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2012年5月28日 (月)


My short visit to Tokyo gave me a chance to buy food materials that I cannot buy here, and I cooked Chikuzen-ni (simmered root vegetables with chicken), which is my favorite Japanese dish. I was wearing fleece till the day before my departure, however it’s been so hot since I came back home. As chikuzen-ni is a winter dish, it wasn’t really the right one to cook, but I felt as if I were at home and enjoyed it. As my tablewares haven’t been arrived yet, we had one-plate dinner, along with other dishes such as chiken teriyaki, daikon (Japanese radish) salad and rice with knife and fork, not chopsticks. The points to make delicious chikuzen-ni are;

· Cut all the ingredients into the same size so that they can be cooked evenly.

· Stir-fry the vegetables over high heat to evaporate extra moisture in them. Stir-frying well before simmering gives the dish savory.

· Control heat so that it’s being boiled. The liquid doesn’t evaporate if the heat is too low. The ingredients won’t be cooked if it’s too high.

· When adding seasonings for nimono (simmered dishes), the order is always Sa (satou/sugar, sake)Shi shio/salt)→Su (su/vinegar)Se Shoyu/soy sauce)→SoMiso. If seasoning both with sugar and salt/soy sauce, sugar always comes first. Sake, which gives flavor, is added early too. Vinegar and miso come in the end to keep its acidic flavor and aroma.


· 材料は、同じ大きさに切り揃えることで、火の通りを均一にします。

· 野菜は、強火で勢いよく炒め、余分な水分をとばし、油がなじむまで、よく炒めます。(材料を炒めてから煮ることで、こくが出ます。)

· ことこと煮立っている状態で煮含めます。(火が弱いと、煮汁がとばず、強いと柔らかく煮えません。)

· (筑前煮に限らず)煮物の調味料は、さ(砂糖/酒)→し(塩)→す(酢)→せ(醤油)→そ(味噌)が基本の順序です。砂糖と塩/醤油を使って調味するときは、砂糖を先に入れます。(砂糖は、分子構造上、味がしみ込むのに時間がかかります。また、旨味になる酒は先に、酢や味噌は酸味や香りが飛ばないように、仕上げで入れます。)



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