Sunday, April 26, 2015

My Recipe for Venetia's Hot Pot

The gray skies have left us and the sun is out once more.  It's suppose to be quite warm this week.  Tonight I wanted to make a simple dinner.  I'm a huge fan of At Home With Venetia in Kyoto.   I discovered her show a few years ago on PBS but now I watch it on NHK (Japan's super channel that is like all over the globe).
Here is what you are going to need:
2 tablespoons oil
3 to 4 cloves crushed garlic
few threads of saffron dissolved in 2 tablespoons hot water
few sprigs of fresh parsley
few sprigs of basil (I used sage from my garden)
2 tablespoons tomato paste (my tomato paste looks white because I keep it in the freezer)
1 3/4 to 2 1/4 cups water (see Note below)
1/4 cup dry white wine
salt and pepper
1 white onion, quartered (or spring onions)
2 tomatoes
1/2 head chinese cabbage, sliced
2 baby bok choy, sliced (Venetia used 1/2 daikon radish)
few mushrooms 
6 ounces long noodles, broken in half
1/2 package firm tofu, cut into cubes
1/2 pound shrimp
*Venetia also added 4 clams and 2 fish filets

Saute the crushed garlic in the oil just until golden brown.
Add in the saffron and saffron water.  Add the additional water to the pan. Note:  Use less water if you are cooking the noodles separately. 
Add in the white wine
Add in the tomato paste and some salt and pepper

 Add in the tomatoes and onion along with the parsley and fresh herb of your choice.  Bring to a boil then turn down heat and let simmer for a few minutes.
You can then add in the mushrooms, bok choy and cabbage.  Let cook a few minutes for the vegetables to "wilt".  NOTE:  I don't like this dish too "soupy" so I add more water and cook my noodles in the broth.  If you like it more soup like, use less water and cook the noodles "separately" and add in last before serving.
Lastly, add in shrimp and tofu and let simmer for an additional 5 to 7 minutes.
Serve in individual plates and garnish as you wish.  It goes great with a green salad.

I'm on a mission to try and cook more healthy.  This recipe I feel is healthy and also easy to make.  In fact, to make it more healthy, I would omit the noodles.

I think the story of Venetia Stanley Smith (At Home With Venetia in Kyoto) is fascinating.  She was born in 1950 at Kedleston Hall in England to an aristocratic family.  Her great-grandfather was Lord Curzon, Viceroy of India.  She left England as a young adult and settled in Japan.  She has lived in Japan for over 40 years.  She embodies living simple and close to nature.  

How I wish my life could be simplified.  I wish my paperwork could disappear forever.  But, I would probably have so much time on my hands that I wouldn't know what to do!

Have a wonderful week and if you have time, please say "hello" as I always love to hear from you.

take care,

Extra.....See the glass plate in the last picture.  I have a set of five of these plates from Japan.  Years ago, when I lived in eastern Washington, Japan Airlines had a training center in my small town.  They chose Moses Lake because it used to be an air force base and has (to this day) one of the longest runways in the world.    My neighbors for many years, were the JAL flight training director and his wife.  They were wonderful neighbors and were always so generous.  Throughout those years, I collected and received many Japanese items that are near and dear to me.  My daughter also participated in the "sister city" exchange and traveled to Japan on JAL for this exchange.  Great memories.......


  1. Oh my goodness....this looks AMAZING. My husband loves dishes like this, I will have to try it out. I've never cooked with tofu though! I've seen some recipes that include it a strong taste? It's fairly expensive at the grocery store, so I'm just wondering if the recipe would really be lacking without it?

  2. Thank you so much. Tofu really doesn't add anything to the flavor. You can leave it out if you wish. Also, you can leave out the saffron. Saffron adds such a unique flavor to dishes. Feel free to experiment and add what you like. I was thinking of making it without seafood/fish and adding chicken meatballs. Have a great day. Hugs, Pat

  3. Oh!!! This looks and sounds fantastic. Love those kind of food! Have to try it next! Thank you for sharing!
    All my best and happy spring

    1. Hi Elisabeth, thank you for your kind comments. It's a easy, fast recipe that I'm sure you will enjoy. Have a great day :)

  4. That would be an easy dish to make vegetarian, wouldn't it? Hmm! The plates are beautiful, and what a fascinating story about Moses Lake's connection to the Japan Airlines. I also hadn't heard of Venetia Stanley Smith. People are extraordinary, aren't they?

    1. Hi Christine, yes it could easily be made vegetarian. It's always fascinating to hear about peoples lives and their stories. I'm glad you enjoy this post. My best to you. Hugs, Pat

  5. Mmmmmm yummmmmy!! Pat that looks delish!! :-)
    I recently discovered Venetia on You tube and found it to be very relaxing, encouraging and enjoyable to watch.
    Have a wonderful week,
    Many Blessings, Linnie

  6. That does look delicious. I think I may try this tomorrow. I'm always looking for new ideas. Little L doesn't eat meat so this would be perfect. X


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