Shungiku and Oyster Nabe Hot Pot
Although it’s translated as “spring chrysanthemum,” shungiku (also known as garland chrysanthemum) is a green vegetable that peaks in winter. Its green leaves are shaped like those of a chrysanthemum, and it has a distinct, sharp aroma. Shungiku contains more beta carotene than spinach and is a rich antioxidant. Japanese people eat shungiku as ohitashi (boiled greens seasoned with dashi broth and soy sauce), tempura, and especially in nabe hot pots in winter. Misako-sensei uses oysters, another winter ingredient, to add more seasonal flavor to this nabe dish. The umami from the oysters and vegetables seeps into the soup, and it’s tasty as is, but you can kick the flavor up a notch with ponzu (a soy-based sauce made with citrus juice and dashi broth).
[INGREDIENTS] (Serves 3–4)
• 6–8 cups water r6-inch-long piece of dried kombu kelp
• 2–3 bunches shungiku (garland chrysanthemums)
• 9–12 shucked oysters r8 oz tofu
• 2–3 cups grated daikon radish
• 1/2 cup chopped scallions
• 2 tbsp grated ginger
1. Add water and kombu into a large, wide pot and let stand for 30 minutes. Then turn on heat to medium.
2. Rinse oysters gently and pat dry with paper towel.
3. Sprinkle some sake onto cleaned oysters.
4. Wash shungiku under cold water and cut into 2-inch-long or bite-sized pieces.
5. Cut tofu into cubes.
6. When water in pot comes to a boil, take out kombu.
7. Put shungiku, oysters, and tofu into pot.
8. As each ingredient is cooked in the broth, scoop it out with a ladle into a small individual bowl and eat with ponzu, grated daikon, ginger, and scallions.
9. You can keep adding one ingredient after another.
Nabe Hot Pot
Made from a variety of ingredients tossed into a boiling, tabletop pot and shared with a group of people, a nabe hot-pot meal is the ultimate comfort food. It is popular especially in cold winter because of its warming effect on the body. You can put whatever you like to eat in your nabe. It’s also a very convenient dish that can help you use up leftovers. There are countless types of nabe; some popular ones include mizudaki (chicken and vegetables in lightly seasoned clear dashi broth), yosenabe (seafood and vegetables in soy sauce or miso-seasoned dashi broth), and motsunabe (guts/giblets and vegetables in thickly flavored dashi broth).
Apple season is here! This drink is quick and easy but powerful enough to warm you instantly from inside. Adjust the amount of ginger you put in depending on how much you’d like to warm up. Enjoy!
Misako Sassa Japanese cooking instructor/food consultant
Misako teaches authentic Japanese cooking, focusing on simple, delicious, and healthy home-style cooking using seasonal and local ingredients.
Cooking video: ny1page.com