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Gather all the ingredients.
In a large donabe (earthenware pot, or any large, shallow pot), add 5 cups water, kombu, and 4 dried shiitake mushrooms to make cold brew, vegan-friendly dashi. Set aside while you prep ingredients.
In a large ungreased frying pan, add the sesame seeds and toast them until fragrant.
Transfer to the Japanese mortar and pestle (suribachi and surikogi). Grind until 90% of the sesame seeds are crushed and keep 10% uncrushed.
Cut the napa cabbage into smaller bites and place them on a large platter.
Cut the green onions, mizuna, and garlic chives into 2-inch (5-cm) pieces.
To remove excess oil from the aburaage, you have two options: Put the aburaage in the boiling water for 15 seconds, flip once, or Blot the oil from the aburaage with a paper towel. You can choose either way, but I recommend the first option.
Cut the aburaage into 1-inch strips and cut the tofu into 9 pieces.
Discard the bottom of shimeji mushrooms and maitake mushrooms.
Peel and discard the outer skin of the carrot. Then using the same vegetable peeler, thinly peel the carrot into thin strips.
Using the back of the knife, scrape off the skin of the gobo. The flavor of the gobo is right below the skin, so you do not want to peel off using a peeler. Then just like the carrot, peel the gobo into strips with the peeler.
Soak the gobo in water to prevent from browning and to remove the bitter taste.
Slowly bring the cold brew dashi, covered, to a simmer over medium-low heat. Once simmering, skim off the foam/scum on the dashi.
Remove the kombu (you can make Simmered Kombu or Furikake Rice Seasoning) and add the minced garlic (I use a garlic press here).
Add 2 Tbsp sake, 1 Tbsp mirin, and 4 Tbsp miso. Let miso completely dissolved in the ladle before releasing to the broth.
Add the ground sesame seeds.
Taste the broth (very important!), and adjust the flavor. I added an additional 2 Tbsp miso. You can add salt or spicy chili bean paste if you like it spicy.
From this point, you can bring the pot to the table to cook OR you can partially cook in the kitchen first and bring it to the table. Also bring the platter of ingredients, ladles, chopsticks, and other cooking utensils you need to the table (See my post).
First, add the tough/dense ingredients to the broth, such as the tough part of the napa cabbage, then followed by tofu, carrot, and gobo.
Then add the aburaage and green onion and cover to cook for 10 minutes.
Add the sliced meat (if you are adding) and leafy ingredients that would cook fast. Add more ingredients as you scoop out the cooked food from the hot pot. Enjoy!