Pacific Hot Pot
This dish might be called “I Want to Be Alone:” part of the technique in making the broth is just leaving it alone. The beautiful clear broth, with its distinctively Eastern taste of the sea, is ladled over garnishes placed in soup bowls.
- Water - 3 quarts
- Salt - 2 teaspoons
- Dried shaved bonito (available at Asian groceries) - 3 ounces
- Garlic Cloves - 2, minced
- Fresh Ginger - 1-1/2 inch, peeled and minced
- Nori seaweed (available in Asian groceries) - 1 sheet
- Freshly ground white pepper - 1 teaspoon
- Daikon - 1 medium, peeled and sliced
- Fresh Basil Leaves - 16
- Scallions - 2, chopped diagonally
- Shiitake Mushrooms - 1-1/2 cup, stemmed and sliced
- Enoki Mushrooms - 1 package, cleaned
To make the broth: Put all ingredients in a stock pot and bring to a boil. Cook at high heat for 2 minutes, then turn off the water and let the soup sit 10 minutes. Do not stir (over-boiling or stirring cloud the broth). Strain the broth through a fine-meshed sieve lined with cheesecloth. Let the strained broth sit undisturbed for 10 minutes. Slowly pour the broth into another stock pot, leaving the last few ounces with sediments in the bottom of the original pot.
To serve: Re-warm the broth over medium-low heat; do not boil. Divide the garnishes between six large deep soup bowls. Ladle the heated broth into the bowls over the garnishes.