Mizutaki Hot Pot
It's a blustery rainy day, and I have a bad cough and cold, so my husband is making Japan's favourite version of "chicken soup" to help me feel better. Brimming with phytochemicals, vitamins and minerals, a steaming hot bowl of Mizutaki is perfect for strengthening the immunity system and clearing the sinuses. Served often during the chilly days of autumn and winter, this comforting chicken, tofu and cabbage soup is typically served as a communal hot pot. Its health giving benefits are re-enforced with a sprinkle of shichimi togarashi (7 spice chili pepper) or a dab of kanzouri (a citrus flavoured chili paste) – chili is said to relieve muscle aches and provide extra vitamin C.
Mizutaki (Chicken Hot Pot) -(serves 4)
2 lb chicken thighs
1/2 chinese cabbage
2 leeks, sliced thinly and rinsed thouroughly
2 carrots, sliced in flower shapes
1 bunch spinach/chrysanthemum leaves
8 shitake mushrooms
2 cups dashi stock
5 inch piece of konbu kelp
1/4 cup sake
one inch slice of ginger
1 block of Tofu, rinsed
Individual Dipping Sauces:
1/2 cup soy sauce/1/2 lemon juice/1/4 cup broth from pot/small dab of kanzouri chili paste
Cut first six ingredients into bite-sized pieces and place on large plate.
Make dipping sauce according to taste.
Add stock/kelp/ginger and chicken to communal pot and bring to boil.
Add sake and simmer gently until cooked.
Remove kelp. Add other ingredients and simmer.
Tofu may also be added if desired.
When cooked, dip ingredients into individual dipping sauce and eat with rice.
*After all the ingredients are eaten, rice can be cooked in leftover broth to make a delicious and nutritious rice porridge.
*Kanzouri paste is a refreshing spice made from chili and seasoned with uzu (Japanese citrus).