Easy steamed chicken mixed with cucumber and dressed in a chili oil (La-yu) marinade. A simple yet flavorful chicken recipe, a perfect way to start a meal.
Today March 11th in Japan marks the 2nd anniversary of the devastating 2011 Tohoku earthquake, also known as the Great East Japan Earthquake. A 9.0-magnitude earthquake followed by a devastating tsunami wave cost the lives of over 16,000 people with almost 3,000 still reported as missing. Recovery will take time and many people are still working hard to repair and rebuild in affected areas. To me, it is important that we never forget and keep supporting those who need us.
Remembering this tragic event today, I want to talk about this amazing Japanese lady and her book that was recently released, and share one of her recipes at the end of this post.
Her name is Nobuko Hashimoto, known dearly as “Hashimoto mama” among the earthquake volunteers from all over the world. She was a victim of the devastation herself in Ishinomaki (石巻), where the city was among the most seriously affected by the earthquake and tsunami.
In addition to her own hardship of getting her life back aside, she generously opened her house for volunteers and has been preparing food for over 5000 volunteers with her and husband’s own money that they saved in case of emergency before the tragedy happened.
Hashimoto mama’s new book, Hashimoto’s Tohoku Recipes (「石巻ボランティアハウスの橋本ごはん」), tells the story of how she ended up preparing thousands of meals for people and how this has impacted to her life as well as volunteers’. In her book, she also shares the popular Tohoku regional recipes that she has been cooking for volunteers.
My Pantry page was also mentioned in this book thanks to Joseph, a California Just One Cookbook reader. He spent a lot of time volunteering in Ishinomaki and fell in love with Hashimoto mama’s cooking which led him to conceive the idea for this book. I want to thank Joseph for letting me be a part of this beautiful book.
I received this book a couple of days ago from the publisher and I started reading this book. I was deeply moved by Hashimoto mama’s kind and giving heart as well as her positive and cheering personality despite the hard situation she is in and I cooked one of her most popular recipes from the book.
The book is written in both Japanese and English.
Japanese Ingredient Substitution: If you want to look for substitutes for Japanese condiments and ingredients, click here.
Cucumber and Chicken Marinated in Chili Oil
- ¼ cup water (4 Tbsp)
- 2 Tbsp sake
- 1 Tbsp kosher/sea salt (I use Diamond Crystal; use half for table salt)
- Gather all the ingredients.
- Discard both ends of the cucumbers and peel the skin, leaving some part unpeeled for the look.
- Cut the cucumbers in the "rangiri" cutting technique, making a diagonal cut while rotating one-quarter between every cut.
- Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces.
- Place the chicken in a frying pan skin side down and add the Seasonings A.
- Cover and start cooking over medium heat. Simmer for 2 minutes, then turn the chicken over and continue simmering covered for 2 minutes. Turn off the heat.
- Continue cooking with remaining heat and make sure the chicken is cooked through.
- Combine Seasonings B in a large airtight container.
- Remove the warm chicken from the pan and add in the container.
- Add the cucumbers and mix well. Let marinate for at least 10 minutes. Serve at cool or room temperature.
- You can keep the leftovers in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days.