Japanese Chicken and Vegetable Sauté

Iri-Dori

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Serves

    4

Appears in

An American Taste of Japan

An American Taste of Japan

By Elizabeth Andoh

Published 1985

  • About

This is a popular dish in many Japanese homes, and I feel sure it will become a favorite in your house, too. Serve it as you would a stew, with hot white rice or crusty bread, and perhaps a green salad on the side.

Ingredients

  • ¾ pound boneless, skinless, white meat chicken
  • 6 dried shiitaké (dark Oriental mushrooms), about ½ ounce in all
  • 4-5 ounces drained canned bamboo shoots 3 ounces peeled, trimmed carrots
  • ½ tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon saké (Japanese rice wine)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons cold water

Method

Cut the chicken into pieces that are about 1 inch square. Quickly blanch the chicken in boiling water until the surface of each piece turns white. Set aside.

Soak the mushrooms in ¾ cup of warm water for 20 minutes. Remove the stems and save them for enriching stock, if you wish, or discard. Then cut the softened caps into quarters. Resoak these in the mushroom liquid for another 2–3 minutes, then remove the caps, lightly pressing out all liquid. Strain the mushroom liquid and add water, if necessary, to make ½ cup.

Cut the bamboo shoots into ½-inch dice. Cut the carrots into 1-inch lengths, then slice each of these in half on the diagonal.

Over high heat, heat the oil in a skillet and sauté the vegetables in the oil for a few seconds until each piece glistens. Add the reserved and strained mushroom liquid, then the blanched chicken, and reduce the heat slightly. Season with the rice wine, sugar, and soy sauce, stir, and continue to cook uncovered for 4–5 minutes. The liquid will be quite foamy. Continue to stir occasionally as the liquid thickens and reduces.

In a small cup, mix the cornstarch with the cold water to make a smooth paste. Add this paste to the simmering chicken and vegetables, stirring constantly and vigorously to ensure even distribution. Once the sauce thickens and clings to the chicken and vegetables, remove the skillet from the heat and serve.