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Chikuzenni (Nishime) – Simmered Chicken and Vegetables 筑前煮

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    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) served on New Year’s Day.

    A Japanese ceramic bowl containing simmered chicken and vegetables.

    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 dishes. This is also a popular side dish for bento because it can be made in advance and still tastes great at room temperature.

    A lacquered box containing simmered chicken and vegetables.

    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 was 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 ingredients are tender and all the flavors are absorbed.

    A Japanese ceramic bowl containing simmered chicken and vegetables.

    Decorative Shapes on Ingredients

    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 a Japanese cutting technique called “Rangiri“.

    Rangiri style cutting is to roll the vegetable a quarter (¼) turn, cut on an angle, and then roll again another quarter (¼) turn, cut on an angle and continue. This cutting technique is useful for Japanese Nimono dishes.

    Cook Faster: Pressure Cooker (Instant Pot) Nishime

    A blue Japanese bowl containing Nishime, simmered vegetables and chicken.

    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 click here for the recipe.

    Hope you enjoy this dish with your family!

    A Japanese ceramic bowl containing simmered chicken and vegetables.

    Japanese Ingredient Substitution: If you want to look for substitutes for Japanese condiments and ingredients, click here.

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    4.37 from 19 votes
    A Japanese ceramic bowl containing simmered chicken and vegetables.
    Chikuzenni / Nishime (Simmered Chicken and Vegetables)
    Prep Time
    1 hr
    Cook Time
    30 mins
    Total Time
    1 hr 30 mins

    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) served on New Year's Day.

    Course: Main Course, Side Dish
    Cuisine: Japanese
    Keyword: nimono, osechi, osechi ryori
    Servings: 6
    Author: Namiko Chen
    1. Gather all the ingredients.

      Chikuzenni Ingredients
    Dried Shiitake Mushrooms
    1. In a small bowl, put dried shiitake mushrooms and 1 cup water and soak for 20-30 minutes, or until tender.

      Chikuzenni 1
    2. After 30 minutes or so, squeeze the liquid out from the shiitake mushrooms.

      Chikuzenni 18
    3. Cut the shiitake mushrooms into a hexagon, which represents turtle shape for longevity.

      Chikuzenni 19
    4. Strain the liquid through a fine-mesh sieve. This is called shiitake dashi. It yields roughly ¾ cup.

      Chikuzenni 20
    1. Remove extra fat of the chicken and cut into 1 ½ inch pieces.

      Chikuzenni 2
    2. Transfer the chicken in a medium bowl and add ½ Tbps sake and ½ Tbsp soy sauce. Coat the chicken with the marinade and set aside.

      Chikuzenni 3
    Burdock Root (Gobo)
    1. Scrape the skin off the burdock root with the back of the knife. After rinsing, cut it into thin slices.

      Chikuzenni 4
    2. Quickly soak them in water (2 cups water + ½ Tbsp vinegar).

      Chikuzenni 5
    Japanese Taro Roots (Satoimo)
    1. Cut off the ends of taro. Then peel from one end to the other.

      Chikuzenni 6
    2. Ideally, taro should be a hexagon (6 sides) from the side view.

      Chikuzenni 7
    3. Cut the taro in half and soak in water. (You can rub them with salt to get rid of the sliminess, if that bothers).

      Chikuzenni 8
    Bamboo Shoot
    1. Cut the bamboo shoot into quarters lengthwise.

      Chikuzenni 9
    2. Cut the bamboo shoot in half widthwise. If each piece is still bigger than bite-size, you can cut in half.

      Chikuzenni 10
    Lotus Roots (Renkon)
    1. Cut the lotus root into Hana Renkon.

      Chikuzenni 11
    2. The lotus root should resemble flowers after cutting the edges off.

      Chikuzenni 12
    3. Cut them into ⅛ inch (3 mm) slices and soak them in water (2 cups water + ½ Tbsp vinegar).

      Chikuzenni 13
    Carrot (Nejiri Ume)
    1. Peel the carrot and cut into ½ inch pieces.

      Chikuzenni 14
    2. Use a flower-shaped vegetable cutter and cut out each piece into a flower shape. Then make a shallow (roughly ¼ inch deep) incision from the center of the flower to in-between the two petals.

      Chikuzenni 15
    3. Hold a knife parallel to one petal and make a diagonal cut from right to left in-between petals.

      Chikuzenni 16
    4. This is called Nejiri Ume.

      Chikuzenni 17
    1. Cut konnyaku into ¼ inch slices and then make a 1 ½ inch incision in the middle.

      Chikuzenni 22
    2. Put one end of konnyaku into the hole in the middle and pull it out. This is called Tazuna Konnyaku.

      Chikuzenni 23
    Snow Peas
    1. Pull the strings at the seams of the snow peas and discard them. These are tough and not edible.

      Chikuzenni 21
    To Blanch Vegetables and Konnyaku
    1. Boil water in a saucepan and blanch half of the flower carrot for 2 minutes and set aside.

      Chikuzenni 24
    2. Add a pinch of salt and blanch the snow pea pods for 30-60 seconds, until crisp but tender enough to eat.

      Chikuzenni 25
    3. Remove the snow peas from the water and transfer to the ice water to stop cooking and set aside.

      Chikuzenni 26
    4. In the same boiling water, add konnyaku. After boiling again, cook for 2-3 minutes to remove the smell.

      Chikuzenni 28
    5. Diagonally cut the blanched snow peas in half and set aside.

      Chikuzenni 27
    To Make Chikuzenni
    1. In the large pot, heat 1 Tbsp of sesame oil over medium heat. When it’s hot, add the chicken.

      Chikuzenni 29
    2. Cook the chicken until it turns white. Transfer the chicken to a plate.

      Chikuzenni 30
    3. Add ½ Tbsp sesame oil and cook all the ingredients except the blanched snow peas and carrots reserved for decoration.

      Chikuzenni 31
    4. Stir and coat the ingredients with sesame oil.

      Chikuzenni 32
    5. Add dashi and shiitake dashi.

      Chikuzenni 33
    6. Bring it to a simmer over medium heat. Skim off the fat and scum that accumulates on the surface.

      Chikuzenni 34
    7. Add sake, mirin, sugar, soy sauce, and salt.

      Chikuzenni 35
    8. Add the chicken back into the pot. Bring it to a simmer. As you see, the stock should cover about 80% of the ingredients.

      Chikuzenni 36
    9. Put an Otoshibuta (drop lid) on the ingredients and cook for 10 minutes. If you don't have one, you can make an Otoshibuta with aluminum foil.

      Chikuzenni 37
    10. Remove Otoshibuta and cook for another 10 minutes.

      Chikuzenni 38
    11. Insert a bamboo skewer into tough vegetables (taro root and lotus root) and see if they are tender. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.

      Chikuzenni 39
    To Serve and Store
    1. Add the snow peas and remove from the heat. Cover, and let cool. Serve Chikuzenni in a serving dish or Osechi box. Top with the snow peas and blanched flower shaped carrots.

      Chikuzenni 40
    Recipe Notes

    Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.

    Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on December 26, 2012. The post has been updated with new images in 2019 and republished in December 2020.

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