Monday, June 11, 2012

Meatless Monday: Mushroom Hot Pot

I've said this before but my idea of Meatless Monday posts are to eat less red meat.  Sometimes I post recipes using seafood.  Today's recipe uses fish broth and clams in the soup.  You could always make it vegetarian by using a mushroom stock and omitting the clams.  

The recipe is based on a recipe adapted from the cookbook, "Japanese Hot Pots" by Tadashi Ono and Harris Salat.  This is a great Japanese hot pot book.  I love hot pots!  It's very simple and delicious!  The broth uses a Japanese dashi broth made from konbu (seaweed) and bonito flakes (fish).  You can find these in any Asian store.  In the past I've used hon-dashi powder but it is often filled with additives such as MSG.  Homemade dashi broth is so much better!  
The dash broth recipe follows below.  The entire recipe makes 6 cups.  Dashi is a multi-purpose broth in Japanese cooking.  I often use it for making miso soup.  You can always make extra broth.  Left over dash can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for 2 months.  

I decided to make a mushroom hot pot because I bought some beautiful local crimini mushrooms.  I bought some oyster & enoki mushrooms to make it a nice mix.  I also used some left over napa cabbage I had in the fridge, picked some bok choy from the garden and used the daikon I had bought from the Farmer's Market.  I also bought some manilla clams to give the broth some extra umami.  

Mushroom Hot Pot
Serves 4
Adapted from: Japanese Hot Pots by Tadashi Ono & Harris Salat

4 c. dashi (see below recipe)
1 c. sake
1/2 c. mirin
1/2 c. soy sauce
1 lb. manilla clams, washed & scrubbed clean
1/4 small napa cabbage, sliced
1/2 lb. bok choy, chopped in bite sized pieces
1/2 small daikon, peeled and sliced in about 1/4 inch pieces
1/2 package (1/2 lb.) firm tofu, cut in to 4 large pieces
1/2 lb. crimini mushrooms, sliced
1/2 lb. oyster mushrooms, trimmed & pulled apart
7 oz. enoki mushrooms, trimmed & pulled apart
shichimi togarashi, for accent

1) Soak the clams in lightly salted water for a couple hours in the refrigerator.  This soak allows the clams to release any sand they may have ingested.  Drain and rinse the clams.

2) In a medium pot, combine the dashi, sake, mirin and soy sauce.  Add the clams and bring the broth to a boil.  Cover the pot and reduce the heat to low and simmer the clams for 4-5 minutes or until they open.  Remove the opened clams with a slotted spoon and reserve to a bowl.  Set the clams aside.  Discard any clams that did not open.

3) Add the napa cabbage, bok choy, daikon and tofu to a hot pot and pour the broth over it.  Cover the pot and bring it to a boil over high heat.  Decrease the heat to medium and simmer for about 10 minutes.  

4) Uncover the hot pot and add the mushrooms, piling them randomly on top of the other ingredients.  Cover the pot and simmer for another 5 minutes.  

5) Transfer the hot pot to the dining table.  Serve the ingredients together with the broth, accenting with the shichimi togarashi.

Dashi Broth
Makes 6 cups
Adapted from: Japanese Hot Pots by Tadashi Ono & Harris Salat

8 c. water (plus another 1/2 c. reserved)
2 (6 inch) pieces of kombu
1 1/2 oz. dried, shaved bonito (3 packed cups)

1) Add 8 c. water and the kombu to a large stock pot and let it steep for 30 minutes.

2) Place the stock pot over medium heat and bring the water to a boil.  Remove the kombu and discard.

3) Add the reserved 1/2 c. water to the pot.  Add the bonito and stir it once to mix it in.  As soon as the liquid comes to a boil again, decrease the heat to low and simmer the broth for another 5 minutes.  Remove any scum that appears on the surface (it can affect flavor).

4) Turn off the heat and let the liquid steep for about 15 minutes.  Strain the liquid through a fine sieve or cheesecloth.  Don't squeeze the bonito flakes.  Discard the bonito flakes after using.


scrapper al said...

Looks yummy! I've never made dashi; guess I should start. One question, why don't you squeeze the bonito flakes? Do they crumble too much? Turn bitter? It seems like you'd want to extract all the flavor you can.

~Holly~ said...

arlyn: It's so easy to make dashi. I wonder why I don't make it more often! I think you don't squeeze cause it can make the dashi bitter. Although I'm not certain.