Negi-Ma Nabe (Tokyo’s Tuna and Green Onion Hot Pot)

Recipes with Mirin
This article can be read in about 6 minutes.

Negi-Ma Nabe is a hotpot with tuna and green onion enjoyed in Tokyo since 1800’s. “Negi” is translated as green onion or leek and “Ma” is the acronym of “Maguro”, which means tuna. Unlike today, people in Edo, an old name of Tokyo, were not fond of eating Toro (a fatty tuna bell) and used to throw it away, but thanks to their creativity, they eventually came up with the way to enjoy it as a hotpot so that the cut does not get wasted. Addition of Negi toned down the fishiness of Toro and made it into a delicious and beloved dish.

-INGREDIENTS- (serves 2)
400g tuna (a fatty or stringy cut)
2 Negi
3 leaves Chinese cabbage
1/2 carrot
2 shitake mushroom
200g tofu
15g Kombu (dried kelp)
1 hand full of Katsuobushi (dried Bonito flakes)
1000ml water
120ml Sake
80ml Mirin
80ml soy sauce
Ichimi Togarashi (Japanese chilli powder)

-Zosui(Japanese rice porridge)-
300g cooked rice
2 eggs
1 spring onion, finely chopped

1. Lightly wipe the Kombu with a damp cloth to clean. Soak it in 1000ml water for at least an hour or alternatively overnight. Transfer the kombu and water into a large saucepan and start heating on the highest heat. Once the water temperature reaches 60℃(when tiny bubbles start to float up), turn down the heat to the lowest and heat for an hour keeping the same temperature.

2. After an hour, take out the Kombu and bring the Kombu Dashi(stock) to a boil. Add a handful of Katsuobushi and immediately turn off the heat. When the Katsuobushi has sunken down(after about 10mins), take it out. Top the the Dashi with water to make it 800ml if necessary, then add the Sake, Mirin and soy sauce. Turn on the heat and boil for 30 seconds.

3. Cut the ingredients as follows:
Chinese cabbage ⇒ Bite-size
Carrot ⇒ Thin round slices
Shitake ⇒ Soil wiped off with a damp cloth & the stems off, then cut in half
Tofu ⇒ 1 cm thick slices
Negi (Japanese green onion) ⇒ Cut in half, then into quarters (Use only the white part if your using Negi. If you are using spring onion, use the whole)
Tuna ⇒ 2cm thick slices

4. Sauté the green onion (or the white part of spring onion) in a pan with a tablespoon oil until two sides are brown. Take them out and set it aside.

5. Spread the harder parts of the Chinese cabbage on the bottom of a clay pot. They are going to be the base to support the other ingredients that go on top. Lay out the other ingredients from back to front, placing the Tuna in the centre and the sautéed green onion at the front.

6. Pour the broth into the clay pot and start heating. When the ingredients are cooked, it’s ready to serve. Take some of the contents of the pot into your own and bowl. Sprinkle some Ichimi-Togarashi.

7. After eating the hotpot, add the rice into the remaining broth and bring it to simmer. Beat two eggs and pour over the rice, then sprinkle finely chopped spring onion. Turn off the heat and put a lid on, then wait for a minute or so. Uncover the pot and give it a few stirs around. Zosui is ready.


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