Monday, February 1, 2010

Introducing Japanese Hot pot or NABE

In my recent class, I realized that Nabe, or Japanese hot-pot, is not well-known Japanese meal.
Hot-pot is similar to other Asian style on pot meals. Hot pot is a light and healthy meal that is great on cold evenings. It is the meal for the family and friends. It is easy to prepare. You make soup stock, cut raw ingredients, and bring them to the table. The soup is cooked in a pot over a portable heater that is placed in the middle of the table. Family and friends sit around the table and put raw ingredients such as fish, thinly cut meats, Napa cabbage, and tofu into the pot to cook. They take the cooked items out of the pot, dip them in sauce, and eat them.
'Tori no Mizutaki' is chicken hot-pot.’ Tori no mizutaki’ consists of words 'Tori' which means Chicken and 'Mizutaki' means cooking in water. As the Japanese words implies, the chicken is cooked from the water to make tasty soup stock for this hot pot. My students had their first 'Tori No Mizutaki' with vegetables, Yam cake and tofu in traditional dipping sauce ‘Ponzu’ with grated Dankon. They loved it. One student was vegetarian who eats fish but doesn’t eat tofu. For her, I made a soup that was fish based stock and vegetables and Udon noodles were added into the soup. She liked the vegetarian version while other students didn't. We made rice soup with the soup left-over from the Nabe. My students told me the hot-pot would be the great meal for tail gate party.
I make my hot-pot at home by pre-cooking most ingredients and placing them on the portable gas stove on the table. So my hungry family can start eating immediately by taking cooked food from the pot while I put new ingredients in the pot.