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.
This is a very popular traditional Japanese dish in the spring, when fresh bamboo shoots and wakame seaweed are in the height of season. Bamboo brings sweet and tender characters, and the wakame is rich in mineral flavors. But, even if you can’t get such fresh ingredients in the season, with the increased availability and quality of pre-cooked bamboo and dried wakame, you can enjoy this dish all year round. I like to top it with a generous amount of shaved katsuobushi, as it gives extra rich flavor and makes the dish even more satisfying.
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.