Chikuzenni with Japanese Taro

Chikuzenni is a classic Japanese dish often served on New Year’s Day, but I also find it in bentos from the Japanese market. This recipe is leaps and bounds better than what you find pre-made and it’s one of my favorite everyday dishes.

This particular chizukenni recipe came from my mom and is a homey braise of carrots, gobo, satoimo (Japanese taro), konnyaku, shiitake, and chicken. It’s cooked in dashi, sugar, sake, mirin, and shoyu and reduced until the liquid is concentrated and absorbed into all the ingredients. I know it sounds like a winter’s dish, but it’s actually great in warm weather, too. That’s because it can be made it advance (actually, it’s better after a day) and is great served at room temperature. Pack it on a picnic with some musubi and tsukemono! Yum!

Japanese taro is hairy on the outside and has a firm white flesh on the inside. I’ve grown to appreciate and love the texture—it has a slightly sliminess, like okra. I know the ingredients on this one are a little more difficult to find, but if you happen to have access, I highly recommend this recipe.

Chikuzenni with Satoimo | 里芋たっぷりの筑前煮
Adapted from はらぺこレシピ2野菜あいうえお
Makes 2 servings

I recommend making this a day in advance so the flavors have a chance to develop and penetrate the ingredients. The day of, simmer until heated through and eat, or let sit until room temperature before eating.

2–3 large satoimo (about 9 oz or 250 g), peeled and halved
1/4 large gobo (about 2.5 oz. or 75 g), peeled and cut on the diagonal
1 carrot (about 3.5 oz. or 100 g), peeled and cut into rangiri
3 shiitake mushrooms, stems pulled off and halved
1/2 chicken thigh (about 5.25 oz. or 150 g), cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 konnyaku, massaged w/ salt, rinsed, & cut into small pieces w/ the edge of a glass
1/4 Tbsp. oil
1 1/2 tsp. sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp. sake
1 1/2 Tbsp. mirin
1 1/2 Tbsp. shoyu
3/4 cups (200ml) dashi

Cut a piece of parchment to the size of the pan you’ll be using.

Place the gobo in a pot and fill with water until just covered. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook for 2 mins. Drain and set aside.

In a pan, heat oil over medium. Add the chicken and cook on both sides until no longer pink. Add the gobo, carrots, satoimo, and konnyaku and toss to coat with oil. Next, add the sugar and stir to combine. Turn the heat to high and add the sake, mirin, shoyu, and dashi. Tilt the pan around to mix the liquids together.

When it comes to a boil, lower the heat to medium and cover with the parchment paper. Cook for 20 mins., stirring once or twice. Remove the parchment paper and increase to high heat and jostle the pan to coat ingredients and cook for another 3–4 mins.

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  1. Sally
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

    I am definitely going to cook this recipe. It looks so おいしい (delicious)! My boyfriend is Japanese and when I lived in Tokyo with him, his mother used to make this dish. It was always my favourite.

    I am so happy that I found your blog and I can’t wait to try your recipes! Thank you :-)

  2. Posted October 29, 2012 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

    Sally, I’m happy you share my love for chikuzenni! It’s such a humble dish and I hope you like this version.

  3. Judy
    Posted November 28, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    Looks really good! Mom use to make something similar to this. If I remember correctly, she also added renkon to this.

  4. Posted November 28, 2012 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    Judy, yes! Sometimes I sneak in some renkon, too. So good…

  5. zyzzyva
    Posted December 18, 2013 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

    Made this last night and it was lovely. Totally transported me back to dinner with my grandmother, so thank you so much for that. :) I think I’ll use this recipe for my osechi this year.

    I didn’t have regular konnyaku so I subbed in little knotted shirataki bundles. They were still great, as they picked up so much flavor. Am eager to try the glass edge cutting method, though. I usually do konnyaku tazuna style because it’s so pretty, but they’re a bit too big of a serving for the Boyfriend (he’s still not a fan — much prefers shirataki form). Bite-size would probably be much more appealing.

    (Luckily I remembered to finish the satoimo with mentori cut this time. Sometimes I try to be lazy and skip it, but this made for such a pretty finished dish. ;)

  6. Posted December 18, 2013 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

    zyzzyva, it makes me so happy to know this brought up memories of your grandmother. The connection between food and memory is something I treasure so thank you for sharing this comment with me. Happy holidays and I’ll bet your osechi will be delicious!

  7. May
    Posted March 24, 2014 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    I love when you suggest what to eat/serve with your recipes :) It really with meal ideas!

  8. Posted March 24, 2014 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    May, thanks for the feedback! I’m glad to know that’s helpful.

  9. Pat
    Posted March 17, 2015 at 11:52 pm | Permalink

    Just had it for dinner.

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