Serious Eats: Recipes

Cook the Book: Black Cod and Soy Milk Hot Pot (Tonyu Nabe)

[Photograph: Tam Ngo]

Speak to chef Tadashi Ono about this hot pot and he at once turns dreamy-eyed—its milky broth reminds him of lakes frozen over. Black cod, also known as sablefish, thrive in the frigid seas off Alaska and Hokkaido, Japan's northernmost island. Black cod comes into season in the winter as Japan's oceans cool and the fish migrate south. The cod's high fat content—crucial for survival in arctic waters—is what gives the flesh its silky, buttery richness.

In Hokkaido, a region renowned for its bucolic dairy farming, the broth is traditionally made with milk. This particular hot pot is a specialty of Aomori where the use of soy milk reflects a trend toward healthful ingredients.

Sweet, rounded, and delicate in flavor, this soothing winter soup found in Japanese Hot Pots by Ono and co-writer Harris Salat was our family's favorite. Though it doesn't have the spectacular visual appeal of other hot pots we tested, it's the kind of soup that hugs you inside. A primal comfort and so simple to prepare!

Win 'Japanese Hot Pots'

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Japanese Hot Pots to give away this week.

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