Monday, December 20, 2010

Donabe "Bonen-kai" Dinner

The rain has been pouring non-stop in LA past days.
We invited a couple of my Japanese girlfriends and did a small "Bonen-kai" (That's how we call a year-end party in Japanese, but it literally means, "forget the passing year party") at our house. We were so happy to see them before they go back to Japan for the holidays.

Our regular "pre-dinner" snack...donabe salt-roasted fingerling potatoes with anchovy cream dip. It was cooked with our tagine-style donabe, "Fukkura-san". The potatoes came out so dense and creamy inside with the intense dry heat of this donabe.

Miso-marinated tofu and eggs were great with 2008 Domaine de Labarthe, Gaillac (rouge). The tofu was marinated for already 5 days, so it was so deep with the flavor and becoming creamy in texture. Eggs were marinted for 2 days and the miso flavor had penetrated into the york.

Pumpkin and prune soup was made in the soup & stew donabe, "Miso-shiru Nabe". This is one of my favorite soups in this winter. It's filled with natural flavors and so soothing.

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Hot pot time! There were 4 of us tonight, so my medium-size classic-style donabe, "Hakeme", was perfect for tonight's "nabe-mono" (hot pot). I made Salt Butter Chanko (you can find the recipe here). The broth base was my homemade collagen-rich chicken stock.

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Ingredients were cooked in the donabe and smelled so nice. For the very first taste, I served just a chicken ball into each bowl and drizzled a little bit of ponzu sauce. This is to enjoy the freshly cooked fluffy chicken to get your palate going. Then, we all dived in to the donabe and serve ourselves with everything cooked. We kept cooking and serving until the ingredients were gone.

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The "shime" (end of the meal) course was ramen! I put dry ramen noodles in the pot and after a few minutes, the donabe ramen with the super-rich broth was ready. Awesome.

What a great time I had with wonderful friends!

Happy donabe life.