Kabocha Pumpkin Hot Pot
Kabocha pumpkin gives this traditional Asian dish, from Tadashi Ono and Harris Salat's "Japanese Hot Pots" cookbook, its delightful flavor. Photo credit: Lucy Schaeffer
- 8 pieces dried shiitake mushrooms
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 cup mirin
- 2 (6-inch) pieces kombu
- 1/2 kabocha pumpkin (about 1 pound), seeded and cut into bite-size pieces
- 4 ounces daikon, peeled, halved lengthwise, and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
- 3 small taro roots (about 1/2 pound), peeled and quartered lengthwise (quarters halved if more than 2 inches long)
- 1 medium carrot (about 4 ounces), peeled, halved lengthwise, and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
- 1 negi, sliced on the bias into 1-inch pieces
- 4 ounces napa cabbage, sliced
- 3 1/2 ounces shimeji mushrooms, trimmed and pulled apart
- 1 pound (2 blocks) frozen, precooked udon noodles, or 8 ounces dried
- Shichimi togarashi, for garnish
Place shiitake mushrooms in a large bowl and add 5 cups of water. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 5 hours.
Strain liquid into a large bowl, reserving both liquid and mushrooms. Trim stems and discard; cut caps in half and set aside. Add soy sauce and mirin to bowl with mushroom liquid; set aside.
Place kombu on the bottom of a 4 1/2- to 5-quart Japanese clay donabe or cast-iron pot. Top with pumpkin, daikon, taro, carrot, negi, cabbage, shimeji mushrooms, and reserved halved shiitake mushrooms. Add mushroom liquid mixture.
Cover pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes. Uncover and add noodles; let simmer until noodles are tender, about 10 minutes more. Serve immediately garnished with shichimi togarashi.