When my friend Tori, the genius behind The Shiksa in the Kitchen, asked if I would be willing to contribute to her Passover Potluck 2013, I knew I wanted to bring something Japanese to the table. This is easier said than done, however, due to the special rules for preparing food that is kosher for Passover. This was a fabulous opportunity for me to learn more about the Jewish traditions, and Tori gave the potluck participants lots of information to guide us. We learned that there are two major Jewish groups in the world, Ashkenazi and Sephari. When it comes to Passover, this distinction is key, because although both prohibit the eating of chametz (certain grains, such as wheat and oats), only Ashkenazi Jews traditionally prohibit the consumption of kitniyot during Passover, a list which contains rice and soybeans. When it comes to Japanese cooking, rice and soybeans are included in a massive number ingredients, including miso paste (made with soybeans and sometimes rice), soy sauce (made with soybeans and wheat), rice vinegar (made with rice), mirin (made with rice). Those four ingredients alone make up the building blocks for hundreds of Japanese dishes.
But I was not to be deterred. The result was a recipe for a nabe (hot pot) recipe with tori tsukune, or chicken meatballs. My Passover-friendly recipe is not traditional, as it does not contain any soy sauce or regular dashi (problematic to source ingredients with a Passover hechsher, a stamp of approval from a kosher organization), which I would normally add to my nabe. But it is still delicious! So go check out my Passover-friendly Tori Tsukune Nabe recipe, as well as all of the other amazing Passover Potluck 2013 recipes!