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Black Cod Hot Pot in Saikyo Miso & Soymilk Broth

Saikyo Miso to Tonyu Nabe

Saikyo miso is a traditional white miso from Kyoto, Japan. The color is pale and it has a natural umami-rich sweet flavor due to the higher content of koji rice (malted rice) in the miso. The sodium level is also much lower than other types of miso, so you can use a good amount of it to enjoy its rich flavor in a soup, etc. without making the dish too salty. This hot pot dish has the combination of dashi, soymilk, and Saikyo miso in the broth, so the flavor is rich and complex. Make sure to use the real Saikyo Miso from Kyoto and pure rich soymilk (with no additives) such as Banrai Soymilk.

Buttery fish like cod is perfect for this broth, other types of seafood or even chicken would certainly work in this dish, too.


Simmered Egg-Drop Chicken & Asparagus with Sansho Berries

Tori Asparagus Tamago-toji

This dish is a variation of Chicken & Tofu Hot Pot with Egg dish, and this dish is less soupy and the broth plays a role more as a seasoning for the ingredients. The combination of chicken, egg, and asparagus almost never go wrong, especially when asparagus is in high season in the spring time. The dish is topped with Salt-Pickled Sansho Berries, which bring such beautiful accent to the dish, but if you don’t have them, you can sprinkle some Sansho Powder, and it’s also very good for this dish.



Chicken & Tofu Hot Pot with Egg

Tori to Tofu no Tamago-toji Nabe

This is my lazy-day but feel-good quick hot pot dish. I love my small size donabe so much, as it’s so handy to use, and I can make quick one-pot-meal for 1 to 2 people in a short time. In this dish, dashi (stock) is heated with soy sauce and mirin, then chicken, tofu, and mushrooms are added one after another to cook in the broth. Once everything is cooked through, eggs are drizzled in and cooked further (I like the soft stage). I used shungiku (chrysanthemum leaves) as a topping, but you can simply use thinly-sliced green onion or any of your choice of green topping. Enjoy with some sansho powder.


Tamari-Flavored Beef and Tofu Stew

Tamari Niku-Dofu

Simple, quick, and satisfying, beef and tofu stew is a popular home dish in Japan. With an addition of komatsuna (Japanese spinach – you can substitute with regular spinach or other leafy greens), it makes a nutritiously balanced one-pot dish. I love using Tamari Soy Sauce for seasoning, as it gives a nice deep flavor, but you can also make it with regular soy sauce and it will still taste great. If you have any leftovers, I highly suggest you reheat it in a donabe (or a small pot), drizzle some whisked egg over it, then once the egg is at your desired consistency, pour the whole thing over the rice to make a beef and tofu rice bowl. Just so that I will have enough leftover the next day, I tend to make extra amounts of this dish.


Mabo Tofu

This is a Japanese version of popular Chinese dish (mapo tofu), which is a spicy stew of tofu and ground pork. My Mabo Tofu is seasoned with miso, and it gives nice rich flavor to the dish. For the spicy heat and extra umami, tobanjan (Chinese chili bean paste) is an essential ingredient for this dish. While there is no ideal substitute for this ingredients, if you can’t find it, Sriracha could work also. You can make this dish with any classic-style donabe, or Mushi Nabe without the steam grate. I used my Bistro Mushi Nabe in the photos in this recipe.


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.


Chicken Meatball Hot Pot in Miso Broth

Tsukune Miso Nabe

This simple miso-flavored hot pot is always so popular among my family and friends. By adding grated ginger and egg, the chicken meatballs becomes so fluffy and flavorful. The other main ingredients are tofu and mushrooms, which complete the dish to full satisfaction. The suggested shime (finishing course) to cook in the saved broth is udon or ramen.


Chilled Tofu with Condiments

Hiyayakko

Hiyayakko is one of the most simple and beloved Japanese home dishes that is enjoyed all year round. It’s really about simple plain tofu, enjoyed with sliced scallion, shaved katsuobushi, and soy sauce or any condiments of your choice. In the summer time, to make the maximum “cold” effect by both taste and visual, I like to serve the tofu in ice bath in a donabe. Also in this way, you have a beautiful presentation and can even impress your guests. Medium-firm or soft tofu are recommended for hiyayakko, for the most pleasant texture.


Salt Butter Chanko Hot Pot

Shio Butter Chanko Nabe

Japanese sumo wrestlers cook and eat chanko nabe at their stable every day. That’s the source of their strength. While chanko nabe refers to any types of hot pot eaten by sumo wrestlers, the most typical style is chicken as a main protein and cooked in chicken broth. It’s because chicken stands on two legs like human beings, so it is considered to bring good luck (in sumo, you lose if your hands touch the ground). Chanko nabe typically makes a very nutritious and balanced meal, as you cook a wide variety of healthy ingredients in one pot. The sumo wrestlers are big, because they eat so much of it every meal! In my version, I cook chicken meatballs and vegetables in simple salt-flavored chicken broth, and add butter cubes right before serving. The aroma is so irresistible and the flavor is superb. As a shime (finishing course), I suggest ramen noodles to cook in the remaining broth.


Spicy Pork Sesame Hot Pot

Buta no Goma-Suki

The marinade has such a rich flavor, and the creamy sesame paste makes it so aromatic. Once you have all the ingredients ready, all you need to do is just piling up the ingredients and build your excitement while waiting for the dish to cook. I love that I can taste so many different ingredients in this one dish, but you can always substitute or omit most of the ingredients as you like.


Tofu and Wakame Miso Soup

Tofu to Wakame no Miso-shiru

Tofu and wakame miso soup is such a classic Japanese soup, and it’s one of my ultimate comfort foods. Because Miso-shiru Nabe has such a high heat retention ability, the soup stays very hot for a long time after turning off the heat. Make sure to turn off the heat as soon as you add the miso, and never boil the soup, so you can really enjoy the most aromatic stage of the miso. If you have access, salt-preserved wakame (or sometimes it’s called “fresh wakame“) is recommended as it gives the nice fresh texture to the soup, and you can add it at the very end to the donabe or add to your bowl after the soup is poured into individual bowls.


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