After spending 4 months in Japan studying abroad, my brother is back.
Even better? He brought food!
He has made so many dishes that I may have to devote a whole new series just to Japanese food! So far we have had tonkatsu, steamed eggplant, Japanese pumpkin, several versions of miso soup, and lots of cabbage and rice. This set up has worked out really well, since he can do the cooking, and I can play with my new camera and practice taking photos without having to worry about preventing food from burning or boiling over.
Before my brother could start cooking up all these dishes for our family, we had to go grocery shopping. We bought lots of odd-looking and odd-sounding produce and sauces. This recipe used two new vegetables that I had never had before: a leek, and a Daikon radish. The leek was chopped so finely that I still don’t know what to think of it, but the Daikon radish was delicious. I do not know that it has much flavour of its own, but it soaked up the delicious flavour of the sauce/broth in this recipe.
This recipe is typically prepared in a nabe pot over a gas burner. I have modified the recipe slightly so that it can be made without any special equipment, or too many special ingredients.
1/2 Daikon radish*, sliced into 1/4″ thick slices
2 carrots, sliced into 1/4″ thick slices
6 napa cabbage leaves, chopped roughly
10 leaves spinach, washed
green onion, sliced
1 leek, finely chopped
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp mirin
2 tsp ground ginger
3 Tbsp water
2 tsp sesame oil
1 small onion, diced
3/4 tsp garlic powder
3/4 tsp paprika
pork, as thinly sliced as possible
water, as needed
1/3-1/2 c soymilk
Servings: 5 servings
Finely chop the leek. Add it to a sauce pan with the soy sauce, mirin, ground ginger, and water over medium heat. In a separate small pan over medium heat, add the diced onion, sesame oil, paprika, and garlic powder. Fry the onion until it is lightly sauteed. Once the leek in the larger pot has softened, add the carrot, daikon radish, and water to halfway submerge the vegetables. Cook for about 10 minutes, or until the radish and carrot are tender. Add the pork to the pot, and spoon the sauteed onion mixture on top of the pork. Add the napa cabbage, green onion, and spinach. Add the soymilk and more water if necessary to halfway submerge the vegetables and meat, and cover the pot with a lid. Allow to cook for another 10 minutes, or until the pork has cooked through. Serve immediately with the rice on the side. Enjoy!
*You can probably find this at any grocery store, but if you cannot find it, you can substitute in potato.