Cut the cod fillet into 2-inch chunks, peel and devein shrimp, cut the sliced pork belly into 2-inch pieces, trim the visible fat from the chicken thighs and cut into bite-sized pieces, cut the tofu into 1-inch cubes, and separate the leaves from napa cabbage and cut them into smaller pieces. Slice the carrot and cut out with a flower-shaped vegetable cutter.
Cut Negi (long green onion) diagonally into 1-inch-thick pieces, cut the green onions into 2-inch lengths, and remove stems of shiitake mushrooms and make a decorative cut on the caps if desired.
To prepare the stew ingredients, place the meatballs, seafood, pork belly, chicken, tofu, carrot slices, napa cabbage, long green onion, green onions, and mushrooms on the platter.
Pour the ponzu sauce and sesame sauce (goma dare) into individual dipping bowls at each place setting along with chopsticks, a soup spoon (optional) and a soup bowl.
If cooking the stew ingredients on the stovetop, cook in batches. Add some of each of the ingredients to the broth, simmer (do not boil) until cooked, and serve them, returning to the stove to start a new batch as each previous batch is eaten. The vegetables and tofu cook more quickly than the meatballs, seafood, and chicken.
Keep the broth at a simmer the entire time. If the liquid gets low, add a little water or chicken broth to have enough liquid to heat the noodles or rice at the end (even though you are thinning the broth, the flavorful ingredients you are cooking in it continue to enrich it).
Juice from Ginger: This grater (I have 6 inch one) works great for grating ginger (daikon, garlic, etc) and keeping the juice from grating it. In this recipe, we only use the ginger juice.
Homemade Ponzu recipe, click here.
If you don’t have a gas burner, you can cook the stew on the stovetop, transfer it to a large bowl, and serve it family style.
Recipe reprinted (and slightly adapted) with permission from Let’s Cook Japanese Food!: Everyday recipes for authentic dishes by Amy Kaneko (Weldon Owen, March 2017).