The makers of the portable bento box rice cooker are back to help get us through the winter.

Earlier in the year, Japanese gadget maker Thanko gave us yet another reason to be grateful for their existence with the Super High-Speed One-Person Bento Box Rice Cooker, a rice cooker so compact you can easily carry it with you on your commute and make a fresh batch of rice to enjoy at the office. But while we’re extremely happy with ours, as the weather gets colder we find our cravings for hot pot, or “nabe” as it’s called in Japanese, growing stronger by the day.

So once again, it’s Thanko to the rescue, this time with a one-person easily portable hot pot maker.

Our Yawaraka Nabe (“Soft Pot,” a name which will make sense in a minute) arrived in a small box, one so short that we were skeptical as to whether or not it really contained a cooking pot. We weren’t feeling any more confident when we opened up the box and pulled out the gadget itself, which was short and stubby.

But as we touched the side of the pot, we felt that it isn’t made of hard metal, but of silicone. Just give the pliable material a tug upwards and the Yawaraka Nabe instantly transforms, doubling its height!

The pot is plenty deep enough for making a single-person batch of hot pot, so we grabbed some broth stock, a bag of sliced vegetables, and a pack of smoked chicken from the convenience store.

The pot can hold up to one liter (33.8 ounces) of liquid, but we went with 450 milliliters, since we were going to be tossing meat and veggies in there too.

The Yawaraka Nabe can be set to two heat levels, low and high, so we plugged ours in and set it to the stronger level.

▼ There’s a voltage selector switch on the bottom, by the way, in case you’re using the Yawaraka Nabe outside Japan.

After about five minutes, the water came to a boil, so we turned the pot down to low to let our stew simmer as we added in the broth stock, and five minutes later, we were ready to eat!

Everything was delicious and cooked to perfection, neither too raw nor too soggy. As we happily munched away, we were already daydreaming about what sort of hot pot to make next, as well as where to make it. With the Yawaraka Nabe weighing just 560 grams (1.2 pounds) and fitting easily into a carrying pouch, as long as we’ve got a power outlet we can use it pretty much anywhere.

The Yawaraka Nabe (which is available here through Thako’s online shop for 6,028 yen [US$57]) also comes with an insertable steamer tray and a spout on its rim, so you can use it to make steamed dumplings, noodles, and all sorts of other things too. For now, though, our eating calendar is filled up with hot pot for the next several days.

Photos ©SoraNews24
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