Ishikari nabe is a local speciality of Hokkaido, Northen part of Japan, which uses salmon as main ingredient and soup based with miso soy bean paste. It uses various ingredients such as tofu bean curd, onion, cabbage, Japanese radish, shiitake mushroom, carrot, and green onion, along with salmon meat and bones. The soup use kelp broth and miso, but sometimes sake lees, butter, or milk is added to give a subtle flavor.
The name comes from the Ishikari river where salmon go upstream when they lay eggs. It is said that a cuisine which put salmon chunk and vegetables in miso soup was served as a catering food for fishermen. At a Japanese restaurant called Kindaitei near the river mouth of Ishikari river, which was founded in 1880, started to serve the cuisine as a regular menu. Since then, Ishikari nabe has been served at many Japanese restaurants near Ishikari river.
Ishikari nabe served at Kindaitei use not only basic ingredients, but also bamboo shoot, konnyaku, salmon roe, and Japanese pepper. The way to cook ishikari nabe is to lay kelp on the bottom of the pot, and put onion, cabbage, bamboo shoot, and konnyaku, and boil. When the water is boiling, take out the kelp, and dissolve miso in hot water. Put salmon, green onion, tofu in the pot and wait until it boils again. When the water gets boiling, sprinkle salmon roe and Japanese pepper, and the dish is complete.
The nutrition of ishikari nabe is well balanced because it contains vitamins such as vitamin B which helps to prevent anemia, and vitamin D which helps the bone metabolism. It also contains astaxanthin which comes from the red color of salmon, and it helps to prevent hardening of the blood vessel, rough skin, and discoloration of the skin.