Saturday, November 27, 2010

Donabe one-pot dish...Tara-chiri Nabe

The weather is getting colder here in LA, and I am happy because it's becoming the "high season" for donabe hot pot dishes. Hot pot is meant to cook ingredients on tabletop (you just need a portable burner to set on the table), and served family-stye right out of the pot.

The other night, I made the super-simple hot pot called, "Tara-chiri nabe", with the classic-style donabe, "Hakeme". (You could actually make a better presentation if you have a Kyto-style shallow donabe, "Ame-yu".) The reason why this hot pot is so simple is because you don't even need to season the broth. You just need to cook the ingredients in the broth which is infused dashi kombu (dry kelp), and enjoy with the ponzu sauce and condiments.

*To make the simple broth, I simply soaked a couple of pieces (2"x2" each) dashi kombu in about 1.2-liter of water in the donabe for 15 minutes. Then, the donabe was brought to simmer over medium-heat. Right before it started simmering, I removed the dashi kombu.

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As soon as the broth was ready, I just added ingredients into the donabe. The ingredients for the night were gin-dara (black cod), as well as seasonal buri (adult yellowtail), and vegetables such as napa cabbage, carrot, mushrooms, tofu, yomogi-fu (mugwort-flavored wheat gluten) etc. The cooked ingredients were served into individual bowls with some homemade ponzu, grated daikon, yuzu kosho, etc.

By the time we'd cooked 2-3 batches, the broth had become so much richer with the flavors from all the ingredients cooked in it. So, it was time for the "shime" (the end of the meal) course! For this, I finally seasoned the broth with a couple of tablespoons of light color soy sauce ("usukuchi shoyu"), then added the Chinese noodles. After about 30 seconds, the "shime" ramen was ready. I served it with some quick stir-fried daikon leaves.

The simple dinner was so incredible...I never get tired of donabe hot pot.

Happy donabe life.