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Japanese-style chicken-hotpot

This dish is prepared at the table by guests – it adds a fun activity to the evening, but also lets guests pick and choose what they like and don’t like to eat, which makes it pain-free for the chef!




  • 1 liter chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon sake
  • 1 tablespoon mirin (sweet cooking wine)
  • 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil (optional)

Chicken meatballs:

  • 500 grams ground chicken
  • 1 green onion, minced
  • 1-2 teaspoon grated ginger (to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper (each, white pepper if you have it)
  • 2 teaspoons sake
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil (optional)

Other fillings (choose any):

  • 1/2 nappa cabbage
  • 1 carrot – shaved into ribbons or cut into thin slices
  • 1 bunch enoki or shimeji (beech) mushrooms
  • 3 – 4 shiitake mushrooms, cut in half or quarters
  • 2 “Tokyo onions” or 1 bunch green onions
  • 1 bunch mizuna greens
  • 1/2 - 1 cube of medium firm tofu



  1. Wash, trim, and cut vegetables, and arrange on a platter for your guests. *Tip: When cutting the veggies, consider the aesthetics and also how easy it will be for your guests to eat with chopsticks.
  2. Mix the meatball ingredients together and form meatballs just smaller than a golf ball. Arrange them on a separate platter.
  3. Mix the broth ingredients together in a hotpot clay pot. If you don’t have one, a large, shallow saucepan will do.

Serving/Cooking instructions:

  1. Set the table with the hotpot in the middle of the table on a portable electric hob. Make sure each guest is within arm’s reach of the hotpot.
  2. Bring the broth to the boil.
  3. Allow your guests to drop in whatever ingredients they like – meatballs, veg, tofu, etc.
  4. When ingredients are cooked, guests use chopsticks and small ladles (or spoons) to serve themselves vegetables, meatballs, and soup into small individual bowls. (Miso soup sized bowls are best for this.)

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