Udon-suki Hot Pot

Udon-suki Hot Pot


When I mentioned to Chef Abe-san of Takegami that I just finished writing a hot pot cookbook with my friend Tadashi Ono, he said he'd show me Takegami's signature version the following day. What a hot pot.

Udon-suki, as you'd expect from the name, centers on udon noodles, which, in Takegami's case are fresh, toothsome and handmade. The noodles are the highlight, but then there's also hamo (conger eel), Hamaguri clams, tiger shrimp, squid, salmon, pork, chicken, tofu, shiitake, negi - 19 ingredients in all. Like I said, what a hot pot.

The broth recipe I'm sworn to secrecy about. But I can tell you it's a mixture of savory and sweet miso, soy sauce, mirin and dashi. It was deep and complex, but as I tasted it, Abe-san looked at me said "not too delicious" -- in other words, the broth is not so overpowering that it overwhelms the other ingredients in the hot pot. A valuable lesson to remember when cooking hot pot.

Abe-san cooked up the hot pot and implored, "eat, eat." When I tasted it, I realized the broth had transformed, with the natural flavors of the other ingredients now infused into it. A delicate, sublime and superb broth. After a couple of rounds of hot pot, Abe-san added the udon, swirled in a beaten egg and sprinkled chopped negi on top. He served me some of the noodles. Incredibly satisfying.

The restaurant only serves their hot pot during the winter. I hope I'm back in Tokyo again next winter so I can try it once again!

Posted by Harris Salat in Tokyo | Permalink | Comments (4) | Email | Print

Comments (4)

Like a good Jewish girl I make Shabu Shabu all the time for my family. I fell in love with it about 30 years ago when eating Japanese food in Montreal was unheard of, except for a tiny restaurant way in the east end of the city where my boyfriend (now hubby) and I used to go out to eat. I wish Montreal would become home to traditional Japanese food and not the teriyaki or sushi that is most popular. Today when I make it, I use a gas single burner which I place on the table and we all cook our dishes together and then add noodles and eat the soup...Shabu Shabu is probably the proper term. How does hotpot differ from Shabu Shabu?

Many thanks for your comment, Natalie,

Shabu shabu is wonderful, glad its a family favorite! It's actually a type of hot pot, just the style of cooking is a different from, say, the udon-suki here.

This looks so beautiful raw, I can only imagine how delicious it must have been cooked! Really great photo.
Nathalie, Which Japonese restaurant do you recommand in Montreal ? Thanks, Cheers, Hugo

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