Gyoza miso nabe (relax hot pot). Step 2 : cook’n eat.

Let’s eat this miso hot pot with ginger chicken gyoza…

You have everything ready (details here).

1. fill 2/3 of the pot with hot water, add the kombu seaweed, let simmer a few minutes. You can put the lid if you want to speed up.
2. add a part of the miso, at your taste. It’s very salty. You want the water drizzle slightly, just enough to poach and cook the ingredients. The “don’t let boil” advice for miso soup can’t apply here.
3. when the level of broth goes down, complete with hot water. When you get near the end of the meal, you can let the broth thicken.
4. add small amounts of the ingredients and pick them out as soon as they are cooked. The cooking time differ slightly. Here, the kabocha is the longest, I put some in first, then gyoza, then mochi and I like my cabbage and sprouts very crunchy so they need only a quick dip.

While the kabocha cooks, you have the time to form a few gyoza dumplings :

Inside the gyoza : meat, ginger and a little miso. Wet the outer circle and fold in 2, try to push out all air from inside and shape in little bags. They cook in about 5 minutes. You can see the change of shape and color.

FINAL ROUND :

At the end, everything that is left, the rest of miso, of veggies, the unused dumpling skins and the big block of mochi. The kombu seaweed has become much softer and it can be eaten. I cut it in ribbon and let it in.
When the mochi melts, serve the soup.

Other nabe hotpots :

Japanese miso hot pot with Winter crab
Nikomi Udon, noodle nabe
Duck and veggie nabe
sukiyaki, beef , sake and soy sauce

Gyoza miso nabe (relax hot pot). Step 1 : display.


A cool… no hot nabe Japanese hotpot with ginger flavored chicken gyoza dumplings. A meal to cook directly on the table and relax longly, and enjoy season food. It’s very popular for parties and all gathering, but you can start at one. Preparing takes less time than reading this post.

gas + donabe

Material :
-a stove you can place on your table. They make convenient and cheap gas ones (in any Chinatown). I also have a small induction one. A brasero is too slow for a big pot, but for one or two, that works.
-a nabe (pot). That can be any thick bottom pot. There are beautiful ones in black cast iron (kuro tetsu), or in pottery (donabe). It’s better to use one that seems too small than too big for the number of guests. The goal is to cook progressively and eat immediately each bite, so you want to cook in many small batches.
-a pot with hot water not far away

A bit of dashi kombu, the seaweed. That’s the base for the broth.

Chunky koji miso. How much ? I’d say a good spoonful per person for a full meal. Then that depends if you like your food salty.
Some mochi. It’s the full season as we are so close to New Year. I had square kiri-mochi. We can buy any size here. They sell thinly cuts ready for hot pots, but slicing yours is not difficult. I slice some, I keep some whole for the final.
Dumpling skins that you can make yourself. I bought them this time. Well, some buy the gyoza ready, but that’s not funny.
DIY gyoza

For the filling : ground chicken meat and diced fresh ginger. That’s all. The ground meat could go bad if it stayed too long unrefrigerated, so take it from the fridge at the last minute. If you are many, bring one a bowl and refill later as you go.

Season veggies that you like.
The greens of hakusai (napa cabbage). Bean sprouts. And yukikesho kabocha, sliced finely, if possible. The rind of kabocha is edible.

That’s ready. Jump to step 2 (here).

Yaki-hearts

A heart shaped yakitori lunch.
Tori is bird, yakitori is grilled chicken, the generic name for the Japanese small chicken skewers. All parts are used. You can grill on a brasero, if you have. I use the oven toaster for my individual y-t.

Before you saw yakitori (click on text) :
with negi leeks

gizzards

DSC03852-001salt grilled tsukune (meatballs)

DSC03902-001sauce tsukune

DSC03889-001sesame tsukune

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Today chicken hearts. They are opened flat on small skewers.
You have 2 options :

Shio-yaki. Salt grilled. Just sprinkle coarse natural sea salt, then grill.

In sauce. You can buy a yakitori sauce if you like buying stuff. Or simmer a little soy sauce with mirin, sugar or honey (or a mix) and add a very small amount of starch if you wish it was thicker.
Coat your skewer in that sauce. Start grilling. Paint again with sauce. Finish grilling.

The 2 types.

On the table, also serve the rest of sauce, and shichimi togarashi (7 spice mix), on a side plate. For more flavor, you can dip the skewers before eating. Or not. The flavor of the grilled meat is enough.

Heart color side : salsa soup. Tomato juice, Louisiana chili, tomatillos, green pepper.

Tomatillos would not float (unless supported by green pepper or their “package”. They fell in the bottom of the soup.

Matsutake kayaku gohan. Flavored rice. In the rice cooker, I added soy sauce, mirin, spinach stalks and matsutake mushrooms (sliced stalks). For the color, I mix in spinach leaves at the end. It’s genmai, brown rice here.

You can see a bit of mushroom. Add an apple for dessert, and you have eaten, and well.

Yaki-tori, take it with salt

Yaki = grilled. Tori = bird (chicken, not parrot). And salt. You need nothing more.
And it’s delicious.

This one is fancy. It has veggies.
Cubes of chicken breast, chunks of leek. Sprinkle wisely coarse natural seasalt. Grill.

Serve with shichimi-togarashi, 7 spice mix.

An ikebana of egg sushi (more about it soon).

Sesame tofu, with mikan mandarin orange jam. Cukes.

Enjoy Spring !

Komochi shishamo, fertile Hokkaido fish

Shishamo, the little Hokkaido smelts were a stapple of Ainu people. They are now a popular item of izakaya restaurants.

They are slightly salted and hung by the mouth to dry. We buy them like that, semi-dry.

About a dozen per link.

At home, I put a grill on a dish, the fish on it. I roast them 2-3 minutes each side under the grill (broiler). Then serve hot…
Izakaya and bars grill them on braseros. They can be cooked on any type of barbecue quickly.

Oh, it’s full of eggs… komochi means “having kids”. The kid-less shishamo are sold cheaper.

The full meal is next post (here).