Thursday, 30 April 2015

Tsumire Nabe (Fish Balls Hot Pot)

Wednesday Dinner

-Saury Tsumire Nabe (Fish Balls Hot Pot)

It's been raining and cold all this week in Sydney and I knew Nabe season is finally here.  (Nabe is a hot pot, Tsumire is fish balls in Japanese).  Although Nabe requires minimum amount of effort to prepare, it is not an ordinary dish.  I believe Nabe has social and cultural importance among Japanese people.  The dish signals the arrival of winter and in some ways, Nabe is a celebration of life.  Family, friends, even strangers gather around one pot and share a meal in a cold winter night, it brings people closer.

Wednesday was the first Nabe of the season, I wanted it to be special so I made fish balls using Pacific Saury (Sanma).  I filleted two pacific saury and minced the flesh with ginger in Vitamix.  To the fish paste, I added finely chopped 2 spring onions and 3 Shiso leaves infused in soy sauce.  Tsumire is traditionally made with fresh sardines but Sanma fish balls were as good.

Nabe can be made with pretty much any flavours you could think of, such as soy sauce, Miso, salt, soy milk, Kimchi, tomato, curry, chilli etc.  This time I made a simple clear soup with a Dashi Pack.  Bring water to boil with a Dashi pack, and the vegetables that takes longer to cook such as Daikon, carrot, celery, onion, leek, white part of Chinese cabbege.  Once the water is boiling, drop fish cake mixture into the soup using two spoons.  Add other ingredients that cooks quickly such as leaves of Chinese cabbage, kale, glass noodles, tofu.  Put a lid on.  Cook on low heat for about 5mins.

Serve with Ponzu and Kanzuri chilli paste.

Saury Fish Balls Recipe (Serves 2~3)

  • 2 pacific saury, filleted
  • 2 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 3 Shiso leaves infused in soy sauce, finely sliced

  1. Process filleted sauries in a blender to a smooth paste, transfer to a bowl
  2. Add spring onions and shiso leaves
  3. Drop the mixture in boiling water/soup using two spoons
  4. Cook till firm

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