Of the miso based Nabes, one of my favorite is Winter Nabe seasoned with Saikyo Miso. I made it in the patio this morning for breakfast. I call it winter nabe because the white winter vegetables - napa cabbage, Japanese turnip, white shimeji mushrooms, enoki mushrooms, negi, abura-age and tofu inspire a snowy landscape. The greens in this nabe don't really belong in this nabe but my body wanted some this morning so I threw mizuna in the pot at the end. It's never too cold to eat outdoors in Los Angeles. I put on an extra sweatshirt, and I am fine because the nabe will warm me up. I also know I can count on the sun. Before noon, I will probably be in a t-shirt. This nabe was also a hit at the Nabe workshop.
Outdoor Nabe - the vegetables, tofu and fish are ready to
Winter vegetables - napa cabbage, daikon radish, Japanese
PREPARING THE NABE:
Make the dashi and season 6 cups with usukuchi soysauce. Take a couple cups of the liquid and use it to dissolve the miso. Pour the miso liquid into the dashi. Set aside.
Slice each cod fillets crosswise, at an angle, about 1.5 inches wide.
Cut Napa cabbage into bite size pieces.
Slice Negi at an angle, about 2 inches long.
Slice turnip thinly, about 1/8 inch thick.
Cut tofu into 8 squares. Arrange everything on a platter.
Keep each ingredient in its own pile.
Sarah, Nicole and Rebecca at the Hot pot workshop
BUILDING THE NABE:
Set the table with chopsticks, spoons, and serving bowls for each person.
Bring out the condiments and garnishes and set it on the table. Bring the seasoned dashi, the plain dashi (in a little pitcher or cup) the vegetables, tofu and the fish platter.
Turn on the portable burner.
Pour the seasoned dashi in the Donabe, Hot pot, and heat the dashi over medium heat.
When the seasoned dashi starts to gently boil, turn heat to low, and add the turnips first and the white part of the napa cabbage. Cover the pot and cook for 3-4 minutes.
Don't over cook the tofu and enoki mushrooms.
Add the rest of the ingredients except the tofu and enoki mushrooms. Cover the pot and cook for another 4- 5 minutes over simmering heat.
Add the negi, tofu and enoki mushrooms. Cover the pot and simmer for for a couple of minutes. Add the Mizuna and cook briefly for a minute. Now open the donabe and serve the nabe in individual bowls with the soup.
Since the fish contain bones, warn people to be careful.
Garnish with sliced yuzu.
Let everyone help themselves to the condiments and garnishes on the table.
Note: If you plan to do a second round, try to clear the first round of ingredients out of the nabe. Have a bowl ready to scoop out the leftovers, which gets eaten or discarded. One of the things a host does during the nabe dinner is to encourage the guests to have more, so you have no leftovers. You don’t want to mix overcooked ingredients with the fresh ones. The leftover broth can be used to make a porridge.