This is a late post on what I did New Year's Day. I didn't have time then and after posting 7 Vegetables Soup (七样羹) , I thought I should post this as well. In some ways, Japanese and Chinese cuisine have their similarities. Chikuzen Ni is usually cooked on New Year's Eve and consumed on New Year's Day. This allows the flavour to infuse thoroughly. This dish uses at least 5 or more types of vegetables, usually in 5 different colours. Traditionally, the vegetables used are; Satoimo (里いも, Taro), Ninjin (にんじん, Carrot), Renkon (れんこん, Lotus Roots), dried Shiitake mushroom (干ししいたけ), Take no Ko (竹のこ, Bamboo shoots), Gobo (ごうぼ, Burdock) and Kinusaya (きぬさや, Snow Peas). The vegetables are cooked with chicken and konnyaku (こんにゃく).
I usually cook up a Japanese fare on New Year's Day. As mentioned in earlier post, I didn't have time for an elaborate meal, so I opted to cook this dish instead. This year, I found these radish in the wet market.
Believe it or not; like Chinese, Japanese like auspicious colours like red and yellow too. So in their New Year's dishes, they will include auspicious colours. I adjusted the recipe I had as I did not have Taro, Konnyaku and Burdock. I used Daikon (大根, radish) and Imo (いも, potatoes) instead.
Chikuzen Ni (筑前煮)
1 Chicken Breast, remove skin, deboned and cut into cubes
12 No.s of dried Shiitake Mushrooms, soaked, squeeze dry (retain water) and quartered
2 medium size Potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes (original : 12 small baby taro, peeled and rub with some salt, wash)
2 medium size Carrots, peeled and cut into cubes
2 small Red Radish, peeled and cut into cubes (original : 100g Burdock, peeled, cut into short length and soak in vinegar solution)
100g Lotus Root, sliced and soak in vinegar solution
100g Bamboo Shoots, cut into chunks
*1 slab of Konnyaku, break into pieces by hand or scooped using melon scoop* (optional)
3-1/2 cup Dashi Stock and water from soaking dried mushrooms
3 Tbsp Sake
6 Tbsp Sugar
3 Tbsp Mirin
5 Tbsp Shoyu
Some Snow Peas
1. Heat up a pot, add oil and sear the chicken chunks slightly. Add all vegetables, except snow peas and taro (if using) and stir fry for a short while.
2. Add stock and bring to a boil. Remove scum if any. Add in all seasonings and turn heat down to a simmer. Simmer for about 30 minutes or till the root vegetables have softened. Add in snow peas just before serving.