Shichimi togarashi is a blend of seven spices that can jazz up any dish. It's main ingredients are chilli, sansho, orange peel, black and white sesame, ginger and nori.
1/4 Chinese cabbage, sliced
200g fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed
2 tbsp coriander leaves, chopped
*1/4 tsp shichimi togarashi spice mix (see tips at bottom)
For prawn balls
600g green king prawn meat, chopped
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
2 tbsp sake
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
4 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup light soy sauce
1/2 cup mirin
1/2 tsp salt
To make the prawn balls, place the prawn, ginger, sake, salt and chilli flakes in a food processor and pulse until you have a coarse paste. Remove and place in a bowl.
For the broth, combine the stock, soy, mirin and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
Place the cabbage in a large hot pot or Dutch oven. Add the mushrooms. Pour in the broth and place the pot over medium to high heat. As the broth starts to come to a boil, use a tablespoon to form rough balls of prawn paste (about 1/2 tablespoon each). Slide balls into the broth and repeat until all the prawn mixture is in the pot.
Simmer gently until the prawn balls float to the surface, about 5-7 minutes.
Sprinkle with coriander and shichimi togarashi. Serve.
• The unique Japanese seasoning Shichimi togarashi is worth tracking down - try any good Asian grocer.
SOMETHING TO DRINK
Kizakura Yamahai sake, from Kyoto, Japan ($20), is delicate in flavour and texture with a subtle sweetness. The light body of this rice wine will match the weight and texture of the squid, and the flavour highlights the unique umami taste of the marinade. Best served chilled.
Photography by William Meppem. Styling by Hannah Meppem. Food preparation by Dominic Smith.