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!
This simple broth is the base for many Japanese sauces and soups. Unlike Western broths, which gain their flavor from time and slow simmering, Dashi is imbued with umami from dried kelp and bonito flakes which release their goodness after a quick simmer.
I have always loved udon soup, but I have never considered making my own udon noddles until I waited for one hour in line outside of the most famous noodle shop in Honolulu, Morukame Udon. The weather was perfect, and the family ahead of us very funny, but it was the view through the windows that caught my attention for the bulk of that hour. A cook was gingerly tossing around a sheet of silky dough and thinning it slowly before another next to him cut it down into beautiful fresh udon noodles. It was this experience that made me really want to have the Japanese-Hawaiian fusion dinner. I had to make my own noodles.
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.