Here we are in the middle of May, having iffy weather…particularly last Saturday, Trying to decide whether I should grab the jacket or not when we head out the door…a bit nostalgic, almost melancholy for the perfect 82 degree Ishigaki weather.
This simple hot pot (basically miso soup with chicken) dish seems like it has comfort agent and is soulful…how blessed we are to have made the trip to my home country though…phew…to do list is getting lengthy and wish to linger in residue of the memories rather than to tackle it.
Our weekend is packed with errands and yard maintenance…dang! Those noxious weeds are overtaking our yard!…once again!
Ingredients and Instructions for enough for two people (Print Recipe Here)
- 3 cups water
- 2x3 sheet of dried kelp, wipe the surface with damp paper towel
- 1-1/2 cups bonito flakes
- 2 chicken thighs bone-in, skin-on, roughly cut
- 3-4 Tablespoons white miso paste Note: I used Koji Miso in the bottle – handy, has rich yet mild flavor.
- 3 cups Chinese cabbage roughly chopped
- Seven spice red pepper (optional)
- Pour water in a stone pot or thick bottom pan. Soak kelp in the water for say…30 minutes? Put the pan on the burner and start to boil at medium heat. Remove the kelp and discard just before full boil.
- Put bonito flakes in mesh sieve which fits in the pan you’re using. Cook to extract flavor about 3-4 minutes. Lift mesh and press with wooden spatula to get the juice into the pan. Discard bonito flakes.
- Place cut chicken in the pot and cook for 30 minutes (or so) at lowest heat setting.
- Dissolve miso paste into the pot, check the flavor, add more miso to suit your liking. Add water if it’s too salty but remember that the cabbage will dilute the saltiness later.
- Mound the Chinese cabbage on but not disturb the chicken with stirring and cook at lowest heat until the cabbage eventually cooks down. Have as is or add a few drops of ponzu soy sauce, seven spice red pepper (optional).
I bought the award winning Nitamai(仁多米) rice at Shimane Fair (products on sale that were made in Shimane prefecture 島根県) at Japanese Supermarket. 2kg(4.41lb) for $15.99. Holy macaroni! Gleaming white rice I think has great flavor!
Here is the Shimane’s yurukyara (mascot), Shimanekko…right.
More pictures from our trip – We took a walk near the Japanese style Inn we stayed at on the outskirts of Fukuoka.. We saw this orange tree in someone ‘s back yard…naturally we click, click over the fence…what kind of orange is that? asked my husband ‘I dunno…’ I crooked my head slightly to the left and appealed with my cuteness…just kidding, of course.
‘ May I help you?’ an older gentleman opened the back sliding door hearing our commotion. We’re just admiring your orange! said my husband apologetic. ‘Would you like to have some? Why don’t you come in? My husband and I looked at each other Really?..’Should we?’ my husband said telepathically. ‘He seems harmless’ I beamed back. And he was. Musician/composer nearing his retirement, offered us coffee which we declined…his wife was in a care home, he was perhaps a bit lonely.
We found out that this is called Amanatsu orange(甘夏みかん). He cut open the hard skin and put it in a bowl for us to have…interesting, cross between grapefruit and pomelo? He put four more in the plastic bag as a parting gift which we lugged all the way to Tokyo.
From Today’s TAPAS (#todaystapas)– As a Mother's Day gift, my daughter sent us a box full of beautiful apricots from Frog Hollow Farm. Apricots? Not really my usual go-to fruits… I made an apricot and sesame seed mini pie. It was very successful pie, this could be a future blog post…I was thinking…Thank you for your visit to my blog. Have a wonderful week!