Chikin Mito Boru
adapted from Japanese Farm Food
Nancy Singleton Hachisu
Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC
- 1 (3 by 6-inch) piece of kombu, soaked in 1½ cups water
- 3 small dried shiitake, soaked in 1½ cups water
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 3 cups water
- 6 Tablespoons miso—I used half sweet white miso, half brown miso
- 3 thin negi or 6 fat green onions
- 1 pound coarse–ground or hand chopped chicken thigh
- 2 Tablespoons chopped green onions
- 2 Tablespoons brown rice miso
- 1 Tablespoon finely grated ginger
- 2 cloves of garlic, grated
- 1 Tablespoon potato starch
- I used a good-sized bunch of shingiku (tung ho)
rather than ¼ small head of napa cabbage (⅔ pound)
- 2 carrot very thinly sliced
- 2 Tablespoons thinly sliced green onions
- cooked rice
- or noodles
Add the kombu and shiitake with their soaking liquids to a pot and bring to a gentle simmer. Add the onions. Dissolve the miso with a strainer and whisk so as not to leave lumps in the broth. Simmer for about 7 minutes. Remove the kombu and shiitake. Reserve for another use. Keep the stock warm.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the chicken, green onions, miso, ginger, and potato starch. Mix well with your hands.
Make 12 meatballs (slightly smaller than 2-inches in diameter), tossing the meat between your palms. The surface of the meatballs will become slick and glossy. Chill well.
Bring 3 cups water to a boil. Drop as many meatballs as can comfortably fit in your pot. When the meatballs rise to the top, after about 6 minutes, check if they are done. Gently pressing on a meatball you’ll feel a bit of give. Do not cook them until they are hard. Set aside. By parboiling the meatballs, your hot-pot stock will be crystal clear. Strain the stock into the kombu/mushroom pot.
Clean the shingiku and pull the tender leaves from the tough stems. Blanch the sliced carrots. Arrange on a platter with the chicken meatballs.
Put all of the stock into a donabe which you can heat at table. Bring the platter of meat and vegetables to the table with serving chopsticks. Don’t forget the sliced green onions for garnish.
Guests drop meatballs, shingiku, and carrots into the simmering broth. Use chopsticks or tongs to remove from the hot pot to serving bowls. Garnish with green onion slices.
When all the vegetables and meatballs have been eaten, add Chinese noodles to the simmering broth. Cook al dente, and serve the noodles with broth to finish the meal.