This is a great dish for entertaining, cooked in a large pot on a portable burner in the middle of the table. Arrange ingredients on platters for guests to add to the simmering stock a little at a time, eating each ingredient as it’s cooked. Use instant dashi granules or concentrate if you don’t have time to make fresh dashi, and consider the list of ingredients as a guide, feel free to delete or replace, using whatever you have on hand. If you’re using a terracotta pot, soak it well in water first to help prevent it cracking and consider bringing the dashi to the boil in a saucepan, then transferring it to the warmed pot to simmer the ingredients in.
150g dried bean thread noodles
1½ litres dashi
6 shiitake, quartered (see notes)
1 bunch enoki mushrooms
1 small carrot, finely sliced on the diagonal
1 bamboo shoot, finely sliced (see notes)
18 Pipis, purged (see notes)
12 green Prawns, shelled and deveined
2 Cuttlefish, cleaned and sliced
300g firm tofu, cut into 3cm cubes
6 leaves Chinese cabbage, coarsely chopped
100g baby spinach, rinsed
4 green onions, finely sliced on the diagonal
Japanese soy sauce, for serving
Japanese sesame sauce, for serving (see notes)
Ponzu sauce, for serving (see notes)
Steamed short-grain rice, for serving
Place bean thread noodles in a heat-proof bowl, cover with boiling water and set aside to soak for 10 minutes then tip into a colander to drain.
Place dashi in a heatproof serving pot and bring to the boil, reduce heat to a simmer. Add shiitake, enoki, carrot, bamboo shoot and noodles to the simmering liquid and cook for 1 minute. Add Pipis, Prawns and Cuttlefish and cook for a further minute. Add tofu, cabbage, spinach and green onions and stir gently to combine.
Serve with soy sauce, sesame sauce, ponzu sauce and rice on the side.
Using individual strainers or chopsticks, diners remove ingredients from the pot a little at a time, dip into one of the sauces, place in their bowls and eat.
When ingredients are eaten, place rice in bowls and pour remaining broth over it.
Shiitake are Asian mushrooms available fresh from many fruit and vegetable shops; if they are unavailable use oyster mushrooms. Bamboo shoots are available frozen from Asian grocery stores.
Pipis are usually sold ‘purged’ to remove sand and grit, however it’s still a good idea to place them in a large bowl of cool salted water and sea salt (30g salt per litre water) for several hours or overnight, at room temperature, to get rid of any remaining sand (if you refrigerate them they’ll close up and won’t ‘spit out’ the sand).
Sesame and ponzu sauces are available from Asian grocers.
Blue-eye Trevalla, Bream, Calamari, Flathead, Mussels, Scallops, Snapper, Squid.