All recipes are for 2 servings unless noted. Oil is canola oil and salt is kosher salt.


Hakusai to asari no nibitashi / napa cabbage and clams in light broth

A quick soupy dish with canned clams. Hakusai's subtle sweetness joins with the deep flavor of clams. Ginger, a great companion for clams, enlivens the overall taste.


5-6 hakusai napa cabbage leaves
Small handful (50 g) canned clams with some clam juice
1 small knob ginger
200 cc dashi
1 tbsp sake + mirin (equal part)
1 tbsp usukuchi soy sauce
1 tsp soy sauce


Cut hakusai into 4-5 cm squares (cut in half lengthwise and again into 4-5 cm).
Julienne ginger.


In a pot, put dashi, usukuchi soy sauce, sake + mirin and clam juice, and bring to boil.


When broth boils, add thicker white part of hakusai and ginger, and cook on medium heat.

When broth boils again and thicker part of hakusai turns somewhat translucent (vs. matte white when fresh), add the rest of hakusai, and cook for a few more minutes.
Lower heat to medium low or to where broth is only softly bubbling.

When hakusai leaves are done (color changes/brightens), taste, and add soy sauce as necessary.

Add clams, and cook for a few more minutes.

Ready to serve.

  • Adjusting heat while cooking vegetables is to prevent too much water from evaporating, which would make the dish too salty. The pot can be covered to prevent this, but that would just make one more thing to wash. For a quick dish like this, it’s better to minimize the cleanup hassle.
  • Clams and clam juice (liquid in canned clams) already contain some salt. Make sure you taste first before adding soy sauce in Process 3. Too much soy sauce or salt can kill the aroma and flavor of ingredients.

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