On Dobinmushi

Previously, on tastingmenu.wordpress.com –

* https://tastingmenu.wordpress.com/2011/01/01/on-suimono/

It occurred to me that dobinmushi is about how you make the soup for the dish. It was clear to me that after examining Matsuhisa-sama’s Nobu Now (p 94), Iron Chef Morimoto’s The New Art Of Japanese Cooking (p. 89) and Nishino-san’s Autumn Omakase (p. 28-32) that the template for the soup was:

4 c dashi
2 T sake
2 t usukuchi soy (~1/4t salt)
1/2 t sea salt

Properly perceived, this is exactly the osuimono base!

clockwise from leftL Shiitake caps, scallops sake, usukuchi soy, salt, arugula, nobashi shrimp

It would now be a matter of blanching the shrimp, chicken thigh and adding it the serving portions with a bit of kamaboko, and about 1 oz of 1/4” matsutake mushrooms. Iron Chef Morimoto suggests golden chanterelles for their fragrance (Mastering The Art Of Japanese Home Cooking, p. 89-91). Unfortunately, neither Whole Foods Edgewater nor nearby Mitsuwa had neither matsutake nor chanterelles available. So I had to settle for shiitakes.

Dashi seasoned with sake, usukuchi soy and salt

Interesting to note that Hiroko Shimbo suggests arugula as an alternative to mitsuba (https://hirokoskitchen.com/2010/11/dobin-mushi-matsutake-mushroom-soup/). Iron Chef Morimoto helpfully suggests parsley, in his Home Cooking book, in a pinch.

It also occurred to me, given the picture in Iron Chef Morimoto’s Home Cooking and The New Art Of Japanese Cooking (p 88,89) books: why can’t I steam and serve this soup in a tall tea/coffee cup?

With that in mind, I got some fresh U10 shrimp to which I had applied the nobashi technique.  I would blanch a scallop/serving as well as the nobashi shrimp. To each serving, I would add a few slices of kamaboko, a sliced shiitake cap and a few leaves of arugula.

kamaboko to be sliced for the soup

As it would turn out, the nobashi shrimp was for naught, I didn’t have tall enough cups for the stretched out shrimp. Still, I went ahead and filled each cup with a 3 finger-pinchfuls of arugala, shiitake slices, 2 shrimp, a nice sized scallop, 2 fish cake slices and then filled each with the seasoned dashi. I covered each cup with a bit of foil and put them into the steamer on a high steam for 15 minutes.

teapot ‘cup-a-soup’ with a wedge of lime peeking out from behind

Because each cup was searingly hot out of the steamer, I wrapped the handles in a bit of kitchen paper towel and presented the soup on a small dish with a wedge of lime.   Upon tasting the offering, my family agreed it was as good or better than some of the restaurants where we’ve had this dish.  I would like to try and make this soup again for a weekend meal and hopefully I can get the right size cups (perhaps with matching lids) that would fit the nobashi shrimp.  Perhaps the next time I make this I can get my hands on some golden chanterelles  or matsutake.  I’d also like to try out Iron Chef Morimoto’s suggestion of chestnuts instead of ginko nuts as a twist to this dish.



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