Tori Nabe (Squash and chicken hotpot) recipe

Tribune News Service

Try this easy take on a tasty Japanese classic

Tribune News Service |

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Nabe is the Japanese word for a stew cooked in a donabe, or ceramic pot; tori is chicken; tori nabe is hotpot-style chicken soup, and it is delicious!

Ingredients (Serves 4)

450g chicken drumsticks (about 4)

1/2 tsp salt

1/3 cup dark or regular soy sauce

1 tbsp rice vinegar

2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

1/2 small (250g) kabocha/ Japanese squash, or butternut if you can’t find it 

8 regular bak choi

1 piece (10cm) daikon radish

1 thumb-sized piece fresh ginger

350g udon noodles or cooked rice

shichimi togarashi (Japanese seven spice) for serving


1 Put the chicken in a large saucepan or nabe (Japanese hotpot) and cover with 8 cups cold water.

2 Bring to a boil over high heat. Add the salt, then reduce the heat to medium-low.

3 Simmer gently for 20 minutes, skimming any foam that rises to the surface.

4 Meanwhile, make the ponzu sauce. Combine the soy sauce and vinegar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice, then cool to room temperature and set aside. 

5 Deseed the squash and cut into 5cm-wide wedges, then cut each wedge into 5mm-thick slices. Trim the bak choi and cut any larger leaves in half. 

6 Peel the daikon and ginger and grate finely into separate bowls.

7 Transfer the chicken to a plate; keep the broth simmering. Add the squash to the broth and simmer until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. 

8 While the squash cooks, prepare the udon according to the directions on the packaging. (If using cooked rice, add to broth halfway through the squash cooking time.)

9 Remove the skin and bones from the chicken and discard. Pull the meat into large pieces and divide among 4 serving bowls with the udon.

10 Stir the bak choi into the simmering soup and cook until just wilted and bright green, about 1 minute.

11 Divide the vegetables and broth among the bowls with the chicken and sprinkle with togarashi.

12 Serve with the daikon, ginger and ponzu sauce on the side, so your lucky guests can season their bowl to taste.