POT COOKERY - "NABEMONO"
Japanese are quite fond of nabemono, or "one
pot cookery." During mid-autumn when the days start getting
colder, these hearty winter meals become common everywhere.
The ingredients are usually simmered in deep bowl shaped earthenware
pots called donabe.
Try purchasing one of these ceramic pots for your kitchen,
they come in many sizes and are indispensable for this type
of cooking. Here are a few recipes for various types of one
Japanese, dote is an earthen embankment, and
so the layer of miso lining the inner rim of the donabe
pot gives this dish it's name. Traditionally made with oysters,
you can also substitute them with an extra amount of deep
cup of red miso
pound of fresh shelled oysters
3 inch piece of daikon, cut into rounds 1/2 inch thick and
2 Chinese cabbage leafs, cut into 1 1/2 inch strips
3 or 4 fresh shiitake mushrooms
1 carrot, cut into 1/4 inch slices and parboiled
1 small potato, cut into quarters and parboiled
1/2 block of deep fried tofu (or 1 whole block if not using
1/2 block of konnyaku, cut into large cubes (optional)
1 hardboiled egg, sliced in half
2 sprigs of fresh chrysanthemum leaves, or one small leek
into 2 inch lengths
2 1/2 tablespoons of sake
6 cups of dashi
for preparation method)
the inner rim of a medium sized donabe pot with an inch
wide layer of miso. Place the vegetables into the pot along
with the konnyaku, and the tofu. Pour in the dashi (and
sake!) until it reaches, but does not fully cover the miso
layer. Turn the heat on low under the donabe, cover and
allow to simmer for almost half an hour (during this time
the miso will melt into the broth and mix with the ingredients).
Serve by placing ingredients in a small bowl, ladle some
of the hot broth into the bowl, and top with a hardboiled
name of this dish means "thrown-together pot." Whatever
ingredients are fresh and at hand go into making this stew.
The ingredients are added one at a time with the richest
fish going in first, and the delicate vegetables going in
at the last moment and then eaten just as they are cooked.
traditional way of serving this dish is to place the donabe
pot at the dinning table upon an electric skillet (but you
can also cook the food at the stove). Each diner places
the ingredients of their choice into the stock to be "quick
cooked." The food is then withdrawn and placed into individual
serving bowls, a bit of stock ladled into the bowl, and
the food then topped with condiments.
hard shell clams
8 raw shrimp (deveined and shelled)
1/3 lb. salmon fillet
1 lb. sea bass fillets, (cut into 1/2 x 2 inch slices)
1 lb. yellowtail or mackerel fillets (cut into 1/2 x 2 inch
1 block tofu (cut into 8 equal sized cubes)
8 fresh shiitake mushrooms
1 large carrot (cut into diagonal slices)
1/4 lb. enoki mushrooms (tough stems removed)
8 leaves Chinese cabbage,
(parboil leaves, drain, pare away thick center vein, roll
into a tight roll, a bamboo sushi mat helps, then cut into
1 inch lengths)
1 handfull of fresh snow peas
2 fresh green onions (cut into 1/2 inch lengths)
Large handful of fresh spinach or watercress (cut off stems)
for preparation method)
1/2 cup of shoyu
7 tablespoons mirin.
cup finely chopped green onion
2 tablespoons fresh grated ginger
4 lemon wedges
1 small bowl of shoyu.
the fire resistant donabe pot on the stove (or upon the
table skillet), and fill with the dashi, bring to a boil.
First add the shellfish, then the fish, the vegetables with
a longer cooking time like carrots, then finally the delicate
leaf vegetables. When cooked through, let each diner choose
food from the pot. Continue adding ingredients until everything
is cooked and eaten.
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