Photo by Langdon Cook
Provenance of Dish
I first tried this dish at Shiro's, a beloved sushi parlor in Seattle. A "dobin" is a small Japanese teapot and "mushi" means to steam. Matsutake is a traditional way to flavor this subtle soup, which is typically made with kombu dashi (kelp broth) along with the added umami of shellfish. Teapot not required.
Langdon Cook is the author of a trilogy on wild foods: Fat of the Land, The Mushroom Hunters, and Upstream.
2 cups kombu (kelp) dashi stock * see note in instructions
4 manila clams
4 shrimp, peeled (reserve shells)
1 tbsp sake
1/2 tsp soy
1/4 tsp salt
1 small to medium matsutake button, thinly sliced
6 bite-sized, thin-sliced pieces white fish fillet (e.g., cod, rockfish, halibut)
2 baby bok choy (or other mild green), halved
1 yuzu, halved (or 2 lime wedges)
Make kombu dashi stock. Stock can be prepared one day in advance and refrigerated. Note: Whether using dashi powder, packets, or dried kelp, follow instructions on package.
Heat 2 cups kombu dashi in medium-sized pot with clams and shrimp shells. When clams have opened, remove all shells and reserve clam meats for another use (or cook's treat). Season broth with sake, soy sauce, and sea salt. Simmer until alcohol has cooked off.
If using dobin mushi teapots, divide equal portions of sliced matsutake, greens, shrimp, and fish into pots, add hot broth, and replace lids. Heat teapots in a bamboo steamer over a kettle of boiling water for a few minutes. (You can also steam in a wok with a rack and lid.) This gentle steaming allows the matsutake to fully infuse the broth while the shrimp, fish, and greens poach. If NOT using teapots, add ingredients to dashi pot, cover, and gently simmer a few minutes until fish is cooked through, then ladle into small bowls and cover.
Serve Dobin Mushi with a half of yuzu or lime wedge. Remove lids and inhale the "autumn aroma." Winter is on its way.