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Expert recipe - Nishime (simmered chicken and vegetables)

Mr.tamuraChef Takashi Tamura's
Nishime (simmered chicken and vegetables)

Chef Tamura's nishime (simmered chicken and vegetables) is in the style of a classic Japanese meal, loaded with umami and commonly cooked in Japanese homes. Nishime, also known as nimono, involves simmering - but not boiling or stewing - ingredients in dashi so the dashi flavor is absorbed. The dashi, a fundamental part of Japanese cooking, brings out the umami taste.

Serves 4



- 12 (small) Dried shiitake mushrooms
- 150g Lotus root
- 100g Burdock root
- one flat piece Konnyaku(devil's tongue)
- 150g Carrots
- 300g Chicken thighs
- 100g Broccoli
- one (large) Yellow pepper
- 3 cups Stock (strong)
- 2 tbsp Salad oil
- 4 tbsp Soy sauce
- 4 tbsp Sugar

1. Re-hydrate dried shiitake in plenty of water. Cut off stalks. Peel lotus root, slice into large pieces cutting from the bottom up, diagonally, turning as you cut (rangiri) cubes and rinse. Scrape skin off the burdock, cut diagonally in circles to make funnel-shaped incisions. Cut the konnyaku (konjac) into bite-size pieces with the rim of a glass.
2. Peel carrots, cut into pieces. (rangiri). Sever the tendons in chicken thigh and cut into large bite-size pieces.
3. Cut broccoli into bite-size pieces and boil. Cut yellow pepper into bite-size pieces.
4. Heat salad oil in a large stew pan. Fry the chicken thigh and carrot. When the surface of the meat turns white, remove meat and carrot together.
5. Tip vegetables and konnyaku from 1) into the same pan and fry briefly. Add the dashi (see instructions for dashi below) and heat on a medium flame.
6. Return the chicken and carrot from 4) to the pan and add sugar and soy sauce. Remove the scum and cover with lid. Leave to simmer on medium flame for five minutes. Turn off heat, remove lid. Allow to cool.
7. Cover with lid and heat again. Switch off heat just before contents come to boil. Remove lid and allow to cool. Repeat until the flavor permeates the ingredients.
8. Return to the flame once more and sprinkle in on one tablespoon of soy sauce. Add the ingredients from 3). Shake the pan and turn over the ingredients, boiling until all juice has disappeared.

Method for dashi stock
1. Allow about 5cm of kombu to soak in water for about 30 mins. Heat on a low flame, and simmer until slime emerges from the cut ends.
2. When the kombu begins to float in loose strands to the surface, remove it. Add a little cold water as necessary to keep from boiling.
3. Add a generous pinch (about 8g) of katsuobushi. Turn off the heat and remove scum.
4. Strain the dashi with a cloth and strainer. The flakes of katsuobushi remaining in the cloth should not be wrung out. The resulting liquid is known as the first ichiban dashi, or first dashi.
5. The niban (second) dashi is made by simmering the katsuobushi and kombu used for the first ichiban dashi gently over a long period of time. If necessary, more katsuobushi may be added.
6. Strain the stock through a cloth placed in a strainer. This is the second niban dashi.