Mushroom and Pork Nabe

…and melt your cold cold heart…
Oh Winter: the season for simple social nabemono. Gather ’round a hot pot and share a meal to warm your body and spirit.

I have finally begun to move kitchen things into the new house. I designed my old tiny kitchen myself to be as efficient as possible. This kitchen is large, with plenty of counter acreage, but it’s been a puzzle to figure out where things should be stored. There is plenty of cabinet space but much of it requires a ladder to reach! The drawers don’t slide well so I can’t pack too much weight into them. The bottom cabinets are deep and need slide-out trays in order to make items in the back accessible. Oh, the problems of such plenty!
At least Mikey knows where he belongs.

Mushroom and Pork Nabe
inspired by Kinoko nabe (mushroom hot pot) by Jessica

  • 6 cups dashi
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, grated
  • Ginger, roughly the same amount as the garlic, grated
  • 3-5 dried chili peppers, cut into rings, seeds removed
  • 2 negi (Japanese long onion, cut into 1″ pieces)
  • 3-4 green onions (cut into 1″ pieces)
  • 1 small sweet red pepper, cut into 1-inch squares
  • 1 small sweet yellow pepper, cut into 1-inch squares
  • about 1 Tablespoon white miso, to taste
  • ½ clump/stalk enoki mushrooms, trimmed and cut into 2″ lengths (about 1 cup)
  • ½ package oyster mushrooms, trimmed and sliced bite-sized (about 1 cup)
  • a bunch of shingiku (tung ho or edible chrysanthemum leaves), discard stems, chop the leaves roughly
  • 1 pack of mung bean noodles, soaked in hot water for 5 minutes to soften, then cut into 5 to 6 inch sections
  • ¾ pound sliced pork

Heat 1 Tablespoon sesame oil in your nabe. Cook the garlic and ginger over low heat to flavor the oil.
Add the hot peppers and continue cooking while stirring constantly.
Fry the pork until it turns white, remove, and reserve.
Add ½ of the total amount of mushrooms, the onions and the sweet peppers. Cook while stirring until slightly softened. Add the lemon rind. Then add enough dashi to cover and simmer gently.
Use a miso koshi strainer to add the white miso (or remove some of the soup into a small bowl, mix the miso in there, then return it to the nabe). Start by adding a few teaspoons, then taste. Continue adding miso until the soup tastes flavorful but not overly salty – the goal isn’t to make miso soup but to add another dimension of subtle flavor.
Add the rest of the mushrooms, shingiku, and mung bean noodles, arranging them nicely inside the pot. Add more dashi to cover, but you don’t want to submerge all the ingredients – they should peek out from the broth. Cover the pot to cook the greens.
Add a final drizzle of sesame oil for fragrance. Mound the greens in the center of the pot and arrange the pork around one edge.
Cover the pot, and simmer for a few minutes to re-warm the pork.
Bring the nabe to the table and set it on the portable stove. Turn the table-top burner as low as necessary to maintain a very gentle simmer.
To serve, provide each person with a small dish and have them use chopsticks or a ladle to select their own vegetables, meat, and noodles.
Note: I don’t have a nabe table-top ring, so we served from the simmering pot in the kitchen.

Have rice and pickles on the table to complete the meal.
This was a lot of food, so of course there were leftovers. I added rice to some of the remaining soup, and had a lovely rice porridge for lunch at work.


10 thoughts on “Mushroom and Pork Nabe

  1. Mmmmm this looks so delicious and it’s only breakfast time here….well elevens really but I could so easily pull up a chair and join you for this, perhaps even contribute a word or two to the puzzle. I like the way the choice of silverware on the table includes a pencil!

    I’ve been picking apricots all morning, stewing and jamming them – some I will dry. Any other suggests for a bumper crop?

    • MMM. I’ve never had a bumper crop of apricots: our zone is a bit too cold for the trees to thrive. You are so lucky! We get peaches, though.

      What about trying some chutneys? It’s been a l o n g time since I’ve done any preserving: kitchen was so small, but I remember making some ginger peach marmalade with orange peel. Or look into conserves: apricots with almonds sound like a natural pair.

      You’d be welcome to pull up a chair: our dining table is a card table, a bit wobbly, and casual enough to include a pencil with the silverware. My contribution to crossword puzzles usually goes something like this, “Oh! Oh! as soon as you read the clue the word vanished from my brain!” Then I spend the rest of the day trying to think of it…

      Could be time to bring over the small table from the other house, but the dining room is what I want to paint without climbing over furniture…

  2. Oh Tess, You know that I LOVE Nabes! And anything with shungiku in it… Yummy!
    A nice meal to linger over with Mikey on your lap while working a good crossword puzzle!

    • I really want to get one of those table-top gas rings so we can do nabes properly. You are on the invitation list for when I do!

      • Hi Tess, I’m sure that you can find one at your local Asian market; Korean markets carry them as well. I have had countless fun times with mine! Many warm cozy dinners! Now I’m looking for the wire mesh attachment that I can grill fish on. I have yet to see one here in the US.
        I’d LOVE to attend! I would volunteer to bring desert, but it would probably not make the flight! :D

        • I’ve seen table-top burners, and they don’t seem expensive. How do I know if one is good or not? I’ll have to wait until I get a more stable table, though. I’d worry about it on the card table.

          Best I get myself over to the paint store so I can get the dining room together. I just don’t want to climb over (or drip on) furniture while I’m painting…

  3. Looks great! I’m happy that you were inspired to try the recipe and also post about it. :-) Shungiku is really good in nabe – is that widely available where you live? I’ve never added red or yellow pepper, but it sounds so good that I think I’ll have to try that next time.

    • Yes, I liked your approach, saying that it almost didn’t need a recipe: it got me thinking about how a home cook (in Japan or anywhere else) would be able to use ingredients which were available to make a nice meal for the family.

      I would not have added the red and yellow peppers because I don’t see them often used in Japanese recipes. But here I am in a new house with only some of my cooking things, and they were here in the fridge: begging to be used. Nice, sweet, and mellow.

      Two years ago, shungiku was available all the time in my regular grocery store. But they no longer carry it! No worry, there are 3 different Asian stores I can pass on the way home from work, and it’s regularly available. I like it in nabe because it holds up better than spinach or other greens.

      Cabbage is good too, but especially the Chinese cabbage is so big that the two of us don’t eat it before it goes bad. Could be that I need more ways to use it. :-)

  4. the tabletop burner makes all the difference in the presentation, plus guests get to pick and choose as they like from the nabe, and you can add more ingredients in along the way or even drop in a little udon or rice towards the end. We have done ours over charcoal hibachi as well.

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