During the winter months, Japanese households shift to naberyouri (hot pot cooking). Although Sukiyaki and Shabu Shabu get most of the attention outside of Japan, there are hundreds of different hot pots made with varying combinations of proteins, vegetables, soups, and sauces.
This chicken and napa cabbage hot pot is super easy, and you can cook it in the kitchen, so you don't need to have a portable burner on your table. I've made this really basic so you can make it without many ingredients, but like any hot pot, you can add other ingredients to make it your own. The flavoring is equally simple, but you can add other seasonings such as soy sauce, black pepper, or chili oil, and you can also serve this with a dipping sauce such as ponzu, gomadare, or hoisin sauce.
I like using wings because they release a wonderful broth and some collagen into the soup, but you can also do this with cut-up boneless chicken thighs, which will decrease the cooking time to about 15 minutes. As for the Napa cabbage, I don't recommend substituting something else. This particular type of cabbage contains a high concentration of glutamate, which adds a ton of umami to the soup, even though it's not cooked for a very long time.
The soup is comforting and delicious, and it's easy to polish it all off on a chilly day, but I recommend making enough, so you end up with leftovers. You can use them to make zōsui, a Japanese-style porridge. Just debone the chicken and add it to a pot along with any remaining soup. Add a serving of rice and cook it until the rice has partially dissolved and the soup forms a porridge. Then you can finish it off by drizzling in a beaten egg.
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