An array of vegetables simmered in dashi and rice wine creates this hearty stew which is surprisingly light and, at the same time, healthy and delicious. Any combination of vegetables may be used, depending on availability and personal preference. The amount of stock called for in this recipe is sufficient for about 1½ lbs (750 g) of vegetables.
- 1½ lbs (750 g) combination of four or five types of root vegetables, such as daikon radish, burdock root, lotus root, potatoes and precooked bamboo shoots
- 4 fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded, caps halved
- 12 snow peas or sugar snap peas
- 5 oz (150 g) boneless chicken, cut into bite-sized strips (optional)
- 2 teaspoons oil
- 3 cups (750 ml) Basic Dashi Stock
- 1/3 cup (85 ml) soy sauce
- ½ cup (125 ml) sake
- 2-3 tablespoons sugar
- Peel and cut all the root vegetables into bite-sized chunks. Bring a small saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil. Boil the different types of vegetables separately for about 5 minutes each. Repeat with the konnyaku.
- Scald the shiitake mushrooms and the sugar snap peas. Blanch the chicken pieces in hot water for 20 seconds. Drain, chill in ice water and drain again.
- Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the mushrooms, snow peas and chicken, stir briskly, remove from the heat and set aside.
- Bring the dashi stock, soy, sake and sugar to a boil in a deep saucepan. Add the parboiled vegetables and mushrooms, and simmer gently for 15-20 minutes, or until all the vegetables are tender.
- Portion the snow peas, chicken and the cooked vegetables into individual bowls. Pour the hot broth over and serve immediately.