1. My prawns were about 40g (1.4oz) each. I did not remove the head, nor the shells because I wanted to extract good flavour out of them. You can remove the head and shells if you like.
2. To decorate the surface of shiitake with flower pattern, I made 3 incisions crossing in the centre, then made v-shape cuts along these lines.
3. Shirataki is made from konnyaku potato flour. Details are in my Sukiyaki post. As you can see in the photos, my shirataki are knotted so that they are easier to pick up and do not spread everywhere unlike in the loose noodle style. You can buy knotted shirataki in Japanese/Asian grocery stores.
If you only have loose shirataki, that’s also OK. You have to spread the noodles on the cutting board, about 20cm wide, and cut them in half so that you can pick up shirataki easier.
4. Because yosenabe soup stock is quite simple and does not contain strong flavours, it is important to use good dashi stock full of dashi flavour. I would recommend making awase-dashi which uses bonito flakes and konbu. Please refer to Home Style Japanese Dashi Stock.
You could also use instant dashi stock if you like. These days, you can even buy instant awase-dashi stock at Japanese and some Asian grocery stores in Sydney.
5. Light soy sauce is used to keep the colour of the soup stock lighter. Ordinary Japanese soy sauce is fine if you don’t have light soy sauce. But if you are using ordinary soy sauce, you would want to add a good pinch of salt to the sauce as the light soy sauce contain more salt.
6. I made Chinese cabbage rolls because they look lovely and more professional as well as reducing the cooking time in the pot with other ingredients.
If it is too fiddly, you don’t need to make Chinese cabbage rolls. You could simply cut each leaf in half vertically, then cut them into 5cm (2") lengths. While part of Chinese cabbage could be sliced diagonally if you wish so that they cook faster.
Spinach can be cut into two or three to shorten the length. They don’t need to be pre-cooked but the white part of the Chinese cabbage leaves need to be cooked ahead of other ingredients as they take longer to become tender if they are very thick.