I love my friend and fellow food blogger, Jennifer Perrillo. In September we were roommates for BlogherFood09 in San Francisco. During our time together she was so kind to give me all sorts of wonderful things to bring back to Seattle. This included a copy of Japanese Hot Pots: Comforting One-Pot Meals by Tadashi Ono and Harris Salat. I was so thrilled because I had been looking through it in our hotel room asking questions about it. During my flight home I scanned through each recipe. With every turn of the page my appetite for hot pot grew. Browsing through the book one can’t help but notice the stunning food photography -the photos are beyond beautiful. The first recipe I tried was Kinoko Nabe a.k.a. Mushroom Hot Pot. And fyi, I’ve made this 4 times since reading the book!
What I love about this dish and any hot pot for that matter is how simple it is to throw together not to mention how satisfying and healthy the meals are. The mushroom recipe in the book was filling and rich in flavor. However, I did a Japanese no-no and added udon noodles to the hot pot because… I love UDON! If you are new to Japanese comfort food, may I suggest you try a little Hot Pot? And if you are intimidated by the ingredients, just substitute the mushrooms for what you can find in your regular grocery store. As for the dashi, you can buy instant dashi powder which is more readily available than Kombu and shaved bonito. However, Kombu adds so much umami it would be a shame not to use it. This meal is perfect for any Fall/Winter night, especially if you are looking for something lighter (and healthier) than a heavy stew yet just as filling. It is also a great meal to serve guests. I present to you Mushroom Hot Pot. Enjoy!!
Mushroom Hot Pot – Kinoko Nabe Recipe
Adapted from “Japanese Hot Pots” – Serves 4
4 cups dashi (4 cups of water + 2-6” pieces of kombu + 1 1/2 ounces dried, shaved bonito *** I wasn’t able to find shaved bonito but I used 1 tablespoon instant bonito flavored dashi + kombu + water)
1 cup sake
1/2 cup mirin
1/2 cup soy sauce or for a Gluten-Free variation, use San-J Organic Tamari Wheat Free Soy Sauce found in the health food section of your local grocery store.
1/2 pound napa cabbage, sliced
1/2 package firm tofu, cut into 4 pieces
1/2 pound oyster mushrooms, trimmer and pulled apart
3 1/2 ounces shimeji mushrooms, trimmed and pulled apart
7 ounces enoki mushrooms, trimmed and pulled apart
1/2 pound spinach, stemmed
Optional: Shichimi togarashi for accent
*sidenote: This recipe is gluten-free however I like to add a little bit of udon noodles to my hotpot which is not GF.
In a large sauce pan or wok, prepare the broth by combining the dashi, sake, mirin, and soy sauce on medium high heat. Add cabbage and tofu and bring the pot to boil and then to simmer for 5 minutes with the cover on. Remove the cover and add mushrooms and udon noodles and cook for 5 more minutes. Add spinach and cook for 1 more minute. Remove and discard Kombu. Serve hot pot in individual bowls and garnish with Shichimi togarashi. Enjoy!