Traditionally harihari nabe is a casserole dish made with whale meat!!
But don’t worry – I don’t use whale in mine! Instead, I use thinly sliced deep-fried tofu (abura-age). (You could try it with atsu-age too, if you can’t get abura-age.)
Last time I was in the UK, I looked high and low for my one of favourite greens, mizuna, to no avail. But I did find mizuna seeds in the garden centre, so if you can’t find it in the shops maybe you can grow your own?
I don’t think mizuna is very well known in the UK, but the name means water-leaf, and just as it says the leaves and stalks are full of liquid, and eaten cooked or raw it is a wonderful fresh vegetable that is hugely popular in Japan, and I’m sure would be a big hit in the UK, too.
This nabe is very easy to make, but is an example of a really traditional Japanese way of cooking with the wonderful flavour of great dashi.
It’s ok to use bonito dashi for this dish, but I recommend using niboshi (dried whitebait) dashi for green vegetables. (Look here for how to make dashi.)
- 4 bunches of mizuna
- 2 – 3 deep-fried tofu (abura age)
- 4 cups dashi
- 1 tablespoons sake
- 2 teaspoons mirin
- 2/3 teaspoon of salt
- 3 1/2 tablespoons of light (usuguchi) soy sauce *
- 1 handful of bonito flakes
* If you don’t have light soy sauce, use regular 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, and 1 teaspoon of salt
1. Prepare some niboshi dashi
2. Bring some water to the boil, and boil the deep-fried tofu for a minute, then remove the tofu and cool it in cold water, then squeeze it well in one hand to remove the water and cut into 2-3 cm wide slices. The tofu will be very hot, so be sure to cool it well before you handle it!
3. Cut the mizuna into 5cm lengths.
4. In an earthenware casserole, add the dashi, sake, mirin, salt, light soy sauce and the tofu from above and place on the heat.
5. Bring it to the boil, then reduce to medium heat and simmer for 3 minutes, add the mizuna and continue to simmer until the mizuna has softened. Be careful not to boil the mizuna too long.
6. Sprinkle on a handful of bonito flakes, and your harihari nabe is ready to eat!