Easy Japanese Recipes

Chikuzenni (Simmered Chicken and Vegetables) 筑前煮 

Chikuzenni | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

Chikuzenni (筑前煮) is a classic Japanese dish often served on New Year’s Day, but my mom used to make it quite regularly because it was my family’s favorite Nimono (it means “simmered dish” like Nikujaga).  This is also a popular side dish for bento because it can be made in advance and still tastes great at room temperature.

Chikuzenni | JustOneCookbook.com

Chikuzenni was named after the old Chikuzen Province in Northern Kyushu (it’s part of today’s Fukuoka Prefecture); but this dish is now enjoyed throughout Japan.

Typically chicken and root vegetables are first sautéd in oil, and then they are simmered in dashi stock and seasonings until vegetables are tender and the flavors are absorbed.

Chikuzenni | JustOneCookbook.com

For 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 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.

Hope you enjoy this dish with your family!

Chikuzenni | JustOneCookbook.com

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Chikuzenni (Simmered Chicken and Vegetables)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: Serves 6-8
  • ¾ lb skinless boneless chicken thighs
  • ½ Tbsp. sake
  • ½ Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 6 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 large lotus root
  • ½ boiled bamboo shoot
  • 5 Japanese taro (satoimo)
  • ½ burdock root (gobo)
  • 1 carrot (I use top half of 2 carrots)
  • ½ – 1 block konnyaku
  • 10 snow peas
  • Rice vinegar for soaking
  • 2 Tbsp. sesame oil
  • 2 cups dashi stock
  • 3 Tbsp. sake
  • 3 Tbsp. mirin
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. Usukuchi (light color) soy sauce (2 Tbsp. soy sauce + ⅛ tsp. salt)
  • ½ tsp. salt
  1. Remove extra fat of the chicken and cut into 1½ inch pieces. Marinade in ½ Tbps. sake and ½ Tbsp. soy sauce and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, put dried shiitake mushrooms and pour just enough lukewarm water to cover them. Soak for 20 minutes, or until soft. Squeeze the liquid out from the shiitake mushrooms and keep this liquid.
  3. Cut the shiitake mushrooms into hexagon, which represent turtle shape for longevity.
  4. Cut the lotus root into Hana Renkon. Soak them in vinegar water (2 cups water + 1 tsp. vinegar).
  5. Cut the bamboo shoot in half and thinly slice.
  6. Peel the taro and cut in half and sprinkle some salt.
  7. Rub the taro with hands and wash them in running water.
  8. Scrape the skin off the burdock root with the back of knife. After rinsing, cut it into thin slices. Quickly soak them in vinegar water (2 cups water + 1 tsp. vinegar).
  9. Cut the carrot into Nejiri Ume. Blanch half of them for 2 minutes and reserve for decoration.
  10. Cut the konnyaku into Tazuna Konnyaku.
  11. Pull the strings at the seams of the snow peas and discard them. These are tough and not edible. Boil water in a saucepan over high heat. Add pinch of salt and blanch the snow pea pods for 30-60 seconds, until crisp but tender enough to eat.
  12. Instead of draining, scoop the snow peas with a sieve, then shock in cold running water and set aside. In the same boiling water, add konnyaku. After boiling again, cook for 2-3 minutes to remove the smell.
  13. Cut the blanched snow peas in half and set aside.
  14. In the large pot, heat 1 Tbsp. of sesame oil over medium high heat. When it’s hot, cook the chicken until it turns white. Transfer the chicken to a plate.
  15. Add 1 Tbsp. of sesame oil and cook all the ingredients except the blanched snow peas and carrots that are reserved for decoration.
  16. Add dashi stock and shiitake mushroom liquid.
  17. Bring it to a boil. Skim off the fat and scum that accumulates on the surface.
  18. Add sake, mirin, sugar, soy sauce, and salt.
  19. Add the chicken back into the pot.
  20. Bring it to a boil. As you see, the stock should cover about 80% of the ingredients.
  21. Make Otoshibuta and cover the ingredients. Cook for 10 minutes.
  22. Remove Otoshibuta and cook for another 10 minutes. Adjust seasonings (with soy sauce, sugar, or salt) to your liking.
  23. Add the snow peas and remove from the heat. Cover, and let cool. Serve Chikuzenni in a dish or traditional Japanese lacquer container, “Ju-bako”. Top with the snow peas and blanched carrots.
Posted in: Appetizers, Chicken, Holidays, Japanese New Year Food, Side Dishes, Vegetables, Tofu & Eggs

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  • donna mikasa December 26, 2012, 12:04 am

    Oh, this looks so good, Nami! I usually make a big pot of nishime for New Year’s but I’m seriously considering making this instead! I especially like the way you cut the renkon!

    • Nami December 28, 2012, 8:38 pm

      Hi Donna! My mom always make Chikuzenni for New Years instead of Nishime. I’m taking a short cut for renkon, but the link will give you a proper (but more time consuming) way. ;)

  • Stephanie December 26, 2012, 12:21 am

    This is such a beautiful presentation Nami! I bet it taste as wonderfully as well! I love all the ingredients.

  • Jenny December 26, 2012, 2:02 am

    that was fascinating. And what a delight for the eyes! Brilliant, and such a contrast to the rich roasts and gravy we’ve been having. Hope you had a good Christmas, and all the very best for the New Year!

  • A_Boleyn December 26, 2012, 2:46 am

    What a gorgeous presentation. I am curious as to what happens to the broth used to simmer the chicken and vegetables however. Is it served?

    • Nami December 28, 2012, 9:28 pm

      To pack into the special box (jubako) we cannot add liquid, so we have to keep the broth separate. However if you serve in a bowl, you can pour on top of ingredients. I like to have a little bit of broth in it. :)

      • A_Boleyn December 28, 2012, 9:35 pm

        I just wondered cause it seems wasteful when you have that flavourful broth not to eat it. I guess you could cook up some noodles and have a separate bowl of soup. :)

  • kat December 26, 2012, 4:24 am

    looks lovely and I like the new look of your blog too!

  • Belinda @zomppa December 26, 2012, 5:01 am

    I love the attention placed on the shapes and cuts!!!

  • Kimmi December 26, 2012, 6:07 am

    This is such a warm and homey dish! =) I haven’t yet made plans for a New Year’s meal, but Chikuzenni seems like a great option. Thanks also for sharing the little details about how to prepare each ingredient, especially with tazuna konnyaku. Hope you’re enjoying the holidays! I’m looking forward to your future posts for osechi ryori!

    • Nami December 28, 2012, 9:38 pm

      Hi Kimmi! I’m glad you like Tazuna Konnyaku. I’m always amazed how people figured out or find out how to make sort of boring ingredient to be so pretty. ;)

  • Ellena | Cuisines Paradise December 26, 2012, 6:11 am

    This is gorgeous~ I am always fascinated with Japanese festive bento like this. Your family is so blessed to have such a great cook like you! Wish you a Happy 2013 New Year ahead.

  • Helene Dsouza I Masala Herb December 26, 2012, 6:23 am

    Again you taught me something new Nami! Looks so cute and pretty.
    Happy holidays!

  • Sissi December 26, 2012, 6:48 am

    What a wonderful and beautiful meal to serve for New Year! In Japan even festive dishes are lighter and healthier than in Western countries. I hope you are spending wonderful time with your family and friends! I am exhausted by Christmas cooking and entertaining…

  • Baby Sumo December 26, 2012, 7:42 am

    Nami your lacquered serving boxes are so pretty! And the dish inside looks comforting and delicious. Hope u had a great Christmas with your family.

  • Sandra's Easy Cooking December 26, 2012, 8:23 am

    Indeed very beautiful, healthy and delicious! Wonderful presentation, and amazing pictures..I want to grab the whole box off the screen! Just lovely!

  • Lynna December 26, 2012, 11:12 am

    This dish looks so pretty! And those carrot flowers!! Love them. It`s interesting and cool how some Asians love using lotus roots!

  • Mel December 26, 2012, 12:16 pm

    Oh wow, what a great post this is, I really like the tutorial photos here. I like the way of the cutting of lotus root and the carrot. And most of all, the presentation is just beautiful…it must taste superb too.

  • Marta @ What should I eat for breakfast today December 26, 2012, 12:57 pm

    I like all the fancy shapes, it could be a nice way to celebrate a NYE with friends :) I also enjoy the box the meal is in, such a great idea. Do you serve food in it ar it’s just for a picture purpose? Happy new year!!!

  • Yelena December 26, 2012, 2:44 pm

    I see many interesting ingredients here. To me it’s very exotic dish -) Looks so beautiful and unusual. The lotus root looks so good, like a crochet napkin-) I wonder if i can make a chips from it? The carrots flowers are so cute. Presentation is divine, and I am sure the taste is outstanding!

  • peachkins December 26, 2012, 3:08 pm

    This looks like a dish packed with flavor but I don’t think I’m gonna find Konnyaku and Lotus Root here.

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and your Family, Nami!

  • PolaM December 26, 2012, 3:25 pm

    How beautiful! And I bet it is delicious too!

  • Mich Piece of Cake December 26, 2012, 5:00 pm

    This looks delicious, Nami. I would love to have a bowl of this stew.

  • Laura (Tutti Dolci) December 26, 2012, 11:05 pm

    I love your presentation, Nami! The shapes are so fun!

  • The Ninja Baker December 27, 2012, 1:14 am

    美味しそう!Thank you for sharing the step-by-step secrets to this gorgeous presentation, Nami-san.

  • Adrian (What the Heck is Filipino Food) December 27, 2012, 5:47 am

    I like the various textures in this salad! You got some crunch from the snow pees to the soft mushrooms. Beats the boring salad I made for xmas!

    Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  • claire @ the realistic nutritionist December 27, 2012, 7:54 am

    Oh i love this!!!

  • Katerina December 27, 2012, 8:23 am

    Thanks for sharing yet another one delicious, traditional, Japanese dish Nami and may I grab the chance to wish to you and your family a very Happy, Prosperous and full of Joy New Year!

  • yummychunklet December 27, 2012, 8:33 am

    That looks so good after all these Christmas sweets.

  • Cucina49 December 27, 2012, 10:52 am

    I am in absolute awe of this gorgeous dish, particularly the colors and those fabulous carrot decorations. I would love a bento full of this!

  • Linda | The Urban Mrs December 27, 2012, 12:17 pm

    This looks so pretty, especially the konnyaku. I definitely need to learn your art techniques in the kitchen. Love it!

  • Grubarazzi (@Grubarazzi) December 27, 2012, 12:54 pm

    Only you could make chicken and vegetables so beautiful! Happy holidays!

  • Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious December 27, 2012, 3:40 pm

    What an amazing dish! I love the flavors in this, and how it’s chockfull of veggies too!

  • Mary A. December 28, 2012, 8:09 am

    Thank you Nami for this New Years Recipe!! It looks wonderful!! I am planning to make it to surprise my Japanese friends for New Years!! Thank you again.

    • Nami December 28, 2012, 9:50 pm

      Hi Mary! I hope your Japanese friends will enjoy this recipe and thank you for giving it a try! :) Happy New Year!

  • Food Jaunts December 28, 2012, 10:05 pm

    I love how fresh all of the ingredients are – so pretty and pleasing to the eye.

  • Christine @ Cooking Crusade December 28, 2012, 11:26 pm

    This looks so delicious! I love renkon :D and the adorable carrot flowers. I need one of those cute little flowers cutters :)

  • Sonia aka Nasi Lemak Lover December 29, 2012, 12:23 am

    This dish look so beautiful, i like to see how you cut each of the vegetables, so unique and beautiful!

  • The Café Sucré Farine December 29, 2012, 5:56 pm

    Nami, this is so pretty and so yummy looking. Love your presentation with the little berries. What are they?

  • Raymund December 30, 2012, 12:00 am

    Lovely looking vegetables, its such an eye candy. How did you cut your carrots? do you have a tool? Also is this dish similar to nishime (not sure if thats the right name)?

  • Andrea December 30, 2012, 11:12 am

    Nami, such a very pretty and colorful presentation! The whole recipe looks so inviting and delicious – all I can think of is that my family would really like me to prepare this and present it in a beautiful box like you did! You really prepare all of your dishes with such loving care and attention to detail, you amaze me every time!

  • Ramona December 30, 2012, 3:55 pm

    I love the beautiful shapes and designs of this dish. It’s not just a dish… it looks like art. Hope you have a wonderful New Year!!

  • Hotly Spiced December 30, 2012, 4:01 pm

    What a colourful dish, Nami, and it is so very pretty. It must have great flavour and so many textures. What a lovely way of serving it too in that gorgeous box. Happy New Year to you and your family xx

  • Eri December 30, 2012, 4:38 pm

    Happy New Year Nami,
    your plate is so beautiful my friend it;s like a work of art seriously, I cant believe how beautiful that looks!
    Thank you so much for once again for giving us these unbelievable Japanese
    Recipes, I’m learning so many things from you.
    Hugs and Kisses my friend, I wish you and your family all the best

  • Valerie Brunmeier December 30, 2012, 5:13 pm

    I think this dish is too pretty to eat! But I’d eat it anyway :) Looks delicious Nami!

  • Eha December 30, 2012, 8:35 pm

    What a wonderful dish! For me, perchance quite inequitably, the bamboo shoot and lotus root spread the difference and give the most taste. Love the total effect!! Oh, and since I may not be on line again ere New Year , Namiko-san, may the Powers of the Great be with yourself and your family for a wonderful and successive and happy life in the next year to come . . . I so enjoy coming on site!!

    • Nami January 3, 2013, 11:16 pm

      Thank you so much Eha! Your kind comments always make me happy. Hope you had a wonderful Christmas and New Years!

  • Candice December 30, 2012, 8:56 pm

    Wow! this looks yummy. It looks similar to a vegetarian dish Chinese people during Chinese New Year!

    • Nami January 2, 2013, 1:55 pm

      Happy New Year Candice! :)

  • albertocook December 30, 2012, 11:11 pm

    I like this

  • Reese@SeasonwithSpice December 31, 2012, 8:23 am

    Hey Nami – I know this dish is essentially Japanese, but you have brought me back to the flavors of Chinese New Year. Lotus roots, bamboo shoots, snow peas, chicken and taro in a pot. The main difference has to do with the presentation. While we serve them in rustic hot pot, Japanese serve them in fancy bento. Can’t help but to adore how beautiful the dish looks!

  • Elizabeth @Mango_Queen December 31, 2012, 9:35 am

    These all looks so pretty and I know they’re surely all delicious! Thanks for sharing these wonderful tips for healthy eating, Nami! Happy New Year!

  • Kristy December 31, 2012, 5:45 pm

    I love how colorful and decorative this looks. A great dish for the first of the New Year! Happy New Year Nami! I hope you’re enjoying a wonderful evening with your beautiful family. :)

  • My Kitchen Stories January 1, 2013, 4:24 am

    I have never seen a dish like this. It looks so exotic. Must be beautiful tasting. Happy New Year, Nami

  • Jen @ Savory Simple January 1, 2013, 5:48 am

    What a gorgeous dish!

  • Mi Vida en un Dulce January 2, 2013, 10:59 am

    After all the food we had during holidays, this one comes just perfect for us. Having vegetables for first days is the best.

  • Jen Laceda | Tartine and Apron Strings January 2, 2013, 11:44 am

    Your attention to detail is just amazing! This is one stunning dish, Nami! So many components go into it…It does look very tasty and healthy, though. Perfect for the new year – because you start new year right with a good dish like this one. Happy New Year, my friend! I’m so glad to have met you this year through our blogs :) All the best to you and your family for 2013. May it be filled with love, health, and wealth :)

  • Denise Browning January 2, 2013, 5:39 pm

    Nami: What a gorgeous dish presentation! I am impressed about how detailed your posts cooking instructions are… You are a perfectionist indeed!!! Happy new year.

  • Hannah January 7, 2013, 11:23 am

    What a beautiful dish, Nami! I love all the different tastes and textures and look forward to trying it. Wishing you a happy, healthy, delicious 2013!

  • Lori Lynn January 23, 2013, 5:26 pm

    Delicious! What a lovely dish, visually stunning. Especially for a stew which usually looks all melded together. I like that each ingredient shines here.
    Adore how you prep the veggies. I am definitely going to cut lotus root like this, then pickle it. YAY!

  • Veronica Cervera December 28, 2013, 8:03 pm

    Lovely! Happy New Year, Nami!