Yukinabe (Snowpot Soup)
This two-course soup, made of mostly white ingredients (hence the name), is first eaten as a broth with pieces of tofu and fish.
Yield: serves 4
- 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.