white bean and chard pot pies from Smitten Kitchen, and my grocery store sells a lot of the ingredients already prepped and chopped so it's quite quick and easy. I love the classic chicken pot pies but they're a bit more time-consuming.

    1. koko - lucky you! i love pot pies too - though they always seemed complicated to me, maybe this winter i'll give it a try...


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