With the donabe, I also wanted to give Mom a hot pot cookbook as a gift for Christmas last year, so she could learn about authentic ingredients and cooking methods, as well as gain some inspiration for cooking different dishes. When Anise and I went to Japantown, the bookstore was closed, so I looked at the local new and used bookstores in Petaluma and Santa Rosa. Nothing.

I also poked around online looking for hot pot recipes and found Harris Salat’s Japanese food blog, which has entries featuring some of the recipes (or similar ones) from the book that he and Tadashi Ono wrote, called Japanese Hot Pots: Comforting One-Pot Meals. It’s the best donabe and hot pot cookbook I found; it has lots of inspiring, colorful pictures and descriptions of the recipes and ingredients that will make you hungry. I highly recommend this book as a wonderful resource.

Shrimp & Vegetable Nabe with Wild Rice and Shichimi Togarashi
Adapted from “‘Strawberry’ Hot Pot” or
“Ichigo Nabe” from Japanese Hot Pots
by Tadashi Ono and Harris Salat
Serves 8 to 10

Whole Grain Gohan Ingredients
Adapted from “Japanese Rice for Shime” from Japanese Hot Pots

Ingredients
2 + 1 C Filtered Water
1 tsp San-J Gluten-Free Tamari Soy Sauce
OR Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
1/2 C Brown Rice, uncooked
1/2 C Wild Rice, uncooked

Directions
In the donabe, bring the 2 cups of water and tamari to a boil. Stir in the rice. Reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot, and cook the rice for 40 minutes. Check the water level, and add about a cup of water as needed. Return the lid. Cook the rice for 20 more minutes or until tender. Drain the rice, and set it aside in a large bowl.

I also used Ming Tsai’s instructional video on You Tube to make sure I knew how to cook the rice in the donabe without burning the grains to the bottom. His video is for sushi rice, which normally has to be rinsed to get rid of excess starch. I did not soak my rices, since they are a completely different variety. I also didn’t really worry about excess starch, since starch adds a slight sweetness to broths naturally when they are included. As you may have noticed I do not have a special rice cooking donabe, but my rice turned out perfect with the book’s recipe. I just added a little more water than the package directions called for, which did not adversely affect the grains, since the rice had to stay in the pot to lend to the other soup flavors.

Shrimp & Vegetable Nabe
Sauce Ingredients
4 C Filtered Water
1 tsp Ajinomoto Hon-Dashi
1/4 C San-J Gluten-Free Tamari Soy Sauce or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
1/2 C Kikkoman Aji-Mirin
1 T Sake
1 Fresh Lemon, juice of

Meat & Vegetable Ingredients
1 tsp Grated Fresh Ginger
1 T Minced Garlic
1 Fresh Lemon, zest of
1/2 tsp Sea Salt
1 lb Large Prawns, shelled, deveined, uncooked
1 – 1/2 lb Kale, stemmed, torn into bite-size pieces
5 oz Shiitake Mushrooms, stemmed, sliced
5 oz Baby Bella Mushrooms, stemmed, sliced
6 Stalks Celery, sliced into 1/2″ by 4″ sticks
4 Medium Carrots, sliced into 1/2″ by 4″ sticks
6 Scallions, trimmed, halved
1 – 1/2 lb Spinach, stemmed
Whole Grain Gohan (see above)
Shichimi Togarashi, optional garnish (see below)

Directions
In a medium pot, dissolve dashi in boiling water. Stir in the tamari or Bragg’s, aji-mirin, sake and lemon juice. Heat the sauce ingredients through. Set aside.

In the donabe, saute the ginger, garlic, zest, salt and prawns over medium heat until the flesh turns pink and white and is no longer translucent. Move the meat aside in the pot.

Cover the bottom of the donabe with the kale. In separate sections over the kale, arrange the shrimp, mushrooms, celery, carrots, onions, spinach and rice. Pour the sauce on top. Cover and cook the soup for 7 to 10 minutes over medium-high heat, pressing the top ingredients into the broth after 5 minutes. Turn off heat.

With an oven mitten or hot pan holder for each of your hands, transfer the hot pot to a trivet set on half of a plush towel (so that there’s also room to set the lid while serving) at the dining table. Ladle the soup into bowls, making sure to get a bit of each soup section of meat and vegetables. Garnish each bowl of soup with shichimi togarashi. Make sure you keep a hot pan holder or oven mitten at the table with the donabe in case you have to lift the lid and anyone wants a second helping of soup. When you are done serving your bowls of soup and have more room in the donabe, you can add more vegetables that you couldn’t wedge in before. As long as the lid stays on, the remaining broth and other soup ingredients will cook the newly added vegetables.

Shichimi Togarashi Inspired by “Shichimi Togarashi” in Japanese Hot Pots
This is a customizable garnish made from seeds and minced dried spices and herbs that can be sprinkled onto most anything, like furikake. Just pick ingredients to match the soup flavors. Get creative.
Serves 8 to 10

Ingredients
1/2 tsp Poppy Seeds
1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds
1/2 tsp White or Black Sesame Seeds
1/2 tsp Italian Seasoning Mix
1/2 tsp Lemon Pepper
1/2 tsp Mrs. Dash Tomato Basil Garlic Blend
1/2 tsp Mrs. Dash Original Blend
1/2 tsp Whole Cumin Seeds, roasted

Directions
You can mix together any or all of these ingredients into a small seasonings shaker container.

Make sure you smell or taste your seeds and seasonings first before mixing them in to make sure they are not stale or rancid; if they are, throw them away. I threw away poppy seeds, sesame seeds and fennel seeds. Also when shopping for ingredients you know you may not use very often, purchase small containers of them so you don’t end up wasting money.

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