This Japanese term translates to "things-in-a-pot" and refers to a category of communal one-pot meals that are popular in Japan, particularly during cold weather. Ingredients are prepared in bite-size portions in advance, then cooked at the table in broth or oil. With some dishes, ingredients are added one at a time and when the dish is ready it's served family style. With other dishes, participants actually cook their own food in the hot liquid or oil, much like a fondue Bourguignonne. Various condiments and sauces are served to flavor the just-cooked foods. See also chirinabe; mizutaki.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.