Chikuzenni (nishime) – simmered chicken and vegetables 筑前煮

AN OSHOGATSU STAPLE ­— Chikuzenni is a dish with chicken and vegetables simmered in flavorful dashi, mirin and soy sauce. It’s one of the osechi ryori (Japanese traditional foods) served on New Year’s Day. photo by Namiko Chen

Chikuzenni (筑前煮) or nishime (煮しめ) is a classic Japanese dish often served on New Year’s Day. This dish is made of root vegetables and chicken that are simmered in dashi, soy sauce and mirin.

My mom used to make it quite regularly because it was my family’s favorite type of simmered dish. This is also a popular side dish for bento because it can be made in advance and still tastes great at room temperature.

What’s Chikuzenni?
Chikuzenni was named after the old Chikuzen Province in Northern Kyushu (it’s part of today’s Fukuoka Prefecture) and this dish originated there; however, it’s now enjoyed throughout Japan.

Typically chicken and root vegetables are sautéd in oil first, then they are simmered in umami-rich dashi broth and seasonings until the ingredients are tender and all the flavors are absorbed.

Decorative Shapes on Ingredients
For this New Year’s dish, the vegetables and konnyaku are cut into fancy shapes to celebrate the occasion, but for daily use or bento, you can simply cut them into small pieces using a Japanese cutting technique called “rangiri.”

Rangiri-style cutting is to roll the vegetable a quarter (1/4) turn, cut on an angle, and then roll again another quarter (1/4) turn, cut on an angle and continue. This cutting technique is useful for Japanese nimono dishes.

Cook Faster: Pressure Cooker (Instant Pot) Nishime
If you want to speed up the process, you can use a pressure cooker (I used my Instant Pot) to make chikuzenni or nishime. You can read the recipe here: https://www.justonecookbook.com/instant-pot-nishime.
I hope you enjoy this dish with your family!

Chikuzenni / Nishime (Simmered Chicken and Vegetables)
Chikuzenni is a dish with chicken and vegetables simmered in flavorful dashi, mirin and soy sauce. It’s one of the osechi ryori (Japanese traditional food) dishes served on New Year’s Day.

Prep time: 1 hour
Cook time: 30 mins
Total time: 1 hr 30 mins
Servings: 6

Ingredients
• 6 dried shiitake mushrooms (1 oz, 30 g)
• 1 cup water (for rehydrating dried shiitake mushrooms)
• 3/4 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs
• 1/2 Tbsp sake (for marinating chicken)
• 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce (for marinating chicken)
• 5 taro (satoimo) (9 oz, 250 g)
• 1/2 boiled bamboo shoot (3 oz, 90 g)
• 1/2 gobo (burdock root) (4 oz, 110 g)
• 1 lotus root (renkon) (6 oz, 180 g)
• 1 Tbsp rice vinegar (unseasoned) (separated; for soaking lotus root and gobo)
• 1 carrot (6 oz, 170 g)
• 1/2 block konnyaku (konjac) (4.5 oz, 130 g)
• 10 snow peas (1 oz, 30 g)
• 1/8 tsp kosher salt (Diamond Crystal; use half for table salt) (for blanching snow peas)
• 1 1/2 Tbsp roasted sesame oil (separated)

Seasonings
• 2 cups dashi (Japanese soup stock; visit https://www.justonecookbook.com/how-to-make-dashi-jiru/ to learn more)
• 3 Tbsp sake
• 3 Tbsp mirin
• 1 Tbsp sugar
• 3 Tbsp usukuchi (light-colored) soy sauce (or use 2 Tbsp soy sauce + 1/8 tsp salt)
• 1/2 tsp kosher salt (Diamond Crystal; use half for table salt)

Japanese Ingredient Substitution: If you want substitutes for Japanese condiments and ingredients, visit https://www.justonecookbook.com/ingredient-substitution-for-japanese-cooking.​​

To read the full recipe, visit https://www.justonecookbook.com/chikuzenni-simmered-chicken-and-vegetables/.

 

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