From that wonderful “Japanese Cooking, A Simple Art”, comes this nice little dish. It doesn’t take long to make.
- 1 pound of boned chicken thighs, with skin
- 6 fresh shiitake mushrooms
- 2 medium carrots (American size) or one big one (oriental size)
- 3-4 inchs medium bamboo shoot, washed (or 1/3 cup of canned bamboo shoot)
- 1 medium burdock root, scrubbed with brush (or 5 small ones from a pack)
- 1 cake konnyaku (devil’s tongue jelly)
- 1 cup dashi
- 2 Tbsps sugar
- 3 Tbsps light soy sauce
- 2 Tbsps dark soy sauce
- 2 oz snow peas
- Prepare the chicken meat by cutting it into 3/4 in cubes
- Scrape, peel, or trim the veggies as required (this does not apply to the snow peas). Then cut into rolling wedges (meaning, cut out wedges as you roll the veggie)
- Cut konnyaku into chunks the same size as the veggies
- Keep burdock in water
- Heat 1 or 2 Tbsps of peanut oil, as little as you can, in a medium size pot at high until it’s really hot
- Dump the chicken first, stir quickly once
- Then dump the following, in this order, stir once in between for coating
- bamboo shoot
- Stir-fry with wooden spoon, about 3 min, just so all the ingredients are coated with the oil and cooked partially.
- Pour dashi over the fried meat and veggies to barely cover
- bring to a boil over high heat, then add the sugar and soy sauces
- Cover with a drop-lid (which you probably don’t have and will not find, see below on how to improvise)
- Simmer till reduced by 30%, remove from heat.
- Put the snow peas for color just before serving.
To improvise a “drop-lid”, take a square piece of parchment paper, fold it along the diagonal, then fold it again and again and once more (so now it’s 1/16th the original size). Cut around the top (so the end result is a circle when unfolding it), and, very important, cut a small piece from the tip of the triangle. Unfold it and you have a circular piece of paper with a hole inside. The whole point is for some steam to leave in a simmer while on high heat. Clever, huh?
I served it on rice (very Western since Far Eastern people eat rice separately). The book recommends eating with a sesame squid….