Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Nabe for One

Yesterday was poker night, Jason’s weekly game with the boys at the American Club, so I had dinner by myself. Usually I am too lazy to cook for one person and on most Tuesdays I buy some bento box sushi at one of the sushi shops on Aoyama-dori. Kansan is one of my favorites, but you do get tired of eating sushi bento boxes every week.

Then it dawned on me, what better time to test out that oolong tea nabe stock I saw on TV last week! Since Jason and I don’t share the same opinions on nabe, it was the perfect time for me to experiment without him wrinkling up his nose and go, “Nabe, yuck! Oolong tea nabe, double yuck!”

I fished out the little canister of oolong tea from the plethora of tea cans that filled up my tea shelf three-deep and set to work. Um, actually, there wasn’t much work. This is what I did: boil an extra strong pot of oolong tea with a dried chili pepper or two. When the color turns dark, scoop out all the tea leaves and throw the ingredients into the simmering stock: vegetable, tofu products, chicken, and a few pieces of mochi (rice cake). Crack a raw egg in it, and you are done! Easy.

Now I just have to see if it really tastes as good as the food critic said it did. (drum rolls) Aaaaaaaaand she gives it a 4! (out of 5) It’s definitely different, kind of refreshing, and the chili pepper does add a nice touch. But it’s kind of bland, so I think this will go better against more flavorful meats such as beef or maybe flavored chicken meatballs. It does grow on you though. At the end of my meal I was gulping down the soup, which by now was faintly flavored by the mushrooms and chicken, and the various tofu products. Hmmm, I just realized that’s probably why I was still wide awake at 2am and had to go to the bathroom so many times last night. Note to self: next time don’t drink too much stock.

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