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ONE POT COOKERY - "NABEMONO"
BACK TO FOOD | OYSTER MISO STEW | "THROWN TOGETHER" STEW
donabe ceramic pot The Japanese are quite fond of nabemono, or "one pot cookery." During mid-autumn when the days start getting colder, these hearty winter meals become common everywhere. The ingredients are usually simmered in deep bowl shaped earthenware pots called donabe. Try purchasing one of these ceramic pots for your kitchen, they come in many sizes and are indispensable for this type of cooking. Here are a few recipes for various types of one pot dishes....
DOTENABE (oyster, miso hotpot)
In Japanese, dote is an earthen embankment, and so the layer of miso lining the inner rim of the donabe pot gives this dish it's name. Traditionally made with oysters, you can also substitute them with an extra amount of deep fried tofu if you wish.

INGREDIENTS
1/2 cup of red miso
1 pound of fresh shelled oysters
3 inch piece of daikon, cut into rounds 1/2 inch thick and parboiled
2 Chinese cabbage leafs, cut into 1 1/2 inch strips
3 or 4 fresh shiitake mushrooms
1 carrot, cut into 1/4 inch slices and parboiled
1 small potato, cut into quarters and parboiled
1/2 block of deep fried tofu (or 1 whole block if not using oysters)
1/2 block of konnyaku, cut into large cubes (optional)
1 hardboiled egg, sliced in half
2 sprigs of fresh chrysanthemum leaves, or one small leek cut
into 2 inch lengths
2 1/2 tablespoons of sake
6 cups of dash
i (see basics for preparation method)

Line the inner rim of a medium sized donabe pot with an inch wide layer of miso. Place the vegetables into the pot along with the konnyaku, and the tofu. Pour in the dashi (and sake!) until it reaches, but does not fully cover the miso layer. Turn the heat on low under the donabe, cover and allow to simmer for almost half an hour (during this time the miso will melt into the broth and mix with the ingredients). Serve by placing ingredients in a small bowl, ladle some of the hot broth into the bowl, and top with a hardboiled egg slice.

YOSE NABE (vegetable and seafood pot)
The name of this dish means "thrown-together pot." Whatever ingredients are fresh and at hand go into making this stew. The ingredients are added one at a time with the richest fish going in first, and the delicate vegetables going in at the last moment and then eaten just as they are cooked.

The traditional way of serving this dish is to place the donabe pot at the dinning table upon an electric skillet (but you can also cook the food at the stove). Each diner places the ingredients of their choice into the stock to be "quick cooked." The food is then withdrawn and placed into individual serving bowls, a bit of stock ladled into the bowl, and the food then topped with condiments.

INGREDIENTS
8 hard shell clams
8 raw shrimp (deveined and shelled)
1/3 lb. salmon fillet
1 lb. sea bass fillets, (cut into 1/2 x 2 inch slices)
1 lb. yellowtail or mackerel fillets (cut into 1/2 x 2 inch slices)
1 block tofu (cut into 8 equal sized cubes)
8 fresh shiitake mushrooms
1 large carrot (cut into diagonal slices)
1/4 lb. enoki mushrooms (tough stems removed)
8 leaves Chinese cabbage,
(parboil leaves, drain, pare away thick center vein, roll into a tight roll, a bamboo sushi mat helps, then cut into 1 inch lengths)
1 handfull of fresh snow peas
2 fresh green onions (cut into 1/2 inch lengths)
Large handful of fresh spinach or watercress (cut off stems)

STOCK
2 quarts dashi (see basics for preparation method)
1/2 cup of shoyu
7 tablespoons mirin.

CONDIMENTS
3/4 cup finely chopped green onion
2 tablespoons fresh grated ginger
4 lemon wedges
1 small bowl of shoyu.

Place the fire resistant donabe pot on the stove (or upon the table skillet), and fill with the dashi, bring to a boil. First add the shellfish, then the fish, the vegetables with a longer cooking time like carrots, then finally the delicate leaf vegetables. When cooked through, let each diner choose food from the pot. Continue adding ingredients until everything is cooked and eaten.
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