Updated: Oct 1, 2021
Here's a winter fish hotpot (or nabe in Japanese) recipe from Japan's northernmost island, Hokkaido. This is a traditional Japanese meal and dates back to the 19th century - legend has it that the Ishikari river was great for salmon fishing and in winter the locals would pop chunks of salmon they had caught into a pot with vegetables and miso to create a warming hotpot feast.
These days, Ishikari nabe remains a firmly popular winter dish in Japan, especially in Hokkaido (you need something warm inside you when the average winter temperature is -4C!) The way to make the hotpot hasn't changed much except that now, people add butter when the dish is ready in order to enrich the stock. The seasoning of this dish is deliberately subtle so that the flavour of the salmon doesn't get lost.
If you prefer a stronger flavour, you can add more miso and butter. also, leaving the kombu in the stock until the dish is ready will further enhance the taste. One tip is to cut the vegetables so that they all cook through at roughly the same time - this means that you need to cut the daikon thinnest (as it takes longest to cook), the potato a little thicker and so on. One of the great things about this stew is that once you've done your prep, it's ready in 15-20 mins - just the thing for a sudden cold snap one evening! BTW, if you've got a table top cooker, this is an ideal dish to cook on it.
So, if you're in the mood for a warming fish dish, you can find the youtube tutorial by clicking Salmon Hotpot or just scroll to the bottom of the page. The written recipe is just below.
Happy cooking! Kurumi XXXX.
For a more modern take on a Japanese hotpot, why not check out my Japanese Tomato hotpot.
Ishikari Salmon and Miso stew
(makes 2 servings)
1/4 sweet pointed cabbage (100g)
1/2 onion (100g)
100g daikon (white radish)
70g shimeji mushrooms
(or shiitake or button mushroom)
10cm dried kelp
1 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp cooking sake
10-20g salted butter
peel & slice the onion into 1 cm slices
remove the cabbage stalk and cut the cabbage into 2cm slices
peel & thinly slice the daikon (the thinner the daikon, the quicker it cooks)
rinse the shimeji mushrooms, remove the stem and separate the mushrooms
peel & cut the potato into small chunks
halve the tofu and cut into 1cm cubes
cut the salmon into bite sized pieces
put the water & kelp into a pan or casserole, bring to the boil and simmer for 5 mins over a medium heat with the lid on (if you want a more subtle flavour, remove the kelp at this stage)
add the mirin, sake & miso and stir into the stock
add the onion, daikon, potato & cabbage, bring to the boil and cook for 5 mins with the lid on
add the mushrooms, tofu & salmon and cook for 7-10 mins with the lid on or until the daikon & potato are cooked
add the butter & serve
* when you have finished your meal, don’t throw away any leftover stock! just add cooked rice or udon, cook and enjoy a second helping or a lunch or supper next day.