Got home from work feeling a little under the weather and stressed from work. I think everyone has those days when they simply need easy to fix comfort food. Well, here is one of my indulgences. It looks great, prepares with very little work, and is utterly edible. In addition, it is very flexible and prepared with stock items on hand (except for the oysters). This recipe was inspired by Tadashi Ono’s excellent book Japanese Hot Pots: Comforting One-Pot Meals.
In addition to oysters, this dish highlights the fudge-adjacent flavor of hatcho-miso. For those of you that haven’t used it before, hatcho is a specific type of aged and pressed miso that provides a decadent, rich flavor to this dish. The base vegetables, in this case, are pak choi and carrots, but you could use any combination of a durable green (cabbage-like) and a root vegetable. I used mustard greens instead of chrysanthemum greens as a seasonal substitute for the late addition green. One of the things that is great about this, and any hot pot, is that once you have the broth style figured out, you can customize the rest of the dish, within reason. It’s your hot-pot after all.
As a cooking note, I prepared this in my Ivory and Black Crackle 8-1/2-Inch Donabe Japanese Hot Pot. This is a really small and shallow donabe. Not a lot of room to work. As a result, you have to really watch the fluid level; don’t top it up with fluids until after you have most of the stuff in it or you will have a mess. Don’t worry, even with the progressive addition of fluids, the clay has enough heat to cook everything just fine. If all the ingredient don’t fit in your nabe (nabe come in all manner of different volumes), don’t stress about it. That is not part of the exercise; just cook enough to eat. I typically cook my nabemono on a table top butane burner, as I do not have a gas range.
Hope you have a great time with this one. I feel much better after slurping it down.
- 3 Tbs. Hatcho miso
- 2 Tbs. aka miso
- ¼ cup sake
- 2 cups dashi (sea stock)
- 2 stalks pak choi, sliced at 1 inch
- 2 baby carrots, halved
- ⅓ block pressed tofu, sliced into bit sized pieces
- 2 oz crimini mushrooms, halved
- ½ sliced leek or scallions, sliced thickly
- 5 medium oysters, shucked and drained
- 2 stalks mustard greens, sliced lengthwise at 1 inch
- Prepare broth by combining miso, sake, and dashi in a bowl. I recommend mechanically blending, as the hatcho miso is stiff.
- Place the pak choi and carrots in the nabe and fill ⅔ with broth.
- Cover and heat over medium low until broth is boiling and carrots start to soften
- Add oysters, arrange tofu along edge in fan, and add mushrooms. Replace lid and simmer about 8 minutes.
- Open lid and place mustard greens along one side. Distribute leek/scallion across top.
- Replace lid and cook a final 5 minutes.