19 September 2010
I found myself wanting very much to eat nabe, Japanese for hot pot, after reading chika-san's post on the Japanese winter quintessential. So we don't have winter here in Singapore, but the recent monsoon has made it somehow conducive for some hot pot action.
You would have realised that the photo doesn't show a pot. Of course, it would have been an actual hot pot if I did have a proper pot. But I didn't. Or rather, I didn't have one for a single portion. So I cooked everything in a normal over-the-stove pot and served it in a bowl. So, perhaps you would prefer to call it udon with soup.
I'm not posting the method (yet again), only because it just involves heating up some ingredients and water in a pot. I used ingredients that I had in my fridge; Napa cabbage, eryngii and buna-shimeiji mushrooms, tofu and cheated with frozen store-bought meatballs. Instead of cooking everything at the same time as per a usual nabe, I opted to cook the stalks from the cabbage first. Since I wasn't really going to eat it hot-pot style, I wanted to have the stalks soften before adding the rest of the ingredients that didn't require long cooking times. The cabbage also helped sweeten the soup which I seasoned with some light soy sauce and a little sugar and guess what, the individual scallop snacks (again). My sister, who cannot stand mushrooms, said they gave the soup "undertones" which I was more than happy to have.
I had my "nabe" with udon, sprinkled with negi (spring onions) and lots of chilli powder. I think rice would also make a nice carbohydrate, almost like a "porridge". But well, I'm more a noodle person but that's just me.
I wasn't a very much of a soup person until I my Japan trip, just like how I began going back to rice. I liked, and still do, prefer stronger flavours, favouring fried noodles or dry versions with lots of sauce over soup versions. But I've since become more receptive of soup if it was well-flavoured. When I was busy trying to squeeze the food in an aesthetically-pleasing manner into my really small bowl, my sister actually noted that it looked too "bland" for my taste, besides the fact that the bowl was too small. Well, it's nice to have a change sometimes, right?
Posted by evinrude at 21:31:00