Chikuzen-ni

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Broadcast date:February 3, 2012

  • Meat
  • Seafood
  • Vegetables
  • Rice
  • Eggs
  • Beans & Tofu
  • Flour
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Ingredients (Serves 4 )

・1 boneless chicken thigh (300 g)
・1 carrot (150 g)
・4 dried shiitake mushrooms
・8 green beans
・2 tablespoons sugar
・2½ tablespoons soy sauce
・1 cup (200 ml) water
・1 teaspoon vegetable oil

Preparation

  1. Soak dried mushrooms for at least 1 hour. Cut carrot into strips about 2 cm in width and then slice into pieces 1 cm thick. Wash the reconstituted mushrooms, remove stems and cut lengthwise and crosswise to a similar size as the carrot. Remove any string from the beans, and cut into pieces about 2 cm in length. Cut the chicken into pieces about 3 cm in size.
  2. Heat a frying pan, add vegetable oil, and sauté the chicken. When the chicken loosens itself from the bottom of pan, turn on the other side. Add the carrot and beans, ensuring the ingredients as a whole get fried in the oil. Lastly add the mushrooms. Once all of the ingredients are coated in oil, add 1 cup of water. Place lid on pan and simmer for 10 minutes over medium heat.
  3. When the ingredients start to get tender, tilt the pan and add the sugar and soy sauce to the liquid. Stir, replace lid on pan, and simmer for another 5 minutes.
  4. Remove lid, and reduce the liquid, stirring the chicken and vegetables gently with a wooden spoon. Reduce the liquid to a shiny, syrupy consistency, coating the chicken and the vegetables in a light glaze. Remove from heat. Serve on a large platter.

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Local Cuisines

Chikuzen-ni is originally from the Chikuzen region of northern Kyushu.  The ni means ‘simmer’ or ‘braise’.  Its nationwide popularity is attributed to school lunches.  Chikuzen-ni appeared on many school menus, because it is a nutritious blend of meat and vegetables.  Japan is small in area, but there are considerable variations in climate and environment from north to south and depending on whether the place faces the sea or is surrounded by mountains.  This once meant considerable variations in the available foods, resulting in a rich mosaic of local cuisines.  Modern advances in transport mean it is now possible to obtain many ingredients anywhere.  But local cuisines help remind many people of where they were born and provide variation to the meal table.

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