Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Getting back on the horse

I've been sulking. A few months back, I took a few knocks that really put me off blogging here. I was upset and quite cross! Anyhow, I've decided that I do want to write here, and those who don't want to read it don't have to - there, you have my permission! I have decided to do this for me, and I'm pretty sure that the children will also like looking back on this sporadic documenting of our life in years to come.

So, time to get back in the saddle.

I'm easing in here with a recipe for you. The weather has turned cccccold, and we spend a great deal of time snuggled under the kotatsu (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kotatsu). We need food to warm us to the core, and so lately I have been making lots of nabe (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nabemono). For a start there's very little preparation needed so I don't have to stand in my chill kitchen for very long, and then we all get to sit around the steaming hot pot :-). There's really no rules for this dish, just throw in whatever you fancy/whatever is in the bottom of your fridge, but I'll include yesterdays ingredients here just so you can get an idea of things. I apologise for there not being a photo of this dish, it was pillaged before I had chance to join the ravenous clan at the table. And besides, I have now idea how the restaurants manage to present their nabe to beautifully with everything in it's place, with mine the ingredients all get mixed up as soon as they get added to the pot! Anyone got any tips?

Chicken Meatball Nabe


1200ml dashi (stock)
50ml cooking sake
30ml soy sauce
30ml mirin

Chicken Meatballs

480g minced chicken
1 onion, chopped
1 egg
20ml cooking sake
10ml soy sauce
1 rounded tablespoon cornstarch
some fresh, grated ginger

1 pack enoki mushrooms, roots cut off
1 1/2 packs tofu, cut into large cubes and very well drained
400g Chinese cabbage, thickly sliced
240g daikon (mooli radish), peeled, cut in half lengthwise and sliced into half-moons
1 large carrot, peeled and sliced
1 leek, sliced diagonally into large chunks

ponzu, for dipping/drizzling, add a little chili powder if you like

Bring the soup to a simmer in a large pot or pan. Mix the meatball ingredients together, and drop spoonfuls into the soup (I used a small scoop, made things very easy) followed by the rest of the ingredients. Continue to simmer until the meatballs aren't going to give anyone salmonella poisoning, then bring it to the table and let everyone help themselves!


  1. Welcome back! :) Sounds delicious Angela! I adore meatballs and don't make chicken ones often enough so thanks for reminding me! :D xxx

  2. Welcome Back I missed you. I'm looking forward to hearing about your tales throughout the year.

    I thought you were vegetarian? So what's with the 'chicken' in the nabe ?? I love nabe too and true it is so easy. I found a great recipe for a collagen nabe this week, I might post that!

    Stay warm...

  3. I love meatball nabe too. I'm going to try it with the ginger in it. I usually do lemon zest and nira or garlic.

    Great to see you back!

  4. Hi Lorraine,

    Gosh, this is such an easy dish to make... but very healthy, low fat and lots of veggies! Bit too hot for nabe out in Sydney, eh? Hope you're managing to stay cool! xxx

    Hi Achan,

    Yep, I'm a no meat/fish vegetarian, but the rest of my family aren't! This dinner works very well for me as I just make my own mini-nabe with just the veggies and tofu. It's nice not to have to cook something completely different for myself! I'll look out for your collagen nabe recipe - I need all the help I can get to hold back those wrinkles! xxx

    Hi Heather,

    Lemon and garlic sounds great - it's nice to ring the changes! OK, I have a question for you... How do you say nira in English?! I use it a lot, but have no idea what it actually is. xxx

  5. Hey Darling! How are you A? I'm thinking of joining daring bakers again soon.... did I tell you I am going to law school now.... but I know I can surely bake something once a month.. right?

    I try to push something out.. I mean at least once a week... UGH.... What's wrong Anchan... why you been sulking? I'm here if you need me!!!! I'm determined that this year is going to be a blast.. and I'm sure for you as well...

    I didn't know you were a vegetarian.. I don't eat meat much but I like it.. but I LOVE Kimchi Nabe.. with gobo, daikon, satoemo.. etc...

  6. Hi April,

    Come on, get baking!! :-D Wow, law school...I'm impressed! That'll keep you busy, no doubt.

    Why was I sulking? Oh, it was a number of things coming in from all different directions. People often say/write things without considering the impact that their words might have on others. Sometimes I take those words to heart and allow them to hurt me. I need a thicker skin! xxx