Luxurious Hot Pot

Luxurious Hot Pot

Learn about the versatility of Japanese hot pots and get inspired to create a luxurious seafood hot pot with delicate broth. The article includes details on ingredients, cooking process, and upcoming hot pot cooking master class event in NYC at Matsuri restaurant hosted by Tadashi and coauthor. Also, discover a new book about Bhutan cuisine by Lisa Napoli, 'Radio Shangri-La'.

Here's why I'm such a huge fan of Japanese hot pots: They're so incredibly versatile -- whip them up for a quick family meal, or transform them into an elaborate feast. Case in point, last night's luxurious procession pictured above, complete with two bottles of Tattinger. Fancy. My wife, pals and I gathered around the hot pot to celebrate the publication of my dear friend Lisa Napoli's fantastic new book about Bhutan (Radio Shangri-La -- you gotta read it!). I wanted to make a seafood hot pot with a delicate broth. Here's what I did:

For the broth, I simply stuck a six-inch piece of kombu in a pot of water and let it stand for an hour. While the kombu was infusing the water, I arranged on platters five kinds of mushrooms (shiitake, enoki, oyster, maitake, and shimeji), five kinds of seafood (fillet of cod, head-on giant shrimp, scallops, clams and freshly shucked oysters), napa cabbage, Japanese negi long onions, "broiled" tofu, shungiku greens, and itokonnyaku noodles. I placed my portable burner on the dining table with my hot pot on top, arrayed the platters around it, and added the kombu-infused water. I brought out ponzu and yuzu kosho for accents. We all took our seats, and I started things off by adding napa cabbage to the bottom of the hot pot, and other ingredients on top, in separate neat bunches. I covered, and cooked. When it was ready, we served the ingredients and broth ourselves, accenting with ponzu and fiery yuzu kosho, to taste. We continued eating in leisurely rounds, sipping champagne, my guests and I adding more ingredients (and kombu water) to the amazing broth, at will. Lovely evening! And as an added bonus: I used left-over broth today for udon with poached egg. Delicious. (Never discard that amazing broth!)

Quick reminder: My pal and coauthor Tadashi and I are holding a master class in hot pot cooking next week at Tadashi's restaurant Matsuri in NYC. There are still a few seats left! To sign up, click here.