Nabe (hot pot) is a favourite for the winter season, and a part of food culture in Japan. During the cold weather, families gather around a nabe (a ceramic pot) on the table, cooking and eating it together.
Cooking nabe is actually quite simple yet the results are superb. You boil vegetables and meat or fish in one pot and enjoy the umami flavours from each ingredient.
I chose the ingredients you can easily get outside of Japan for this recipe.
In order to enjoy the real umami flavours from the ingredients, just salt is added for seasoning, therefore it’s important to choose fresh and high standard ingredients.
Nabe is nutritious yet low in calories. With a variety of ingredients, nabe is a very satisfying dish and ideal when you are watching your weight.
Choose any ingredients you like. You can make a tasty nabe for vegetarians and vegans.
I added dried shitake mushrooms today. When vegetables are dried, their taste intensifies. Although dried vegetables are a part of traditional Japanese food, people rediscovered them as a good way to eat vegetables in recent years in Japan.
You can find dried shitake mushrooms in large supermarkets. Alternatively, you can use other dried mushrooms, or fresh ones. Mushrooms are the essential ingredient for this recipe as they release their umami flavour in this dish.
Except for the mushrooms, you can substitute any other ingredients that you find in your fridge and enjoy your own delicious and healthy nabe!
Ingredients for 4
100g Kale (you can substitute for cabbage or Chinese lettuce)
80g bean sprouts
100g leek, diagonally sliced (you can substitute for spring onion)
200g salmon fillet, cut into bite sized pieces
4 dried shitake mushrooms (3 heaped tbs if they are already sliced)
50ml rice wine (or dry sherry, dry white wine)
1 tbs salt (preferably sea salt)
- Add the dried shitake mushrooms in the measured water and leave them until soft.
- Arrange the kale leaves in a large pot.
- Arrange the leak, bean sprouts and salmon on top of the kale. Add the softened shitake and the liquid.
- Add the rice wine and salt, then cook over a high heat with the lid on.
- Once boiled, lower the heat and simmer until cooked while skimming off any scum on top.
- When the ingredients in the pot become scarce, add cooked rice or noodles and simmer further to fully enjoy the soup which is enriched with the umami flavours from the ingredients. It’s the Japanese way!
- These foods listed below make delicious nabe. Cut into bite sized pieces and simply add to your pot; Chinese lettuce, cabbage, watercress, bean sprout, carrot, leek, spring onion, any mushrooms, chicken, prawn, cod, mussels and other shellfish