Here is a truly fabulous dish of varied tastes and textures. Cubes of crunchy, woodsy burdock root, tender chicken, smooth konnyaku and colorful sweet carrot are braised in a faintly sweet soy broth and finished off with
If using fresh burdock root, soak the pieces in cold water to cover for 5 minutes, then drain them well. If using canned burdock root, blanch the pieces for 30 seconds in boiling water, then drain.
Cut the konnyaku into
Cut the chicken into pieces approximately the same size as the vegetables.
Over medium heat, sauté fresh burdock root for 1–2 minutes in vegetable oil until it becomes slightly translucent. Then add the carrots and, stirring, sauté for another 1–2 minutes (if using canned burdock root, sauté it with the carrots). Add the konnyaku and continue to sauté for another minute before adding the chicken. Continue to cook, stirring, until the chicken has turned white (about 2 minutes). Season with the soy sauce, sugar and rice wine and cook for 4–5 minutes. The braising liquid will be frothy and bubbly.
When nearly all the liquid has been reduced, increase the heat to very high and shake the pan vigorously to insure a well-glazed effect. Remove from the heat, sprinkle the hot spices over all and toss well.
© 1986 Elizabeth Andoh. All rights reserved.