Tokyo, Procrastination
Published on October 31, 2006 By momijiki In Cooking
Finally the weather has cooled off enough that I need to wear a sweater. It's still nice enough that a sweater in the evenings is enough to keep toasty. The leaves haven't started to change color yet in Tokyo. Apparently, it's in full swing up in Nikko. Maybe I will get to take a train ride and check it out next week.

But with the cooler weather, two of my favorite things come into season. The first, wearing sweaters. All my favorite clothes are autumn and winter clothes. The second is nabe.

What is nabe? Soup! Or stew. I guess that depends on how you make it. Take your favorite autumn veggies, add your favorite fish or meat, some dashi (soup base) put it in a big pot on a table stove and cook. When it's done, everyone sitting around the table takes out what they want. I prefer to use hashi dedicated to taking out food from the pot rather than everyone dig in with their own but hey, whatever.

My overall favorite? Soy milk dashi with shiitake, eringi, maitake and shimegi mushrooms, leek, tofu and crab (sometimes anko if I feel daring). Kind of like a chowder I guess.

Comments
on Oct 31, 2006
Sounds Good!  I wonder why the local Japanese restaurants do not serve it.
on Oct 31, 2006
Skimming the forum headings I originally thought this said "Time for DABE."


lol and it wasn't so.

I wonder why the local Japanese restaurants do not serve it.


To be honest? I think because it is too foreign in concept. After all, it's just soup. So soup itself I think doesn't have a wide enough appeal to be a main meal in North America at a restaurant. Secondly, the communal pot thing tends to freak out most people from back home.

I think that another factor is that it's a bit hard to find ingredients. Tofu is another staple of this dish and the majority of tofu I tried in Canada was really icky. Even the stuff imported from Japan. That stuff came in those UH?? boxes that you can get milk in. Nothing from that box tastes like it should.

I truly believe that more people would like tofu if they had some that came from a tofu specialty shop. It's like the difference between a Kit Kat Bar and Belgian chocolate.
on Nov 01, 2006
To be honest? I think because it is too foreign in concept. After all, it's just soup. So soup itself I think doesn't have a wide enough appeal to be a main meal in North America at a restaurant. Secondly, the communal pot thing tends to freak out most people from back home.


While not a big chain, we do have some Pho79 restaurants here (That is a Vietnamese soup), and there are some very popular restaurants (again not major chains) that have communal servings. One of the trendy ones is a Fondue one.

So I guess it is just the lousy tofu that is stopping them here. Maybe someday. Either that, or a trip to Japan in the fall to sample it.
on Nov 01, 2006
Actually, upon further thinking about this, I came up with another issue. To make nabe, you usually have a small partable gas burner on your dinner table. The burner is powered by a can of gas. Personally, I think that using these in a restaurant in the US would be opening one's self up to a bevy of litigation.

There's always going to be some stupid who has to put his chopsticks in the fire no matter where you go.

I've heard some pretty good stories here about some of the stupid things that have happened with using gas cannisters for barbques.
on Nov 01, 2006

Personally, I think that using these in a restaurant in the US would be opening one's self up to a bevy of litigation.

Yep!  That would be a killer here.

on Nov 01, 2006
Yummy, your soup sounds deelicious! I love chowders and I also love stews. The stews we make are more meat and gravy base rather than soupy. But I do enjoy a good bowl of soup, generally some type of pea-soup at this time of year.
on Nov 11, 2006
Nabe is the best, isn't it? Easy to prepare, too, another bonus! And Oden!!!
on Nov 11, 2006
Hmm, never had this before, but I must admit it sounds oishii.

~Zoo
on Nov 11, 2006
Personally, I think that using these in a restaurant in the US would be opening one's self up to a bevy of litigation.


I've seen this done at some Korean places, especially when I was in California. You'd get your own uncooked meat from the buffet and cook it on a grill right at the table. Sometimes they used preheated ceramic "coals" in a bucket instead of a burner.
on Nov 20, 2006
You'd get your own uncooked meat from the buffet and cook it on a grill right at the table


Mmmm! Different dish. It's the most famous and popular Korean food in Japan. It's called yakiniku here. Probably a different name in Korean.

Nabe usually uses gas flame like a stove top. But, yeah. Still letting customers play with fire!

LAAAAAAAAAAv yakiniku! I've seen a few joints in Calgary, too. Never went, though.

it sounds oishii.


CHO oishii desu!

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