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Chicken Soba Hot Pot

Chicken Soba Hot Pot

This Japanese hot pot dish, prepared with ingredients like chicken, mushroom, abura age, and soba, symbolizes long life and health in the new year. The recipe features a combination of traditional Japanese flavors with warming and comforting elements, perfect for celebrating New Year's Eve or any time in the cold season.

Friends cooked this dish on New Year's Eve from a recipe dug up in a Japanese newspaper. Soba is the traditional meal on the last day of the year, the noodles symbolizing long life and health for the upcoming annum. I particularly liked this dish (it's a hot pot, of course I liked it!), a tasty combination of chicken, mushroom, abura age and soba. The dried soba you drop into the pot raw, so it cooks in the broth and thickens it. Nice touch, and easy. And to top it off, you accent this dish with one of my favorite Japanese ingredients, citrusy, fiery yuzu kosho, dissolving it right into the broth. God, this was good. What a way to ring in the New Year.

A couple of days ago, as I was shivering my butt off in the current deep freeze enveloping New York City (anyone want to invite me to their home in the Bahamas for... forever?), my thoughts drifted back to this satisfying, comforting, warming, fantastic hot pot. Why just eat it once a year? Here's how I prepared it:

_# Japanese Hot Pot with Chicken, Mushrooms, and Soba

Basic Ingredients:

  • 2 (6-inch) pieces kombu
  • 1 piece of abura age
  • Boiling water (for abura age)
  • 3/4 pound mushrooms (variety as per note)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 chicken legs and thighs, skinned, deboned, and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 pound napa cabbage, sliced into bite-sized pieces
  • 4 cups warm liquid (chicken stock, shiitake dashi, or water)
  • 3 tablespoons sake
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 pound dried soba noodles
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • Yuzu kosho, to taste


  1. Prep Abura Age and Mushrooms: Pour boiling water over the abura age in a colander to remove excess oil, then slice into thin strips. Prepare the mushrooms by removing stems and slicing or separating them as needed.

  2. Cook the Chicken: In a donabe or heavy pot, heat sesame oil over medium heat. Add chicken and cook until golden, sprinkling with salt.

  3. Add Vegetables and Mushrooms: Add mushrooms, abura age, and napa cabbage to the pot. Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes until they start to soften.

  4. Add Liquid and Seasonings: Pour in the liquid. Add kombu, sake, mirin, and soy sauce. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 5 minutes, removing any scum.

  5. Cook the Soba: Break soba noodles in half and add to the pot. Ensure they are submerged in the liquid, adding more if necessary. Cook for about 5 minutes or until done.

  6. Serve: Transfer the hot pot to the table. Serve in bowls with a dab of yuzu kosho and a sprinkle of scallions.


  • Liquid can be a combination of chicken stock and shiitake dashi or just water.
  • Use a variety of mushrooms like shiitake, enoki, shimeji, or oyster.
  • Adjust the seasoning with additional soy sauce or mirin to balance the flavors.
  • Enjoy this hot pot with family and friends!

This delightful Japanese Hot Pot with Chicken, Mushrooms, and Soba is perfect for a cozy and flavorful meal.