So I'd like to look back at the greatest food hit of the winter for us (and apparently for a lot of people): Curry nabe.
Curry nabe. Japanese interpretation of Indian curry reimagined as an Asian hotpot with north-European style winter foods, finished off with Japanese rice and American-style mild shredded cheese. Goes very well with beer or hot sake.
Curry nabe is a recent addition to the sprawling family of Japanese pots and stews that you cook right at the table. The base is Japanese curry roux, thinned out with stock to become soupy rather than a thick stew. This base goes well with western-style winter foods: potatoes, onion, carrots, mushrooms, chicken, firm fish, scallops, sausages, broccoli, leeks, cabbage...
Precook root vegetables so you won't have to wait so long. Boil up the base on a pot at the table. Meanwhile cut all the ingredients, assemble on a plate and bring to the table. Throw in stuff little by little. Use a spoon to pick out food to your plate and enjoy. This nabe goes extraordinarily well with beer, by the way.
Once all the ingredients are gone and there's only some curry base left, you throw in some cold cooked rice (leftover rice from the fridge or freezer is perfect) and boil up, cut the heat, then add lots of shredded cheese to melt into the mix. The curry base has picked up lots and lots of flavour from all the stuff cooked in it and the rice soaks up all that flavour and thickens the soup. You get an intensely savoury curry and rice porridge with strings of salty melted cheese running all through it - seriously, my mouth is watering as I write this, it's so good. Of course, it's just as healthy and slimming as it sounds like, so you perhaps want to avoid eating this every day.
Try curry nabe. You'll love it. Meanwhile, I think I'm off for an early lunch today.