Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Hotpot Cuisine and Mochi

   How have you been? This winter is very cold in Kochi, isn't it? In such cold nights,warm yourself up with Nabe-Ryori (or just nabe), which is a dish of meat, fish, tofu and vegetables boiled in broth in a big pot (a nabe) and eaten when boiling. The best way of eating nabe is sharing it with your family and friends. So set a portable hob on a kotatsu table and have a good time enjoying the warming nabe.

   You can get some nabe soup bases at supermarkets. Popular tare, which is a dipping sauce for Nabe-Ryori, are goma-dare (made from sesame) and ponzu (made from yuzu, which is a kind of citrus fruit, and soy sauce).

CHIGE-NABE: This comes from Korea and is hot and spicy with chili pepper. Chige means a boiled dish in Korean. The main ingredient is thinly sliced pork, cod or tofu.We also boil hakusai (Chinese cabbage), nira (leek) and mushrooms together in the soup.

YU-DOFU: We put konbu (a kind of seaweed) in a nabe and put tofu on the konbu and warm them. You dip the tofu into ponzu or some other kinds of tare before eating.

YOSE-NABE: The soup is simple and you can put any ingredients you want in it except beef and pork, but chicken is OK (sorry I don’t know why! )

CHANKO-NABE: This is a meal for Sumo wrestlers. The most popular ingredient is seafood and a lot of vegetables.

SHABUSHABU: You lightly boil meat and then eat with goma-dare. The act of boiling it makes the sound “shabu shabu”, so we named it after this.

TONYU-NABE: We make the soup from tonyu (soy milk), and white miso and then boil chicken, salmon, oysters and vegetables in it.

MOCHI (steamed and pounded rice)
   We have many kinds of ways of eating mochi, like boiling and roasting. My favorite way is to roast it on a Japanese Stove. It is interesting to watch mochi during roasting because it grows little by little until the inside is soft. Then roll it in seaweed, and dip it into soy sauce with sugar and eat it.

   You can also use mochi for nabe cooking and sukiyaki. In addition, there is a sweet dish called zenzai, which is boiled azuki beans with sugar and then roasted mochi on top. Mochi is eaten mainly at the beginning of the year but you can find it in supermarkets throughout the year. Find your favorite way of cooking mochi!

Be careful when eating mochi!
   Mochi is sticky, and you’ll get it stuck in your throat unless you chew it well. Every year many people choke to death in Japan. Also, remember to keep a glass of drinking water with you when eating mochi.

Taken from vol.7 PDF

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