*TRISCUITS WITH SARDINES AND MUSTARD*
Inspired by Gabrielle Hamilton, chef-owner of Prune

Triscuits (regular flavor)
Dijon mustard
Canned sardines, drained and coarsely chopped

Spread a Triscuit with a generous smear of mustard. Pile some sardines on top. Repeat, and serve.

*KYOTO MISO-MACKEREL HOT POT*
Adapted from Japanese Hot Pots: Comforting One-Pot Meals, by Tadashi Ono and Harris Salat

2 mackerel fillets (about one pound)
salt
1/4 pound daikon, peeled, quartered lengthwise, and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
2 cups dashi
2 cups water
1/2 cup sake
1/2 cup white miso (or saikyo miso, if you can find it)
1/2 pound napa cabbage, sliced
1/2 pound firm tofu, cut into four pieces
4 ounces oyster mushrooms, trimmed and pulled apart
1/2 pound spinach, stemmed
4 teaspoons grated ginger
sliced scallions (optional)

1. Salt the mackerel fillets generously on both sides and place on a plate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

2. Simmer the daikon in a small pan of water until tender, about 5 minutes. Rinse under cold water and set aside.

3. Bring a large pan of water to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Fill a large bowl with cold water. Slice the mackerel into 1-inch squares. Dip the fish, a few pieces at a time, into the simmering water for 15 seconds to blanch, then transfer to the cold water. When you’ve blanched all the fish, drain it and dry on paper towels.

4. Combine the dashi, 2 cups water, sake, and miso in a bowl and whisk to blend.

5. Place the cabbage on the bottom of a large stockpot. Add the tofu, daikon, and oyster mushrooms, arranging each ingredient in a neat bunch. Pour in the broth.

6. Cover the pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Uncover, reduce heat to medium-low, and add the mackerel in a separate pile. Simmer ten minutes, reducing heat further if necessary to maintain a low simmer.

7. Serve in individual bowls, garnished with grated ginger and optional scallions.

Yield: 4 servings