Continuing on our lighter-fare kick, we had chige-nabe (or kimchi nabe) for dinner the other night. Believe it or not, we've had this Japanese electric nabe set for FIVE years.....we got it for our wedding....and have never used it. Yes, I bow my head in shame. It was shoved way back into a kitchen cabinet, left to sit there for so long, all alone. Every time I'd open that cabinet, I'd feel so guilty about not using it, and would often think about making nabe but never got around to it. Thank goodness we finally put it to use. I can safely say that we will be having nabe more often!
The star of the chige-nabe show.....
There are many different kinds of nabe, but I chose chige-nabe because I love kimchi and it's been pretty darn cold outside. Nothing makes you sweat better than a hot pot of spicy broth. J had never had nabe but is also a fan of spicy food. For the broth, I combined water, dashi-konbu, tobanjan (I had purchased this chili pasted at the airport in South Korea during a layover there last month), kochujan (chili/soy paste), minced garlic, minced ginger, a bit of katsuo dashi (bonito stock), red miso paste and lots of chopped kimchi. This was all put into the electric nabe and heated.
The vegetables I chose for the chige-nabe were hakusai (Chinese cabbage), tamanegi (white onions), chrysanthemum leaves and bean sprouts. I also bought a nice, firm chunk of yakidoufu (grilled tofu) to add to the veggie platter.
For the meat side, I chose thinly sliced pork and some lovely hunks of black cod.
Pork- the other white meat.
After setting up shop on our table, we simply put what we wanted to eat into the pot, waited the few minutes it took to cook, then started pulling out the slightly fatty strips of pork, melt-in-your-mouth cod, wilted cabbage and tender onions into our own bowls. J loves any interactive eating, so this was definitely perfect for him. I love that it's all very healthy, but between cooking the food, fishing it out, putting more food into the nabe and sipping the spicy broth, it's extremely satisfying. It's also a great way to get a ton of veggies into your meal (and your tummy).
Steaming, spicy nabe.....
The leftover stock is rich from all of the ingredients that were once in the pot, so you put leftover rice or udon noodles into the stock, drizzle a bit of egg and enjoy the second part of the meal. Unfortunately we were too stuffed from polishing off all of the meat and veggies, so I saved the broth so that we can have some zousui (soupy rice) later on this week. It's one of my all-time favorite comfort foods!
Would you like a bite??
I'm hoping to post at least once more before the New Year....what food-related events do you all have for the New Year's Eve or Day? Would love to hear your stories!