Yosenabe is a basic Japanese hot pot where you can cook whatever ingredients—chicken, seafood, tofu, and all kinds of vegetables—in a delicious dashi-based broth.
Looking for a flexible hot pot recipe that can clean up leftover vegetables or meat in the freezer drawer? You’ll have to try Yosenabe (寄せ鍋) or “Anything Goes” Hot Pot! This popular Japanese hot pot is a wintertime favorite to make at home because you can literally throw in just about anything. It’s a warm, flavorful, and easy meal to boot.
You can keep things simple for a weeknight dinner, but with the addition of fresh seafood, yosenabe can easily be one of the most luxurious hot pots to serve at a gathering!
What is Yosenabe?
The word yose comes from the verb yoseru (寄せる) which means to “put together.” And nabe (鍋) is the Japanese word for “pot” and is used to refer to hot pot dishes. So yosenabe is pretty much an “everything hot pot” where you have all kinds of ingredients cooked together in a simmering broth for an ultimate warm meal.
I also call yosenabe a freestyle hot pot because there is no right or wrong way to make it. You start with a simple dashi broth, then add in your choice of proteins, followed by fresh vegetables and mushrooms. For yosenabe, the more the merrier. The mix of ingredients will lend plenty of flavor to the soup broth!
How to Prepare Yosenabe
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Meat: chicken tender, but can be chicken thighs or any other meat you enjoy
- Seafood: sablefish, shrimp, and Manila clams, but scallops and mussels work fine too
- Vegetables: napa cabbage, chrysanthemum leaves, carrot, and negi
- Mushrooms: shiitake, shimeji, and enoki mushrooms
- Tofu: medium firm tofu
- Broth: awase dashi (kombu + katsuobushi broth)
- Seasonings: sake, mirin, soy sauce, and salt
- Garnish: green onion, yuzu zest, and shichimi togarashi
Overview: Prepping Steps
- Make broth.
- Prepare seafood and meat.
- Cut vegetables and mushrooms.
Cooking Tools for Hot Pot
- A large donabe (Japanese earthenware pot) – You can also use a large Dutch oven. I have different styles of donabe and for this recipe, I used Ginpo Kikka Banko Donabe Japanese Clay Pot. If you love hot pot dishes (shabu shabu, sukiyaki, kimchi nabe, etc.), it’s a great kitchen tool to have!
- A portable stove – I use this Iwatani propane gas stove. It is a necessary tool to enjoy all kinds of hot pots at home.
- Communal cooking tools – Long cooking chopsticks, slotted spoons, ladles, and a fine-mesh skimmer.
Mirin and Sake I Recommend
To flavor the soup broth, you will need mirin and sake. Just like soy sauce, these two condiments are frequently used in Japanese recipes. It’s very important to use mirin with a higher % of alcohol, and not a mirin-like or mirin-type condiment (read more about different kinds of mirin).
Sake is almost always used whenever we make seafood and meat recipes as the alcohol masks the fishy/gamey smell while imparting sweet natural umami from the fermented rice wine.
I’ve been using Sho Chiku bai Classic Junmai and Takara Mirin by Takara Sake for a long time. And I’m glad that I get to partner with the company to introduce the trusted Japanese ingredients to elevate your cooking!
You can purchase Sho Chiku bai Classic Junmai and Takara Mirin at Japanese grocery stores, Asian grocery stores, and some local supermarkets.
How To Cook Yosenabe At The Table
Step 1: Set up the table
In the center of the table, set up a portable stove for the hot pot. Make sure everyone can reach the pot; otherwise, I recommend setting up more than one stove and pot. It’s not fun when you sit too far from the hot pot action.
Place the platters of ingredients around the portable stove. They should be easily accessible to everyone.
Step 2: Bring the broth to a boil
First, bring the broth to a boil. If you are cooking root vegetables such as daikon, gobo (burdock root), and carrots (if not ribbons, as I did in this recipe), start cooking them while you are heating up the broth. They take a longer time to cook.
Step 3: Fill the pot with ingredients but do not overcrowd
Once the broth is boiling, add the ingredients to the pot by arranging them by sections until the pot is filled. For example, keep the napa cabbage in one area, while the mushrooms stay in one area and seafood stay in another. This way, it’s easy to pick up the food you want to eat.
Always remember—do not overcrowd as we will cook and eat in batches. Hot pot is a process, so space out the cooking so you can enjoy the food at a leisurely pace.
Close the lid and cook for 8-10 minutes. Depending on the ingredients, leafy greens will cook a lot faster than chicken, so keep an eye out on the food. During the waiting period, everyone can enjoy any appetizers or side dishes that are served alongside the hot pot.
Step 4: Serve the cooked food
It’s always a nice gesture to pick up foods from the pot for people sitting next to you who may be busy chatting or eating. Ask if they are interested in being served.
Enjoy the food while hot. For yosenabe, the ingredients are already cooked in a flavorful broth, so there’s no need for a dipping sauce. We sprinkle chopped green onion, yuzu zest, and/or shichimi togarashi to enjoy.
Step 5: Start a new batch
Once all the cooked food is served and cleared from the hot pot, add a new batch of ingredients. Cover the lid and start cooking for another 8-10 minutes. Add water if the broth is low in the pot. Enjoy and continue with 2-3 more rounds of cooking until you finish all the ingredients.
Sake Pairing with Mio
For yosenabe, we’ve paired it with Takara Sake’s Sho Chiku Bai Shirakabegura Mio. It is one of our favorite sake drinks to share with friends and enjoy during celebrations.
If you’ve never tried sparkling sake before, we would highly recommend trying Mio as the first one. It is made from just rice and koji rice with no additives. The profile is slightly sweet, fruity, and very refreshing. Many of our friends were surprised how delicious it tastes and became instant fans. Its tiny bubbles are similar in texture to a fine champagne and contains a low 5% alcohol compared to regular sakes.
The gentle characters of Mio complement yosenabe’s bold savory flavors superbly. Drinking the sparkling sake while eating hot pot brings out the unique flavors of each ingredient, and Mio ends up tasting a bit sweeter with the savory foods. The best part is the cold sparkling sake cools you down and encourage the appetite to eat more hot pot!
Tableware from Musubi Kiln
I’ve partnered with a great ceramic online shop from Japan called Musubi Kiln. You will get 10% off with a coupon code JUSTONECOOKBOOK for your purchase. In this post, I’ve used:
- Ginpo Kikka Banko Donabe Japanese Clay Pot for 3 to 4 persons
- Bronze Chrysanthemum Hasami Sauce Plate
- Seikou Kiln Kutani Traditional Pattern Small Box
- Ichikawa Wood Craft Cloud Shaped Wooden Tray
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Yosenabe (Japanese Hot Pot)
For Yosenabe Broth
- 4 cups dashi (Japanese soup stock) (for vegan/vegetarian, make Vegan Dashi)
- 4 Tbsp sake
- 4 Tbsp mirin
- 4 Tbsp usukuchi (light-colored) soy sauce
- 1 tsp Diamond Crystal kosher salt
For Yosenabet Ingredients
- 10 manila clams (11.4 oz, 325 g; it's very important to follow this instruction to prepare clams; skip for vegan/vegetarian)
- 8 shrimp (8.8 oz, 250 g; skip for vegan/vegetarian)
- 4 fillets black cod/sablefish (gindara) (1 lb, 454 g; skip for vegan/vegetarian)
- chicken tenders (4.6 oz, 130 g; skip for vegan/vegetarian)
- ½ piece napa cabbage (1.4 lb, 628 g)
- ½ bunch shungiku (chrysanthemum greens) (4 oz, 125 g)
- 1 carrot (2 oz, 60 g)
- 1 Tokyo negi (naga negi; long green onion) (1.4 oz, 40 g)
- 1 bunch enoki (6 oz, 170 g)
- 1 shimeji mushrooms (3.5 oz, 100 g)
- 4 shiitake mushrooms (3.2 oz, 90 g)
- 1 medium-firm tofu (momen dofu) (14 oz, 397 g)
For Optional Garnish
- 1 green onion/scallion
- 1 Tbsp yuzu zest (I used freeze dry yuzu zest)
- shichimi togarashi (Japanese seven spice)
To Prepare Yosenabe Broth
- Gather all the ingredients.
- In a large pot (I used this donabe), combine dashi, sake, mirin, soy sauce, and salt. Cover and bring it to a simmer, and then turn off the heat. Set aside.
To Prepare Ingredients
- Gather all the ingredients. Yosenabe is pretty flexible and you can substitute any of the listed ingredients with whatever you have or want to eat.
- Shrimp: Devein shrimp by following this instruction. Insert the tip of the skewer sideways about ½ inch (1.3 cm) down from the head of the shrimp (whether it's a shell on or off) and pull the skewer tip up towards you. This will lift up the vein and you can pull it off with the skewer or with your hand. If the vein is broken, then insert again a bit lower towards the tail. If you can’t find the vein, then don’t worry about it.
- Chicken tender: To remove the tendon, firmly grab the end of the tendon (maybe use a paper towel to increase grip) and place the knife on top of the tendon as you see in the image below. Using the knife to hold the chicken in place, pull the end of the tendon as you push the chicken away. Repeat with the rest of the chicken tenders. Then hold your knife diagonally, nearly parallel to the cutting board, and then slice the tender. This cutting method gives it more surface area so that it cooks faster and soaks up flavor quickly. This cutting technique is called sogigiri in Japanese.
- Fish: Cut the fish fillets in half. Place all the seafood ingredients on a platter.
- Napa cabbage: Remove the core, separate the leaves, and rinse them carefully. Then cut them into 2-inch (5 cm) pieces.
- Cut the tough bottom part of the leaves into smaller strips/pieces.
- Chrysanthemum leaves: Cut them into 2-inch (5 cm) pieces. Negi: Cut it diagonally into ½-inch (1.3 cm) pieces.
- Carrot: Using a vegetable peeler, peel the carrot into thin ribbons. Place all the vegetables on another platter.
- Enoki mushrooms: Discard the bottom and cut into 2-inch (5 cm) pieces. Shimeji mushrooms: Discard the bottom and separate them.
- Shiitake mushrooms: Discard the bottom. If you like, you can curve the cap of shiitake mushrooms to make them look like a flower by following this instruction.
- Tofu: Cut it into smaller pieces. Place the mushrooms and tofu on another platter.
- Green onion: Cut it into small pieces for garnish.
To Cook Yosenabe
- Bring the broth to a boil. If you are cooking root vegetables such as daikon, gobo (burdock root), and carrots (if not ribbons), start cooking them while you are heating up the broth. They take a longer time to cook. Once boiling, add various kinds of ingredients to the pot and arrange them by sections. For example, group the napa cabbage in one area, while mushrooms stay in one area and seafood in another. This way, you can choose what you want to eat. Close the lid and cook for 8-10 minutes. Keep an eye on leafy greens. Dish them out early if they turn soft and ready to eat.
- Pick up the cooked food and enjoy while they are hot. For yosenabe, the ingredients are cooked in a flavorful broth; therefore, we do not dip the cooked food in a dipping sauce like shabu shabu. We sprinkle chopped green onion, yuzu zest, and/or shichimi togarashi to enjoy.
- Once all the cooked ingredients are served and cleared from the hot pot, add a new batch of ingredients. Cover the lid and start cooking for 10 minutes. Add water if the broth is low in the pot.
- Enjoy and repeat 1-2 more rounds until you finish all the ingredients.
- You can keep the leftovers in an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on December 3, 2021. It’s been republished on December 22, 2022.