Monkfish Miso Nabe

Miso Monkfish Nabe

Winter is hotpot season in Asia. It’s a way to get the entire family together around a steaming one-pot meal and take the chill off winter. In Japan, nabemono (which literally means “things cooked in a pot”) is the ubiquitous hotpot of choice appearing in homes and restaurants around the country.

But that’s not to say that there’s only one kind of nabe. Like soup, it has about as many variations as there are people who make it. It’s one of the things I love about nabe, because you can put just about anything you want into it. You can easily cook it with “no recipe” because you start with some kind of stock, add some type of protein, then toss in a bunch of vegetables. It’s a great way to clean up the vegetable drawer and as long as you’re not using pork belly, it qualifies as a healthy meal as well.

Vegetables for Miso Nabe

When it’s snowing outside, nabes are a regular part of the weekly line-up at my house. This week I decided to do something a little different than the usual chicken or pork. I found some monkfish at the grocery store, which makes a great nabe because the meat actually benefits from a long simmer. I also added some sake kasu to this one which is the leftover rice mash after a batch of sake has been filtered. If you’ve never had it before, it adds a wonderful earthy flavor while lending some sweetness and body to the soup.

Nabemono is ideally cooked at the table (I use an electric fondue pot), but if you lack the equipment, you can just make it all in a pot and set the whole thing on a trivet. I’ve listed the vegetables and quantities I used, but if you have a hard time finding the vegetables, you can really add just about anything you like.

Monkfish Miso Nabe

serves 4

4 cups water
4″ length of dashi kombu (kelp for making dashi stock)
2 tablespoons mirin
1/4 cup sake kasu
1/3 cup miso
1 pound of monkfish cut into large pieces
1 carrot, sliced into long thin strips
1/2 gobo (burdock), sliced into long thin strips
1 Tokyo negi (or a small leek) cut into 1″ lengths
2 ounces shimeji mushrooms, trimmed
1 package shirataki noodles, rinsed and drained
1/2 bunch shungiku, tough stems trimmed and cut in half lengthwise
3 leaves napa cabbage, halved lengthwise, then cut into large pieces
1 bunch of mitsuba, roughly chopped

If you have time, soak the kombu in the water for at least one hour to make the stock for the nabe. If not, you can simmer the water and kombu for about ten minutes. Remove the kombu from the water, then add the mirin, sake kasu, miso and monkfish along with any tougher vegetables like carrot, gobo, and Tokyo negi. Simmer all the ingredients together until the monkfish and vegetables are tender (about 20-30 minutes).

When you’re ready to eat, just add the rest of the vegetables and bring it back to a simmer until they’re cooked. Top with the mitsuba and serve with rice.

  • Nisrine, Dinners & Dreams

    What a warming and healthy nabemono! One-pot meals are the best in winter.

  • Foivi Geller

    It sounds delicious! The best thing when it’s cold outside! Your photos are awesome! I feel better just looking at the pot!

  • Sharlene

    Ahh my friends and I gathered for homemade hotpot just last week. Monkfish sounds like a great variation!

  • Alayna @ Thyme Bombe

    I love cooking with a donabe pot! I got one recently and have been cranking out easy and delicious nabemono all winter. So easy to create a rich and delicious stew this way.

  • Eftychia

    Delicious recipe. Thank you!

  • Soos

    Looks ono. Do you mean “mizuna”?

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Nope, Mitsuba is a Japanese herb that has a vaguely carrot-like taste.
      It’s the green stuff on top of the hotpot (that looks like parsley).

  • Mold Remediation

    Great message.So true.

  • Christine

    I love this! It looks very warming without being too heavy. I had the hotpot with pork belly at Hakata Tonton recently, but that is a richer meal; monkfish would provide that same gelatinous richness.

  • Just My Delicious

    I think I could eat this all day long, because I love such delicious looking things :)

  • davina

    We’ve had steamboats and hotpots the past few weeks when it got a little rainy and chilly! Now why didn’t we think to use monkfish. It’s probably one of my favourite fish because it’s so meaty and scallop-y. Will try this and see if I can find sake kasu because the flavour sounds lovely!

  • tasteofbeirut

    So pretty so light yet hearty! I am getting such an education with you on Asian ingredients and culture!

  • Equipoise

    Your pictures are out of this world. Delicious. I’m making picture number six this evening.


  • Anonymous

    This looks so yummy! I like hotpot, all kinds – Chinese, Japanese and Korean :) I call it “lazy girl”‘s dinner, since it is one-pot food and requiring minimal preparation.

  • Bren

    oh i just love me Asian foods of all types. And since I love monkfish (though I’ve not had it in too long of a while), this is a winner bookmark recipe to make…

  • Bren

    oh i just love me Asian foods of all types. And since I love monkfish (though I’ve not had it in too long of a while), this is a winner bookmark recipe to make…

  • deech_sea

    Hi Marc! Your blog has become my go-to for recipes lately. I’ve always shied away from gobo recipes, since it’s so tough. Any tips?

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Gobo is brimming with nutrients which does give it a bit of strong taste, but it can also be delicious. One way to get around the crunchness is to cook it for a very long time. it will still be a little fibrous, but will become as soft as a parsnip when cooked long enough. The other way is to embrace the crunchiness, cutting them into a thin julienne and make kinpira (

      • deech_sea

        Thanks for the kinpira gobo recipe. I’ll give it a try. No more frozen!

  • nomad_manhattan

    Love it! I made yodufu today and have kumbo dashi left over. I am looking for recipe to use up the left over dashi. Will try this one tomoroow. Any other suggestions?

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Nomad, you could also do Shabu Shabu with the dashi, or use it for miso soup.


I'm Marc, and I want to teach you some basic techniques and give you the confidence and inspiration so that you can cook without recipes too!

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