Chicken and Bamboo Simmer

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鶏肉とタケノコの煮物Toriniku to Takenoko no Nimono

This recipe can be made any time of year, but its ingredients lend itself to springtime eating. Bamboo shoots, harvested in May, are a traditional ingredient to celebrate Children's Day in Japan. You'll find an array of bamboo-dishes, celebrating the season. Nowadays, bamboo is available all year round and is a welcome addition to any dish. Simple, and sweet this 'simmer' is an easy accompaniment to rice or noodles.

1 piece par-boiled bamboo*, cut into bite-sized pieces (roughly 1 1/2 cups)
1-2 pieces chicken thigh, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/4 cup frozen soy beans
2 cups water
1 teaspoon dashi granules
3 tablespoons sake
3 tablespoons mirin
1 tablespoon soy sauce
Oil

Instructions:

1.       In a medium sized sauce pan, brown the chicken thigh in oil and set aside.

2.       Add water, bamboo, dashi, sake, and mirin to a medium-sized pot and bring the mixture to a boil. Add the cooked chicken and bamboo, and return the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and skim scum off the top.

3.      Simmer the bamboo-chicken mixture for 15-20 minutes, and then add the soy sauce. Continue to simmer until the mixture has reduced somewhat, and the bamboo has softened. Add the frozen soy beans, and cook for 1-2 minutes longer.

Serve with rice or other grain sidedish. 

*Par-boiled bamboo is sold in Asian grocers, usually in the refridgerated isle in a vacuum sealed plastic bag near the vegetables.