Try a taste of Japan in your own kitchen with this comforting salmon recipe.
Ishikari, an area in Hokkaido, the northern island prefecture, is known for salmon, so this classic winter sherman nabe is abundant with it. Feel free to use a smaller amount and to substitute salmon fillets
• 1⁄2 whole salmon (13⁄4 lb/750 g), gutted, scaled, and head removed
• 2 pieces (6 inches/15 cm each) konbu
• 2 (101⁄2 oz/300 g each) momendofu or Japanese-style soft block tofu, each cut into eighths
• Layered Napa Cabbage and Spinach (page 187), cut into 12 pieces
• 1⁄2 small daikon, 1 lb (450 g), halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into slices 1⁄2 inch (12 mm) thick
• 12 medium shiitake, stems discarded and caps halved
• 4 medium negi or 12 fat scallions (spring onions), cut crosswise into 11⁄2-inch (4 cm)
• Ponzu, for serving
• 1 tablespoon finely slivered yuzu or Meyer lemon zest.
1 Cut the salmon crosswise at a 1-inch (2.5 cm) diagonal intervals to create 2-inch (5 cm) slices—the skin portion will be 1 inch (2.5 cm) and the flesh portion will be 1-inch (2.5 cm) slices.
2 Cut those slices crosswise into chunks 2 inches (5 cm) wide and mound on a platter large enough to hold all of the ingredients.
3 In a large donabe [flameproof earthenware casserole] or Dutch oven (casserole), combine 81⁄3 cups (68 oz/2 liters) water and the konbu and bring to a boil over
4 Set a portable tabletop burner on the table, place the broth on the burner, and turn the burner to a low simmer.
5 Place the tofu, layered cabbage pieces, daikon, shiitake, and negi on the platter with the salmon, keeping in mind attractive color arrangement.
6 Bring the platter to the table and mound half (or a quarter, depending on the size of your pot) of each ingredient in the pot of konbu broth, keeping them in separate areas, rather than scattering throughout.
7 Cook over medium-high heat at a lively simmer.
8 Give each person a small soup bowl. Once the salmon and vegetables are cooked, about 5 minutes, ladle out all of the ingredients and some of the soup into the bowls.
9 Each person should season with ponzu to taste—1 to 2 teaspoons ponzu for 1⁄2 cup (4 oz/125 ml) of broth— and sprinkle in 1 pinch of yuzu zest.
10 Replenish the pot with another round of the ingredients and once cooked, another 5 minutes, ladle out. Repeat until all of the ingredients are gone.
Recipe courtesy of Nancy Singleton, extracted from Japan: The Cookbook