In a small saucepan, add 1 cup water and 1 dashi packet. Slowly bring to a boil on medium-low heat, while gently shaking the bag a few times to get more flavors. Once boiling, lower the heat and cook for 1 minute. Then turn off the heat. If you want to make dashi with dashi powder, click here.
Remove the pot from heat and remove the dashi packet. Add the dried shiitake mushrooms in dashi to rehydrate for 15 minutes.
To Prepare Ingredients
Remove the tough strings off the snow peas.
Make Tazuna Konnyaku. Slice konnyaku to about ⅛ to ¼ inch (7-8 mm) thick. At the center of each slice, make a 1 ½ inch slit.
Put the top or bottom part through the hole. Push it in and pull out both ends.
Boil water in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add a pinch of salt and blanch the snow peas for 30-60 seconds, until crisp but tender enough to eat. Transfer snow peas to a sieve/plate.
In the same boiling water, add the konnyaku and cook for 2-3 minutes to remove the smell (which is why you cook after snow peas).
Cut the bamboo shoot into quarters. Keep the tip into 1 ½ inch length (so it will look pretty), and slice the rest (bottom) of the piece.
Peel the lotus root skin and cut in half.
[Optional] If you want to make Hana Renkon (Flower Lotus Root), here is the tutorial.
Slice the lotus root into ¼ inches and soak in water (or 2 cups water + 1 tsp vinegar to make the lotus root whiter).
Peel and cut the carrot using Rangiri Japanese cutting technique. [Optional] If you like the flower shape carrot, then first cut the top 2 inches into ¼ inch slices. And cut the rest of carrot using Rangiri cutting technique.
[Optional] Cut out the carrot into a flower shape. You can eat the cutout carrot (mince it and use in fried rice or soup).
Peel the taro skin with a sharp knife. It’s very tough, so I don’t recommend using the vegetable peeler. Instead, use a knife to slowly peel the skin. For taro, it’s recommended to peel the skin thick (It’s not considered wasteful to remove skin with more flesh attached).
Cut each taro in half and soak in water to get rid of starch and astringent taste.
Lightly peel the gobo skin with the back of your knife (unlike taro, you want to preserve the flesh as much as possible as the flavor of gobo stay right under the skin). Cut the gobo using Rangiri Japanese cutting technique and soak in water to get rid of starch and astringent taste.
By now the dried shiitake mushrooms should be soft and hydrated in the dashi. Squeeze the liquid out from the shiitake mushrooms. And strain the dashi over a fine mesh sieve over a measuring cup. You will need 200 ml (= take away 2 Tbsp from 1 cup).
Discard the stem of shiitake mushrooms. [Optional] Cut the edges to make into a hexagon, which represents turtle shape for longevity.
Cut the chicken tender using Sogigiri. cutting technique. It creates more surface which allows the chicken to cook faster and absorb more flavors.
To Cook Ingredients in Instant Pot
Press the “Sauté” button on your Instant Pot and heat 1 ½ Tbsp sesame oil.
Add the chicken tender and coat with oil.
When the chicken is no longer pink outside, add the lotus root, taro, gobo, and bamboo shoot. Then add the dashi.
Add 1 Tbsp sugar, 2 ½ Tbsp mirin, 1 Tbsp sake, 3 Tbsp usukuchi soy sauce (light color), and ½ tsp kosher salt.
Mix well with seasonings and ingredients. Add carrot, konnyaku, and shiitake mushrooms (save the snow pea for garnish).
Press “Cancel” to stop “Saute” mode. Close the lid and set HIGH pressure for 3 minutes.
Make sure the steam release handle points at “sealing” and not “venting”. The float valve goes up when pressurized.
Once Pressure Cooking Is Done...
When it’s finished cooking, the Instant Pot will switch automatically to the “Keep Warm” mode. Let the pressure release naturally.
Open the lid and gently mix the ingredients. Serve individually or in a large bowl. Garnish with snow peas (I cut each diagonally in half).
Transfer Nishime in an airtight container and let cool completely before storing in the refrigerator. You can keep it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, but the flavor will intensify as time passes. If you plan to serve it later, you may consider reducing the amount of seasoning. Nishime also freezes well, but konnyaku texture will change, so I recommend removing them before storing. Defrost overnight and reheat in a pot.