Chop the tops off the chile peppers and shake out the seeds. Peel the daikon radish, and puncture one end deeply in several places with an ice pick or chopstick. Force the peppers into the holes, then set aside for 5 minutes to let the chiles soften.
Grate the stuffed daikon over a bamboo mat or cheesecloth, and squeeze out some of the moisture. Set aside for garnish.
Wash and parboil the cabbage leaves in a large pot of water for 2 to 4 minutes, or until tender. Drain, salt lightly and pat dry. Lay the leaves on a bamboo mat and roll to form a tight cylinder. Press for a few minutes, then unwrap and cut into 1 1/2inch rounds. Refrigerate until ready to arrange the platter.
Cut off the root cluster of the mushrooms. Separate each bunch into thirds and tie each bundle with a gourd strip. Parboil the carrots briefly and plunge into cold water. Drain and set aside.
Arrange all of the ingredients on a large platter, decoratively placing the fish and other ingredients, and balancing the color.
Place the kelp in a donabe casserole and fill 2/3 full of water. Bring just to the boiling point and remove the kelp. Begin by placing some of the fish into the pot.
After 2 or 3 minutes, place some of each remaining ingredient in pot. When ingredients are cooked, diners should remove them with chopsticks and dip them into ponzu sauce and daikon. Season to taste with chopped scallions and Daikon Pepper garnishes. Keep adding and cooking remaining ingredients.
When all of the fish and vegetables are eaten, diners can drink the remaining broth.
c.1997, M.S. Milliken & S. Feniger, all rights reserved
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