On tonight's table

December 10, 2007

During the holiday season when our bellies are consistently being pushed to maximum capacity with baked goods, carb-laden sides, hefty meats and poultries, it's nice to have a break and eat something light and healthy.

It's a cold, crisp night here in San Mateo, California. Perfect for nabe (nabemono). Nabe, or hot pot, is a typical Japanese soup eaten in the colder months, and usually cooked in a pot at the table. These popular nabe dishes may ring a bell here in the States: Sukiyaki, Shabu Shabu, Oden. While typical nabes include vegetables and fish, seafood or meat, there really is no hard fast rule as to what you can throw in.

Tonight our nabe includes the following: Copper River salmon (one small fillet for the two of us), a few large shrimp, oyster and enoki mushrooms, mizuna (Japanese mustard greens), tofu and shirataki (konyaku) noodles. The broth is as follows:

2/3 C. mirin

2/3 C. sake

2/3 C. soy sauce

1, 1/3 C. dashi

2 T. sugar

Cook until sugar dissolves and alcohol reduces.

Serve with hot sake to make the meal complete.

Itadakimasu (let's eat)!