I love this donabe pot. Whenever it catches my eye, I immediately start to drool for a Japanese hot pot with homemade, seasoned dashi broth. I really miss access to authentic ethnic restaurants; Ethiopian, Indian, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Mexican, etc. There are ZERO in our area and, in fact, a Chinese restaurant owner friend confidentially told me that most Americans he has encountered eat like children 😀 and he has learned to make “American” Chinese food like most of the popular Chinese restaurants in the States; nothing too odd looking, no strong unusual flavors, extra soy sauce on the table if needed and a menu listing dishes that most Americans have heard of, if not eaten. He really doesn’t mind, it’s cheaper for him, the customers are satisfied and he still makes and eats real Chinese with friends and family. I tried to hate him but he’s a very funny guy that I like a lot and could only come up with extreme envy.
So anyway, I prefer to buy fresh quail eggs and boil them myself but the few I’ve found around are not very fresh. I’ve tried canned quail eggs but I was disappointed. This time I went to an Asian supermarket in New Jersey and bought the most expensive can of quail eggs I could find ($3-$4) and they were “correct” as M. Parret says. I still prefer fresh but these were nothing to sneer about. I also found fresh daikon radish and mini bok choy. The dashi broth makings, shrimp, summer squash and left over char sui pork were in the pantry, fridge and freezer, so I was able to make a very satisfying hot pot!
Asian Hot Pot
Homemade Dashi Broth
4 tbsp Usukuchi soy sauce
2 tbsp tamari soy sauce
2 tbsp sake
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp mirin
1/4 tsp salt
2-3 pieces of kombu (seaweed)
12 cups cold water
2 cups bonito flakes (katsuobushi)
Mix the soy sauces, sake, sugar, mirin and salt together and set aside. Place the kombu in the water and set aside. After at least 30 minutes, pour the kombu and water into a pot and bring almost to a boil (small bubbles appear on the edges of the water). Remove the kombu and discard. Add the bonito flakes, bring to a boil and boil for 30 seconds. Place a paper towel lined strainer over a bowl and pour the bonito flakes and water into the strainer. When cool enough, gather the flakes in the paper towel and squeeze the liquid out into the bowl before discarding the flakes. Season the broth with the soy sauce mixture and set aside.
2 cups cooked and diced leftover char sui or roasted pork
1 daikon radish, sliced in half vertically, then sliced into half inch slices
1 can of very high quality quail eggs, drained
1 cup fresh sliced mushrooms
3-4 cups mini bok choy, sliced or halved
1 cup summer squash, halved and sliced
1 1/2 cup peeled, tail removed and deveined medium shrimp
Bring the broth to a boil, add the pork and simmer for 15 minutes.
Add the daikon radish and simmer for 15 minutes
Add the quail eggs and simmer for 15 minutes
Add the mushrooms and simmer for 15 minutes
Add the bok choy and squash and simmer for 5 minutes
Add the shrimp and simmer for 3 minutes.
Remove the pot from the flame and serve