If you are cooking for a crowd, this is quite a centrepiece. While it takes some effort, you won’t need to make anything else! Everything you need is here, which makes sense as it is the traditional diet of the sumo wrestler and forms the first meal of his day after a whole morning of exercise. This recipe is a much lighter version, though loaded with chicken, fish, tofu and vegetables.
The miso here is in the fish balls, a signature part of the dish that has fuelled Japan’s national sport for centuries.
1 daikon, peeled and chopped into 1 cm thick half-moons
12 fresh shiitake mushrooms
1 head of pak choi, trimmed, leaves halved lengthways
1 large leek, trimmed and finely sliced
200g fresh firm tofu, cut into 1 cm cubes
First make the fish balls by putting all the ingredients into a food processor. Pulse so that the texture is rough but not finely minced. Refrigerate the mix for 30 minutes.
In a large pan or casserole dish, heat up the dashi and cook the fish balls by reducing the heat and dropping large tablespoons of the mixture into the stock. They take 3–4 minutes to cook. Remove them from the heat and set aside.
Skim the stock to ensure any impurities are removed and it stays clear. Add the sake and soy sauce and simmer for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a separate saucepan, boil the eggs for 6 minutes, then cool, peel and slice in half.
Add the chicken, daikon, shiitake, pak choi, leek and tofu and simmer for another 20 minutes until the chicken is cooked. When ready to serve, return the fish balls to the broth and simmer for 3 minutes. Serve with the eggs.
To present this dish in the authentic way, set it over a portable stove on a very low heat at the centre of the table, giving guests individual bowls.
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