An inviting array of vegetables and thinly sliced pork are brought to the table and cooked in a clear delicate broth. Bite-size pieces are scooped from the communal pot and dipped into individual bowls of a piquant lemon-and-soy sauce or a fiery grated radish condiment. Mizutaki makes a perfect family or company dinner on a chilly day, served with hot white rice and assorted pungent pickles.
Partially freeze the pork to facilitate cutting, and slice it into paper-thin slices about
Divide the soy sauce among
Make a clear broth from the kelp and water, discarding the kelp once the water has come to a boil. Lower the heat slightly and start adding the ingredients from your platter. Begin with half the pork, adding it 1 slice at a time. Next, toss in half the carrots and mushrooms. Let these cook, partially covered, for 3–4 minutes, then add half the scallions, cabbage and grilled bean curd and cook for another 3–4 minutes. Each person helps himself to bits of meat and vegetables, dunking these pieces lightly into his own dipping sauce before eating. Replenish the cooking pot with the remaining meat, carrot slices, and mushrooms. After 3–4 minutes add scallions, cabbage and bean curd. Continue to cook for another 3–4 minutes, then add the chrysanthemum leaves and cook them about 1 minute or until barely wilted. Remove the pot from the heat and let everyone pick out whatever he wishes to eat.
Note: You can strain the broth remaining in the large pot and use it instead of plain water for cooking other vegetables. And mizutaki is just as delicious made with chicken instead of the pork.
© 1986 Elizabeth Andoh. All rights reserved.