Sansai Nabe for Two: Pot Cooked Vegetables and Bean Curd

Sansai Nabe for Two: Pot Cooked Vegetables and Bean Curd

Pot cooked dishes are warming dishes from Northern Japan. They are a rural style dish where all the ingredients are served in a attractive Japanese pot. When preparing a pot dish with meat you will need double the amount of vegetables to meat. This vegetable dish contains unusual vegetables and ingredients that are typical of Japan, you will be able to purchase these from any good Chinese or Japanese Supermarket. Cut the vegetables into even piece so that they cook evenly. If you wish to prepare this dish for more than two simply increase the ingredient accordingly.

Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes



  • 100g pak choi, trimmed and washed
  • 6 slices of lotus root (fresh peeled or use canned)
  • 6 slices daikon, peeled
  • Konyaku Paste, cut in 6 cubes
  • 50g enoki mushrooms, trimmed
  • 6 deep fried been curd cubes (available from Chinese food shops) or use 100g firm fresh tofu cut into 6 even cubes
  • 6 fresh shitake mushrooms or dried reconstituted in boiling water
  • 2 small pieces of bamboo shoots (do not use sliced, pieces of bamboo shoots are available canned from Chinese food shops)
  • 2 spring onions, finely chopped


  • 600ml dashi (see recipe)
  • 60ml mirin wine
  • 2 tbsp shoyu soy sauce

To Serve

  • Deep Fried Konku Bows (optional, see below)
  • Shoyu soy sauce


  1. Vegetables: Blanch the pak choi briefly in boiling water and refresh them in ice cold water, set aside until ready to use. Cook the daikon in boiling water for 2-3 minutes, then add the lotus root and cook for a further 3 minutes. The daikon and lotus root should just be cooked, remove them from the boiling water and set aside.
  2. Arrange all the vegetables in the Japanese pot, place the pak choi and bamboo shoots in the centre and then place the remaining vegetables and tofu around the bowl. Scatter the spring onion over the vegetables.
  3. Stock: Place the dashi, mirin and shoyu in a saucepan and bring it to the boil then remove it from the heat. Pour the stock over the vegetables in the pot and place the pot over a low heat. Leave the vegetables to simmer gently for 5 minutes. Alternatively place the bowl in a microwave and cook the vegetables for 2 minutes.
  4. To Serve: Place 3 Konku Bows around the dish and serve it in the centre of the table. Place bowls accompanied with spoons and chop sticks for guests to serve themselves. Accompany with Shoyu soy sauce.
  • Konku Bows: Reconstitue dried Konku in some cold water until soft. Dry the konku pieces and cut them in 3cm pieces. Using scissors make a small cut in the centre of each piece. Take one side of the konku and pull it through the hole, the konku should now look like a bow tie. Heat some oil in a deep fryer, wok or saucepan to 180-190°C and cook the bows in the oil for 30 seconds until crisp. Remove the bows from the oil and drain them on kitchen paper. Store in a well sealed container until ready to serve.