Yose Nabe (Seafood Hot Pot)
serves: 8-12 as a meal
This dish seemed like a perfect representation of our Communal Dinners. The Yose Nabe (Seafood Hot Pot) is a mixture of all of the fish you can think of, like a gathering of friends. Some even add chicken thighs and tofu to the mix. To make it even more communal, the dish is generally served in separate parts on the dining table with the broth simmering directly on a butane stove in the center of the table. Everyone adds whatever they would like to eat, cooking together and bringing more and more complexity to the delicious broth!
A hot pot is traditionally cooked in a hand-built earthenware dish called a Donabe. It is a beautifully simple dish that recirculates steam to keep your veggies and meats cooking evenly, with a little hole in the lid to release steam. Each dish was beautifully glazed so it can serve as a presentation dish and a practical vessel.
Generally, a large donabe has enough room for a meal for four, since we were serving a large group, I decided to double the ingredients but serve half of the broth and veggies separately so guests can add to the broth, and cook half in the kitchen so food was ready to go when the main course was served. This turned out to be a great compromise between the two traditional methods of serving a hot pot.
The sauce calls for Dashi, the quintessential Japanese broth, find the recipe here!
- 8 cups Dashi
- 1 cup mirin
- 1 cup usukuchi soy sauce (light soy sauce)
- 1/2 pound Napa cabbage, thinly sliced
- 4 ounces horusame noodles, soaked in cold water for 15 minutes
- 8-10 ounces spinach, blanched, moisture squeezed out
- 8 large napa cabbage leaves, blanched
- 1 pound firm tofu, sliced into 8 bricks
- 1 pound mussels
- 16 jumbo prawns, preferably head intact
- 1 pound large scallops
- 1 pound flounder/snapper/halibut/cod/seabass chopped into 1-2 inch slices
- 7 ounce package of enoki mushrooms, trimmed and separated into smaller groupings
- whites of 4 scallions, 1 1/2 inch pieces
- to serve:
- 1 cup scallions
- for Momiiji Oroschi:
- 1/2 pound daikon, peeled
- 5 whole dried chilies
- udon noodles
- Combine the dashi, mirin, and soy sauce to make a broth. Set aside.
- Arrange sliced cabbage leaves at the bottom of a Donabe dish. Top with the drained horusame noodles.
- Arrange 4 blanched cabbage leaves on a sushi mat or on top of plastic wrap, overlap the leaves by about 1/4 to 1/3 of a leaf. Place half the spinach at one end of the lettuce leaves (the stem end) and roll the leaves up tightly. Squeeze out any excess liquid and slice. Cut into 4 logs. Repeat with remaining cabbage and spinach.
- Arrange 1/2 of the cabbage rolls, prawns, mussels, scallops, flounder, tofu, and scallions in a large serving platter. This will be the additional ingredients to add to the hot pot tableside.
- Arrange the remaining ingredients in the Donabe on top of the horusame and the napa cabbage.
- Pour 1/2 of the broth on top of the seafood in the Donabe and reserve the other half in a serving pitcher.
- Cover the Donabe and bring to a boil. Reduce heart to medium and simmer for 10 minutes (If you are serving tableside, plan to double the cooking time).
- For the Momiji Orochi: grind up the peppers with a mortar and pestle and grate the daikon. Combine together in a food processor and squeeze out any extra moisture. Be careful, it is spicy!
- Serve the remaining ingredients table-side with scallions, udon noodles, and Momiji Oroschi on the side.