Chicken and Bamboo Simmer


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


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.