Deal with the world the way it is, not the way you wish it was.
This is a clean-out-the-fridge kind of dish, which is why my mom made it a lot when I was growing up. It’s the local version of Japanese sukiyaki. You can add just about any vegetable you want—celery, carrots, bean sprouts, green onion, or canned bamboo shoots. I personally love it with buttery, nutty beech mushrooms, which come in clusters and are usually packaged. If you can’t find them, feel free to substitute sliced cremini mushrooms. Cooked in an easy-to-make broth, this makes for a hearty and healthy meal. It’s a dish that my grandma made for my mom, and my great-grandma made for my grandma. And now I make it for my boyfriend.
- 1 tablespoon neutral oil
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch wide strips
- One 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely grated
- ½ cup soy sauce (shoyu)
- ½ cup mirin
- ¼ cup packed brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 2 carrots, peeled and julienned
- ½ Maui or yellow onion, peeled and sliced
- 3½ ounces brown beech mushrooms (bunashimeji), trimmed and each cluster separated into individual mushrooms
- One 8-ounce can sliced bamboo shoots in water, drained
- One 5.3-ounce package bean thread noodles, soaked in hot water for 30 minutes, drained, and cut in half
- 1 bunch green onions, white and green parts, cut into 1- to 2-inch pieces
- 1 bunch watercress, stems trimmed
In a large skillet or wok, heat the neutral oil over medium heat until shiny and shimmering. Add the chicken and cook until it is browned and cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic and cook for a minute. Add the soy sauce, mirin, brown sugar, sesame oil, and chicken broth and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
Turn the heat to low and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Add the carrots, Maui onion, mushrooms, and bamboo shoots and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Add the bean thread noodles and green onions and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and serve in bowls, topped with the watercress.