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Tuna Hot Pot

Negi-Ma Nabe

One day, a very good customer of ours stopped by at our shop to give us a block of fresh tuna he just caught from fishing in the Pacific Ocean. How sweet of him! It was super fresh sashimi quality, so we tried some as sashimi with different kinds of soy sauces we have, then for the remaining, I decided to make a donabe hot pot with it. Tuna hot pot in donabe is a popular dish in Japan, and it’s typically made as a combination with negi (Japanese green onion). It’s called Negi-Ma Nabe. The name is short for Negi (green onion) Maguro (tuna) Nabe (hot pot).

This dish is very simple, and all you need is good quality dashi, tuna (obviously!), green onion (for the name’s sake) and any other ingredients you like to add. I like it with my ponzu.

For the shime (finishing course), I like making quick ojiya (porridge) with freshly-cooked donabe rice


Soba Noodle with Green Onion and Shiitake Mushroom

Negi Kinoko Soba

Soba noodle is one of the most beloved traditional Japanese foods in Japan. Many people enjoy soba dishes for lunch, and there are soba restaurants (many are hand-made) and stands everywhere in Japan. At home, soba makes a very popular meal. This is my quick soba noodle dish I love and make all the time for lunch, and I change the toppings according to what I have in my fridge or pantry. Sometimes, I serve with just mushrooms, wakame seaweed, or even completely plain with a dash of yuzu citrus zest. With the porous body of the donabe, I like that the broth stays hot until the end of the meal.


Steamed Moshio-Salt-Marinated Pork Shoulder

Mushi Moshio-Buta

This dish was inspired by a popular Korean dish, bossam, which I love. In bossam, boiled pork belly block is sliced and served with condiments, and you can make a wrap with a napa cabbage leaf. In my version, I start with a pork shoulder block and marinade it with Moshio (seaweed sea salt) for overnight to a full day. If you don’t have moshio, you can use other kind sea salt, but moshio really makes the flavor so rich and complex, and also tenderize the meat very well. The meat is, then, steamed in donabe, and sliced to serve with lettuce leaves and condiments. You can make it with pork belly, too.

This dish is so simple to make and is also real fun dish to share at a table. All you have to do for cooking is simply put a block of salt-marinated pork shoulder in the Mushi Nabe, and steam for about 30 minutes or until done. When you are entertaining guests, you can pre-cook the meat in advance, and just reheat in the donabe before service. If you slice the meat in front of the guests, it will bring out more excitement. Then, at the table, you can have lettuce and condiments ready, and everybody can make his/ her own wraps. The meat is so tender and flavorful, and it’s pretty hard to stop eating once you start.


Homemade Tofu

Sukui Tofu

Authentic fresh tofu can be made at home very easily, once you have a donabe and high quality soymilk. All you need to do is to heat soymilk, stir in nigari liquid, turn off the heat, and rest until the mixture sets to become tofu. Iga-yaki donabe is perfect for fresh tofu making, because the porous body achieves the gentle and even heat distribution. It also cools down very slowly after turning off the heat, so the tofu can set to ideal stage during the resting time. The fresh warm tofu right out of donabe is simply a joy and I always have my first few tastes without any seasonings or condiments. It’s so fluffy, delicate, and pure. Then, I enjoy it with different toppings. Sometimes simply with shaved katsuobushi (shaved dried bonito flakes) and soy sauce, or wasabi, sea salt (such as moshio sea salt), and sesame oil. Ponzu is great, too.

Premium quality Banrai Soymilk and Banrai Nigari Liquid are both available at our shop. So, hope you give it a try. You can make a full-size sukui tofu to share or a small individual-size tofu in a mini-size donabe for everyday breakfast.

The recipe introduced in this page is calling for 1-liter soymilk. For the half amount, you can use a small-size classic-style donabe (approx. 0.8-qt/ 800 ml size). The photos below are made with small-size Rikyu-Tokusa donabe.

For an idividual-size silky tofu making method, please see Banrai Soymilk and Banrai Nigari Liquid product page.


Tuna Poke Rice Bowl

Poke Don

As I have been to Hawaii almost 50 times since I was a teenager and I’ve been loving their local seafood dishes, I am a self-claimed poke expert (haha). My favorite style of poke is quite simple…it’s all about high quality tuna, soy sauce, sesame oil, and wasabi. When I serve it as an appetizer, I encourage my guests to enjoy on its own or make a wrap with lettuce and nori. To make a meal out of poke, I make this poke don (poke rice bowl). With the sushi rice made in double-lid donabe rice cooker, Kamado-san, this simple dish becomes such a decadent sushi dish you can create at home.


Soba Noodle with Hot Mushroom Dipping Broth

Kinoko no Tsuke-Soba

I love making this dish especially when I am feeling a little weak and need something gentle for my stomach. Once you simmer mushrooms in a rich dashi-based broth, pour it into serving bowls and dip cold noodles in it to enjoy. The mushrooms adds the nice savory flavors to the broth. And, I love to use a generous amount of thinly-sliced ginger for both flavor and helping my body stay warm after having the dish. It’s so soothing and you can keep eating more and more. This dish is also nice to serve for a larger group. You can also change around the ingredients to cook in the broth for fun. For a vegan version, you can make with kombu dashi or vegetable dashi instead of kombu & bonito dashi.


Tofu & Spinach Hot Pot

Yu-Dofu

Yu-Dofu (tofu hot pot) is a very simple and popular home dish in Japan. This version has addition of spinach and enoki mushrooms to boost nutrients and flavors. Yu-Dofu‘s best accompaniment is ponzu, and my quick daidai citrus ponzu tastes so refreshing and aromatic. Then, you can top the tofu with a generous amount of freshly-ground toasted sesame seeds in suribachi and surikogi (Japanese mortar and pestle), which is so nutty and aromatic. Kanzuri (chili condiment from Niigata, Japan) is another great condiment.


Cold Soba with Salmon Roe and Grated Daikon

Ikura Oroshi Soba

This is another quick cold noodle recipe with toppings that don’t require any cooking. Ikura (salmon roe) and grated daikon are a classic combination in Japanese cuisine and they work great with the cold soba. When daikon is grated in a traditional onioroshi (bamboo daikon grater), as opposed to generic metal or plastic grater, the daikon retains a nice crunchy texture while retaining its moisture well. Besides, using onioroshi is kind of like a ritual to me. It’s fun and almost therapeutic to grate daikon with a onioroshi. Don’t forget to add a good amount of thinly-sliced shiso leaves, as it gives a beautiful aroma along with sliced green onions (but if you don’t have shiso, it will still work without it).

The sauce poured over the noodles is the same Black Vinegar Dipping Sauce introduced in my Zaru Soba recipe. Yes, this sauce is so tasty and versatile; I like to make a big batch of it to enjoy in various dishes for a few days!

Chinese-Style Steamed Fish

Sakana no Chuka-Mushi

This colorful treat is an easy one-pot dish with a lot of flavors. I like to use black cod for its fatty texture for this dish, but you can also make it with other kinds of fish such as yellowtail, sea bass, salmon, etc. The sizzling sound and aroma of the smoking sesame oil when it’s poured over the fish stimulate your appetite so much. With the umami-rich sauce and aromatic toppings, this dish can become a healthy and satisfying main course.


Braised Chicken in Brown Rice Black Vinegar Sauce

Tori No Kurozu-ni

The main ingredients of this dish are just chicken and shiitake mushrooms, yet this dish can make such a hearty meal. The meat is so succulent and falls off the bone easily even with chopsticks. The special black vinegar from Kyoto gives the umami-packed layer of flavors to this easy one-pot dish.


Egg Drop Vegetable Soup

Kakitama-jiru

This soup is full of flavors and very satisfying. The addition of the black vinegar gives the nice umami-rich accent to the dish. The fluffy egg with vegetables make wonderful layers of textures, too. I like to sprinkle some sansho powder to the soup for extra kick, but it’s totally optional.



Korean-style Spicy Miso Condiment

Ssamjang

This Korean-inspird spicy miso sauce is great with grilled or steamed meat, seafood, or even as a dipping for vegetable crudités (fresh vegetable sticks). I love serving this especially with grilled kalbi (beef short ribs) or steamed pork shoulder to make lettuce wraps. Both the hatcho miso and Okinawa black sugar make the flavor so deep, but you can also make with regular miso and brown sugar, if you like.


Chicken Wings & Daikon Hot Pot

Teba Daikon Nabe

Chicken wings and daikon are a classic combination in Japanese cooking. By pan-frying these ingredients before adding to the broth, the flavor of this simple dish enhances dramatically. Because the chicken is already marinated in shio-koji, this dish doesn’t require much more seasoning. Feel free to use fingers to savor the wings, as it’s part of the fun of this dish!


Nao Man Gai (Chicken Over Rice)

Naoko-style Asian Chicken Rice

This dish is inspired by kao man ghai, a very popular Thai-style chicken rice dish, (or the Singapore-style is known as Hainanese chicken rice), and I made it in my donabe Japanese version with mostly Japanese ingredients. So, I call it Nao Man Gai! The rice is cooked with rich Japanese chicken stock with chicken on top, so the rice tastes really special even on its own. The chicken is sliced and served on top of the rice along with two kinds of special sauces. Don’t forget to make non-boiled “boiled eggs” by placing eggs on the inner lid of Kamado-san when cooking the rice. The eggs are ready when the rice is ready, and they taste so good with the dish!


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