1. Prepare the vegetables
Chikuzen-ni is a mixture of a variety of root vegetables,
together with chicken and shiitake mushrooms for the savoriness and konnnyaku,
which adds good texture to the dish. Although it requires additional work, preparation
of these ingredients is the most important process in making chikuzen-ni.
First, cut the lotus roots and burdock roots into rangiri
(cut random) of about 2 bites-size pieces.
Next, tear the konnyaku by scooping with a spoon. Don’t cut
with a cooking knife. The konnyaku absorbs the seasoning better this way. Rub
salt into the konnyaku and set aside for a while, and water will come out of
the konnyaku. This is the origin of the smell. Throw away the water and parboil
the konnyaku briefly and drain in a colander. This process will remove smellfrom
Peel the taros and cut in half if it is too big and parboil
(depending on the size, the time will vary, but for this time 3 to 4 minutes). Cut
the carrots into rangiri, the shiitake mushrooms and chicken meat into 2 bites-size
pieces and the snow peas into half diagonally. Now, the preparation process is
completed. Make sure to reserve the soaking water from the dried shiitake mushrooms,
as it will be used for dashi.
2. Sautéthe ingredients slowly and then simmer
Before simmering the ingredients, sauté slowly with oil. In
a pot, first put the ingredients that takes longer time to cook such as chicken,
carrots, burdock roots, lotus roots and konnyaku. When you’ve checked that the
ingredients are well sautéed and the color has turned slightly clear, add the
taros and shiitake mushrooms.
Then, add all the soaking water from the shiitake mushrooms and the rest of
the seasonings. Cover with a drop-lid and adjust the heat so that the ingredients
are simmering in the liquid.
Open the drop-lid occasionally to mix the ingredients and
check the thickness of the liquid. Leave the drop-lid on the ingredients for
about 10 minutes to simmer and you will see that taro is cooked and the amount
of liquid is as shown in the second picture below. Take out the drop-lid and
continue simmering by shaking the pot until it starts to glare and the liquid
When serving the dish on a big plate, top it with snow peas boiled in lightly
salted water for garnish. The secret of making a tasty chikuzen-ni is to use
a lot of ingredients that has different variety of textures!
（レシピ・写真： 冨田唯介 英訳： 中西 直）