Try this celebratory chicken stew. With burdock, carrots, bamboo shoots and lotus roots, chikuzen-ni is a Japanese version of chicken soup for the soul
  • Preparation:
  • Cooking:
  • Total:
  • Serves: 4 persons



  1. Step 1

    Tip the dried shiitake and burdock into a bowl, cover with 250ml water and soak for at least 2 hrs. Drain, reserving the liquid, topping up with enough fresh water to make 250ml. Cut the chicken thighs into 4cm cubes, tip them into a bowl and toss with 1 tbsp each of the sake and soy sauce, rubbing these into the chicken. Set aside.
  2. Step 2

    Briefly cook the snow peas in a pan of boiling water with a pinch of salt for 50 seconds. Remove to a colander using a slotted spoon and rinse in cold water to cool quickly. Boil the bamboo shoots in the pan for 6 mins, then scoop into a bowl using a slotted spoon. Repeat with the carrots and scoop into a separate bowl. Drizzle the vinegar into the boiling water and cook the lotus root, konnyaku and burdock for 6 mins, then drain.
  3. Step 3

    Tip the reserved mushroom stock into a separate saucepan along with the sugar, rehydrated mushrooms, bamboo shoots, konnyaku and burdock, and cover with a drop lid. If you don’t have a drop lid, use a lid slightly smaller than the pot. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 mins.
  4. Step 4

    Meanwhile, heat the sesame oil in a large frying pan or wok over a medium-high heat. Remove the chicken from the marinade and fry for 5 mins until cooked through, browned and crisp. Once cooked, transfer the chicken, draining off the oil, to the simmering dashi stock pot. Add the remaining sake and soy sauce, the mirin and ⅓ tsp salt, and cook for 3 mins. Tip in the lotus roots and carrots, bring to the boil and cook for 5 mins, skimming the surface to remove any scum, if needed. Taste for seasoning and check all the veg is tender.
  5. Step 5

    Ladle into shallow bowls, top with the snow peas and serve with hot Japanese rice and miso soup.