Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Easy Nishime (Simmered Japanese Vegetables) Osechi-Ryōri / Traditional Japanese New Year's Food - Video Recipe

Osechi-Ryori is traditional Japanese New Year's food eaten during the first three days of the New Year. Each dishes that make up Osechi-Ryori has a special meaning celebrating the New Year (such as good health, fertility, good harvest, happiness, long life, etc...) and those dishes can last for a couple of days in the refrigerator or at cool room temperature in winter. Usually, they are served in Jyubako (重箱: three-tiered bento boxes). In the first tier, we serve colorful festive dishes such as shrimp, black beans, sweet chestnuts, etc... In the second tier we serve Sunomono (pickled dishes) and Yakimono (grilled dishes). And in the third tier, we serve Nimono (simmered dish) called Nishime (simmered Japanese vegetables).

Traditionally, we spend few days to prepare Osechi-Ryori but I always spend few hours to complete mine. I use ready-made dishes for sweet dishes since my darling doesn't eat a lot. I put more effort into cooking the savory dishes.

So, this is my darling's favorite Nishime recipe for the third tier :) I use frozen Japanese vegetables to save time and money. I came up with this idea when I lived in New York, where you can not find ingredients easily. I hope you can make it in your country in this way.


For the seasoning, I used Yamasa's Konbu Tsuyu (3 times concentrated Konbu kelp seaweed soup stock) which is tasty and convenient. I'm sure it is available overseas at Asian grocery stores or online.

Yamasa Konbu Tsuyu ヤマサ 昆布つゆ
3 times concentrated Konbu kelp seaweed soup stock

With just a little extra effort decoratively cutting vegetables, it becomes gorgeous, so try to make it fancy ;)

In the end of the video, I will show you my Osechi-Ryori from past years! Don't miss them!

I hope you all enjoy my video :D

Easy Nishime (Simmered Japanese Vegetables)

Difficulty: Easy
Time: 1hour
Number of servings: 5

Necessary Equipment:
1 large deep pot
1 medium pot
1 small pot
1 Otoshi But a (drop-lid - you can also use aluminum foil)

1 large chicken thigh
250g (8.8oz.) Konnyaku
400g (0.9lb.) 1 bag of frozen Japanese vegetables (includes: taro potatoes, lotus roots, carrots, Shiitake mushrooms, green beans, bamboo shoots, burdock roots)
5 decoratively cut Shiitake mushrooms
1 Yurine (lily bulb)
5 decoratively cut carrots
* 3 tbsp. soy sauce
* 1 tbsp. Mirin (sweet Sake)
* 1 tbsp. Sake
* 1 tbsp. sugar
* 20ml 3 times concentrated Yamasa's Konbu Tsuyu
* 80ml water
* 30ml 3 times concentrated Yamasa's Konbu Tsuyu
* 120ml water

1. Thinly slice or decoratively cut Konnyaku, and boil 2-3 minutes to remove bad smell.
2. Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces, parboil to remove the fat, drain, and set aside.
3. Separate the frozen vegetables and keep frozen until just before you use them. NOTE: you don't need to use carrot and Shiitake mushrooms if you prepare decoratively cut ones.
4. In a large deep pot, put Konnyaku, chicken and Shiitake mushrooms. Add enough water to cover the ingredients, bring to a boil, then add A.
5. Cover with Otoshi-Buta (drop-lid - you can also use aluminum foil) and cook on low for 20 minutes.
6. Add lotus roots, bamboo shoots, burdock roots, and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes.
7. Wash Yurine and separate into pieces. In a small pot, bring water to a boil, cook the Yurine pieces for a minute, quickly rinse with cold water, then drain. Bring B to a boil, add the Yurine pieces, and cook for 3 minutes.
8. In a medium pot, bring C to a boil, add taro potatoes and cook for 5 minutes. Add decoratively cut carrots and cook for another 5 minutes. Add green beans and cook for 2 more minutes.
9. In the third tier of Jyubako (three-tiered bento boxes), nicely arrange 6, 7, and 8 (drain excess liquid).


Best wishes for a happy new year :D

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