Japanese cooking is not always difficult. Once you set up your steamer, this satisfying dish is a easy to make as a casserole.
I wanted to make a dish that did not require much attention because I was busy doing another recipe test for Pat over at The Asian Grandmothers’ Cookbook. First I prepared the essential Japanese stock: dashi. The recipe is very similar to the one in my cookbook.
Then I used some of the stock to prepare miso soup. Mr. Tess said that this was the best miso soup I’ve ever made. The recipe uses Saikyo miso (sweet white miso), and many of Ms. Shimobo’s recipes use it. But I’d never seen Haccho miso before: it’s a dark chocolate brown with a complex rich flavor. Though it’s darker than some of the other misos I’ve used it’s not overwhelmingly salty. The soup had tofu, abura age, and sliced green onions.
The third recipe I tested was for rice. This rice, “Tamaki Haigamai,” is a Japanese rice between brown rice and white rice—the bran has been milled away, but the nutritious germ remains.
Original recipe called for chicken thighs with skin and bones. When I first made this last October (before the blog), I found that the bones made this dish difficult to eat. The skin was not very appealling. This time I skinned and boned the chicken. For more flavor, you can cook the bones with the food and remove them before serving. Occasionally I’ve made gribbenes with the skin to sprinkle on top.
Steamed Chicken, Shitake, and Japanese Onion
Tori, Shiitake to Negi no Mushimono
serves 3 to 4
- 1 pound chicken thighs, cut into 1 1/2″ pieces
- 4 drided shiitake mushrooms, soaked in cold water for 20 minutes
- 1 naganegi (Japanese long onion) or 5 scallions, cut into 1″ lengths
- 2 thumb-sized pieces of fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 Tablespoon shoyu (soy sauce)
- 2 Tablespoon sake (rice wine)
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 1 Tablespoon potato starch (or corn starch), mixed with 1 1/2 Tablespoons water
Drain the mushrooms, discard the stems, and slice the caps thickly. Toss all the ingredients together in a bowl which will fit into your steamer. Cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
Prepare a steamer with plenty of water producing lots of steam. Cook for 25 to 30 minutes.
Serve with rice.
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