From the sumo-approved stews of Japan to fiery Sichuan broths in China, stay on the boil this winter with Asia’s best hot pots.
When the snow starts to fall in Japan, locals look to the sumo wrestlers’ diet for rib-sticking inspiration. Chanko nabe is a hearty Japanese hot pot brimming with winter vegetables and protein. The recipe for chanko nabe is quite flexible, with beef, salmon, pork or chicken meatballs all worthy additions to the pot. And don’t worry about suddenly expanding to sumo size! This vitamin-packed hot pot will only make you pack on the kilos if you eat it in vast quantities. Another must-try winter dish in Japan is shabu shabu, various cuts of meat and vegetables cooked in a communal pot of broth. For an easy version at home, try this recipe for shabu beef udon noodle soup.
Take a leaf out of the Chinese book by gathering around a steaming hot pot this winter. If you can’t make it to one of these top Sichuan hot pot restaurants around Australia, create a cheat’s version at home by making this simmered beef hot chilli soup recipe, loaded with Sichuan peppercorns. Another cosy Chinese option is this spicy tofu hot pot, flavoured with garlic, leeks and four types of chilli!
Winter in Korea means it’s time to get jjigae with it – no, where not talking about some new Gangnam-style dance craze, but rather Korea’s traditional hot pots, called jjigae. Try this authentic recipe for soft tofu hot pot with seafood and pork, or embrace the earthy flavours of this rustic hot pot with soybean paste. For a quirky fusion version, try Korean army stew, loaded with American ingredients such as instant noodles and spam.
Hot pots are decidedly more delicate in Thailand, where the temperature never gets too chilly. But we still love warming up with a hot pot of tom yum seafood, especially one that embraces the ancient art of claypot cooking.
Find your nearest Asian Store