We are back again to bring you more of what you love! It’s time for us to heat up the kitchen, cut up our fresh ingredients and get into it all. Each week we bring you fresh food ideas that are great to make with friends, family, or even by yourself. We may even make a troll version for you to take down your enemy! In the meantime, though, try one out for yourself and dig in.
Welcome back to the updated format and we hope that you are enjoying it. This week we are going to take a look at a lesser well-known dish called Renkon Nimono. As the days get shorter and the nights get cooler, Japanese people tend to favor “nimono” or “simmered dishes”. That is not to say that they do not eat it year round, which they do, but they are much more driven to have those dishes that will warm not only their stomach but the heart as well. Let’s not keep you waiting.
Renkon Nimono (Simmered Lotus Root) from Amaama to Inazuma (Episode 6)
However, lotus root is soft after cooking, but it still maintains a firmer texture. We would place the texture somewhere between what feels like… a slightly undercooked potato, but not in the gross part as when you undercook it and it is still crunchy. When cooked correctly, it has a delicious flavor as well that separates it from other dishes. The best part about lotus root too is its diversity. If you ever come to Japan, you can easily see them in lunches in schools and bento everywhere. Lotus have a secret too, as they are often fried and serves as an alternative to potato base French fries!
It’s no wonder that renkon and the delicious dish that is renkon nimono made an appearance in the sixth episode of Amaama to Inazuma. Now, what is unique is that when the simmered lotus root did appear, it did on its own. Usually, as we have stated above, it appears in conjunction with other things, however, it was prepared on its own and we must say it did remind us of all of the bento that you see! That is another place that sliced, simmered renkon does appear on its own. For today, we will be bringing you a standard, healthy lunch that puts the lotus root in with other veggies and meat to give it a balanced approach. We have also placed healthy alternatives as well as other alternatives for meat and other veggies that are more than welcome.
This… This is how you cook!
What you will need:(Note: Serves 2-3 people.)
You could add in sugar snap peas, any form of greens such as spinach, komatsuna/mustard greens, as well as konnyaku aka konjac, or mushrooms. Konnyaku goes well with this dish and is a fantastic alternative for those who do not like meat or would like an alternative to it. Konnyaku is very low in calories and filling, so it is perfect for those on diets! The sugar is here to cut back on the bite of the soy sauce and cooking wine. You could, in theory, eliminate the sugar and the mirin, but… then it would not be this recipe anymore!
How to Cook It:
1Coat a saucepan or medium-sized frying pan with some oil and bring to a medium heat.
2While you are waiting on the pan to heat up, cut all the chicken into bite size pieces.
3Cook the chicken and set it aside.
4Next, cut your lotus root in half slicing it into no more than 2-3cm (1 inch) slices.
5Cut your carrots and any other veggies that you will be adding in as well.
6Add in all of your veggies into a frying pan and begin to saute them.
7If you are using konnyaku aka konjac, now is the time to boil it. 10 minutes is all you need. Once done, cut them into 3-5cm (1-2 in) strips.
8If you are using konnyaku, mix it in and let it stir fry a bit with the vegetables.
While keeping an eye on your frying pan, mix together the water, cooking sake/wine, mirin, soy sauce, and sugar.
9Once the veggies are done add the chicken back in, and then carefully add in the wet ingredients making sure it coats all of the vegetables.
10Put a lid on the pot and reduce the heat to simmer.
11When the carrots become very soft, you are done. You can check the level of doneness by using a bamboo spear or a toothpick. If it goes in clean and comes out clean, then it is done!
12Don’t use the lotus root as a measure. Be absolutely sure to use the carrots. The lotus root will be cooked enough if the carrots are done!
13Transfer to a plate and dig in!
(Note: You are cooking with a form of cooking alcohol. If you are underage, please let a parent or guardian know what you are doing! )
If you are going to make this recipe and take the plunge into a new world, please let us know! We would love to hear about your experiences! In the meantime, look forward to more of these “eat like your anime faves” recipes, and if there is something that you want to know how to make or are curious about, we are just a comment away! Well then everyone, till next time!