Tuna and scallion hotpot ねぎま鍋

japanese cake
I found fresh yellow-fin tuna at the near-by grocery store where we buy pasteurized eggs. Although it was said to be “sashimi” grade and looked and smelled fresh, I wasn’t going to take any chances. I decided to make this nabe dish called “Negima” nabe ねぎま鍋. “Negi” 葱 is scallion and “ma” is a short for “Maguro” 鮪 or tuna so this is a nabe dish with scallion and tuna. If you have Japanese “naga negi” 長ネギ or Tokyo scallion, which is much thicker than regular scallion, and more closely resembles small leeks, this dish would be better.  I, however, had no choice but to used regular scallion (close to Japanese “ban-nou negi” 万能葱 or “asatsuki” 浅葱). Again, there are many variations of this dish but “negi” and “maguro” are two name-sake must-have items.

Broth: I first made “dashi’ broth using kelp and bonio dashi pack (about 500ml). I added sake (2ts), mirin (2 tbs) and “usukuchi” or light colored soy sauce (4 tbs). 

Ingredients: As  you can see below, I cut tuna into pieces that were a bit larger and thicker than sashimi size (1 lb). I also cut the scallion into pieces about 1 inch long on a slant (6, I chose the thickest ones I can find), and tofu (one). Other possible ingredients could include some leafy greens, fresh mushrooms (either enoki or shiitake), and shirataki 白滝.

I started with scallion and tofu. When they were near done, I added the tuna. I tried not to overcook it but it is very very easy to overcook. Once that happens, you could just leave it in a pot to cook it longer which may make it more tender again . I served it with yuzukosho 柚子胡椒 (dark green paste on the small plate).

I think this is an Ok dish but I am not a big fan of cooked tuna. Good tuna is best eaten raw. But on cold nights such as we were still having, this is a very warming dish. Yuzukosho gave a spicy citrusy counter taste to the rather bland taste of cooked tuna. This dish went perfectly with sake.

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