Comfort and healthy, Japanese soymilk pot, not spicy at all
When it gets cooler in late autumn and winter, indoor temperature is sometime lower than outdoor. Food would turn cold easily though I can make stir-fry so quickly. Pot dish is my best choice, especially with cast iron pot, which can maintain high temperature till you finish your meal. Among all pot dish, hotpot is one of my favourite choices.
Szechuan spicy hotpot has been very popular in recent years and I like it so much and usually prepare it in weekend, for it takes a bit time cleaning, chopping and preparing various ingredients, and cleaning up dishes after finishing. Thus, I have explored tasty hotpot that doesn’t require too much time preparing and wouldn’t give too much pressure on your stomach. Japanese soymilk hotpot is among those quick, healthy and comfort hotpots.
When making this soya hotpot, unsalted soya is must-have. And if you have a bit more time, the broth made of kelp and katsuobushi/smoked skipjack tuna is the essential of most Japanese family. However, if you are lazy or just want to have a quick warm meal in weekdays, chicken broth is my option.
For other poaching ingredients, I would suggest meat or vegetable with mild flavour, say, fish, pork, tofu, mushroom, Chinese cabbage, etc. In my opinion beef is not matched with soya. Buy some good quality pork or fish fillet and you would have a lovely tasty winter dinner.
I would make a Japanese style dipping for this hotpot with salty plum paste. This is a salty, sour and fruity sauce, not sweet at all. So I would mix it with syrup, light soy sauce, sesame oil, and can’t help to add a little dry chili flakes. Well, it might not be easy to obtain salty plum paste everywhere, but Japanese yuzu soy sauce can be found in many Asian grocery stores. If it’s not available, make a fruity soy sauce dipping by yourself – any fruit jam you have, a little vegetable vinegar, syrup, and light soy sauce. Don’t hesitate, do have a try, it’s surprisingly suitable for soymilk hotpot.
Broth ingredients –
2 portions of unsalted soymilk, with 1 portion of chicken broth, salt to your preference.
Hotpot ingredients –
Fish fillet, thin pork slices, Chinese cabbage, any mushroom, firm tofu, fishcake, udon.
Dipping ingredients –
Japanese salty plum paste, light soy sauce, syrup, sesame oil, chili flakes.
How to do –
1. A fruity soy sauce dipping is just right for soya pot. I use my Japanese salty plum paste, and a little chili flake for a mild kick. You could just buy Japanese yuzu soy sauce. If not available, try your own version with any fruit jam you have, a little vegetable vinegar, syrup, and light soy sauce;
2. Chinese cabbage/napa cabbage washed, torn into big pieces, layered at the bottom of a big and shallow pot. I always use my cast iron pot; oyster mushroom thinly sliced, other types of mushrooms are good as well, such as fresh shiitake, enoki, etc; firm tofu pan-fried till golden. Layer them in the pot;
3. I bought a fillet semi-dried Crimson seabream, it’s flaky, with rich flavour, not fish at all. I think it’s suitable with soya. Any other types of unfishy fish fillets would be nice, even salmon. Put on top of the vegetables;
4. Add soya and chicken broth, 2 portions of soya with 1 portion of chicken broth, a little salt for seasoning. Bring to boil in high heat then simmer for a while in medium heat, then you can start hotpot other ingredients; Buy some good pork slices and you wouldn’t regret. Fishcake and tofu are my hotpot essentials;
5. I like to let the cabbage simmer for a little longer; Finish hotpot with udon, let it simmer with the leftover cabbage, mushroom and fish fillet, let the noodles absorb all the good tastes in the pot.