This two-course soup, made of mostly white ingredients (hence the name), is first eaten as a broth with pieces of tofu and fish. Several courses later, the leftovers are warmed and served over rice to make a porridge.
- 1 1⁄2 cups short-grain white rice
- 4 bags instant dashi (Japanese stock)
- 6 leaves Chinese cabbage, washed
- 2 (6-oz.) filets red snapper or sea bass, each cut in half
- 1 (12-oz.) cake soft or silk tofu, broken into large pieces
- 2 tbsp. finely grated daikon
- Ichimi (ground red pepper)
- Sanshô (a green powdered spice often called Japanese pepper)
Wash rice in several changes of cold water. Drain. Place rice and 2 cups cold salted water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Remove from heat; set aside.
Steep instant dashi bags in 8 cups hot water in a saucepan for 5–10 minutes. Discard bags. Add cabbage and fish and simmer over medium heat (do not let dashi boil) until fish is firm, about 7 minutes.
For first course, transfer soup to a large serving bowl. Add tofu, sprinkle daikon on top, and ladle into individual bowls. Serve with ichimi and sanshô on the side.
For second course, return any soup left in serving bowl to saucepan and cook over medium-low heat until warm. Use tongs to retrieve any remaining cabbage, roughly chop, and return to soup. Break up tofu with the back of a spoon. Spoon rice into individual bowls and ladle soup on top. Serve with ichimi and sanshô on the side.