This simple vegan hot pot is so rich in flavor and satisfying. I like to slice the abura-age very thin, as these slices soak up the broth and taste like juicy noodles. If you don’t have access to abura-age, thinly-sliced tofu can work, too. The key for the rich broth flavor is to add the mushrooms before heating up the kombu-soaked water, so the mushrooms release all the umami flavors during the slow heating process. For the shime (finishing course), I like to add udon noodles to the remaining broth, but soba is also good, too.
Vegan optionThis is a vegan dish.
EquipmentClassic-style Donabe (medium-size, 1.8-qt/ 1,800 ml or larger)
In this recipe, we used Bistro Mushi Nabe (large) without its steam grate.
Servings3 - 4
- 3 cups (750 ml) water
- 1 piece (2″ x 6″ / 5 cm x 15 cm) kombu (dry kelp)
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) sake
- 2 tablespoons mirin
- 2 tablespoons white tamari (can substitute with soy sauce)
- 2 pieces rectangular abura-age (fried tofu pouch), blanched and thinly-sliced
- 5 oz (150 g) shimeji mushrooms, trimmed and pulled apart by hand
- 7 oz (200 g) enoki mushrooms, trimmed and pulled apart by hand
- 5 oz (150 g) mizuna or your choice of leafy vegetable, bottom ends trimmed and cut into 2″ (5 cm) long
- 3 servings dry udon noodles, cooked a few minutes shorter than the package’s instructions (optional)
- Suggested condiments: ground roasted sesame seeds, yuzu-kosho, etc.
- Combine the water and kombu in the donabe. Let the kombu soak for 20 – 30 minutes. *I suggest you cut some slits in the kombu so it will release more umami flavor.
- Season the kombu-infused water with the sake, mirin and white tamari, then add both kinds of mushrooms. Cover with lid and set the donabe over medium heat. Just before the broth comes to a simmer, remove the kombu. (Or, you can keep it in the broth, too.)
- Turn up the heat to medium-high. Add the abura-age and mizuna. Simmer for 1 – 2 minutes.
- Serve immediately at the table and enjoy with your choice of condiments.
- To make the shime (finishing course), reserve about half or more of the broth, and bring to a simmer again. Add the udon noodles and simmer until your desired doneness. Serve with your choice of condiments.
- You can also start with your choice of dashi, instead of starting with water and kombu.