Red Snapper and Clam Hot Pot (Sugata Nabe)

Red Snapper and Clam Hot Pot (Sugata Nabe)

Daria Souvorova

30-40 minutes
serves: 2-4


Next weekend, we are throwing a huge Japanese-Hawaiian fusion dinner, so I wanted to get a head start on trying out some of the flavors. Red snapper is beautiful, it is one of my favorite fishes for dishes in which I want to present the whole fish.

For the dinner party, I will serve this dish alongside a second hot pot called Yose Nabe, generally referred to as the Anything Goes Hot Pot where I will have a plethora of flavors, so I will keep the broth simple for the Snapper Hot pot.

Tonight, I wanted to add a bit of nuance to the flavor by adding some clam meats to the broth. The pairing is delicious, but if you want to go for a more traditional flavor, omit the clams.

This can be cooked on a hot plate right at the table or cooked beforehand in the kitchen. If you are cooking it table-side, it might take a bit longer to cook through.



  • 1 pound red snapper, cleaned and gutted, head intact
  • salt to cure the fish
  • 6 inch piece of kombu
  • 1/4 pound napa cabbage, sliced
  • 1 cup clam meats
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 scallions, white parts sliced into 1 inch tubes (greens reserved for garnish)
  • 7 ounces shimeji or enoki mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup sake
  • shime:
  • 1 cup sushi rice, cooked according to package
  • or 2-3 cups udon noodles, cooked
  • garnish:
  • scallion greens, sliced
  • Ponzu dipping sauce:
  • 1/2 tablespoon mirin
  • 2 tablespoons dashi
  • 2 tablespoons juice of lemon, lime, grapefruit, or yuzu
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons usuhuchi soy sauce (light soy sauce)


    1. Cut a large X on the red snapper on both sides.
      Dry with paper towels and salt both sides. Leave on counter for 20-30 minutes.
      Dry fish again and rub off any excess salt.
    2. Place kombu on the bottom of a small pot or donabe. Add cabbage and mussels on top.
      Add water and cover with lid.
      Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer.
    3. Carefully add the fish into the hot pot. Arrange mushrooms on both sides around the fish.
    4. Add the sake and white bottoms of scallion, cover and simmer on low for 15-20 minutes.
    5. Remove lid and cook for a few minutes longer, uncovered. This allows some of the strong alcohol scent to air out.
    6. Combine all of the ponzu dipping sauce ingredients.img_7372
    7. Serve in the donabe cooking pot with scallions and ponzu on the side. If making a large version of this, I would eat the hot pot first and then add the shime into the pot to cook a few minutes longer, but when cooking for two, we divide the shime between our bowls and add the contents of the hot pot on top.
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