Mizutaki(Hotpot)-Healthy Japanese Home Cooking

vol.8 see all recipes

I’ve put together a series of tasty recipes for healthy Japanese dishes that are simple to make, wherever in the world you might be. I hope you’ll enjoy mastering Japanese home cooking while learning how to use ingredients that are good for health and beauty.


nabeNabe is the catch-all term for a number of Japanese hotpot dishes cooked at the dinner table, enabling everyone to enjoy piping-hot food in a relaxed atmosphere. This healthy form of cooking gives you the chance to savor an abundance of seasonal vegetables cooked in a soup enriched with the umami of meat, fish, and/or shellfish.

The pots used for these dishes vary according to the region and the specific dish; they may be shallow or deep, and made from clay, aluminum, or iron, for example. Virtually all Japanese households have their own favorite variety of hotpot.

potsIn this variety, which is called mizutaki, the key to its flavor is the rich stock made with chicken bones. One of the most popular forms of hotpot flavored with soy sauce, this dish packed with protein and collagen (which promote beautiful skin) also contains tofu and an array of vegetables.

Don’t be afraid to vary the recipe and use whichever leafy vegetables and mushrooms are available where you are.

Ingredients (Serves 2-3)

Ingredients・Bone-in chicken (cut into chunks) 600-700g
・Chinese (napa) cabbage 3-4 leaves
・Watercress, mizuna, etc. 2-3 bunches
・Leeks 2
・Mushrooms 1 tray
・Green spring onion A sprinkling
・Ginger About 6cm
・Tofu(*) Half a pack
・Kuzukiri (kudzu starch noodles), yuba (tofu skin), mochi (glutinous rice cake) (*) According to preference
・Sake 100ml
・Salt 1 teaspoon
・Ponzu sauce 100ml (if unavailable, you can make this by combining soy sauce, rice vinegar, and yuzu or lemon juice in the proportions 2:1:1)

*Tofu, kuzukiri, yuba, and mochi absorb the tasty flavors from the vegetables and meat. Yuba and kuzukiri in particular are popular souvenirs of Kyoto.



1. Rinse the chicken thoroughly under cold water to wash off any blood or other impurities, then parboil. Place 2L of water, the sake, the green parts of the leek, and 3cm of ginger cut into slices into a saucepan (a separate one from the pot you will use at the table) and heat.

Once it boils, add the chicken. Carefully remove the white scum that forms, then cover the pan and simmer on a low heat for an hour.

Method12.After an hour, add the salt to season it slightly.

Method23.Cut the vegetables and mushrooms into the size of your choice and arrange on a plate.

Method34.Prepare the condiments. Grated ginger and green spring onion go well with ponzu sauce. You can also add yuzu (or lemon) and momiji-oroshi (grated daikon radish mixed with red chili pepper).

Method45.Once everything is arranged on the table, the meal can start.

Method56.Place the prepared chicken and soup in a clay pot and place on the heat. Enjoy at your own pace, adding the other ingredients to the pot as you go. You can either put the ponzu sauce into individual dishes for each diner and use it as a dipping sauce or pour it over the ingredients in your dish as you go. Add condiments to taste to vary the flavor.

nabe7.The leftover soup will be a mixture of delicious flavors, so you can add cooked rice and egg to turn it into a taste Japanese-style risotto.

Method7TEXT,PHOTO/SUGI AKATSUKI see all recipes

Graduate of the University of Tokyo. Researches culinary culture and foods that promote longevity and beauty. Studied basic medical science and life science at university. After studying organic food and Kushi macrobiotics, she began to conduct culinary research independently. Her motto is “simple ways to stay beautiful.” Her specialty is healthy dishes ideal for the busy woman of today. She also teaches yoga and has a popular blog(http://saqai.com/).

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