When it`s freezing outside and my stomach is loudly growling, I need to whip up something warm for dinner in a matter of minutes. So, what`s for dinner...I kept thinking when I was about to go home from work. We usually have meat in our menu only for weekend (thanks to his BMI), but that day was different. He had his research presentation at lab, so I thought I wanted to make a little celebration for him finishing the work. By little celebration I mean having meat.
So, chicken it was. I wanted chicken with miso and tomato. I wondered how the combination of miso and tomato would taste.
Start with sauteing the chicken with the skin (if any) at bottom first. If you use a non-stick pan, no need oil for this. The chicken fat, especially from under the skin (bad but yummy, yummy but bad, your call), will melt out and thus layering the whole pan surface.
By the way, I was hungry and cold, so I bought the chicken chunks. It saved me from chicken cutting process.
Look at the "oil" coming out from the chicken. You may wipe off this oil with a kitchen paper clipped between chopsticks the way Japanese cooks usually do, or you can just let it stay there. Keep sauteing until the surfaces browned. Don`t worry about the chicken not getting cooked properly. We`ll work on it later.
When they`re browned, slice spring onions and toss them in. Smell is getting even better.
Meet "bunapii shimeji", a white colored shimeji mushroom. Remove the bottom part and detach every mushroom.
Throw them into the pan. The more the merrier!
This time, I don`t want to stir up the whole things. You`ll find out the reason very soon.
Mix up the sauce and seasoning in a cup. I used shoyu, sesame oil, chilli powder, salt (a bit!), pepper, and fish sauce. Add water to dilute the sauce and bring up the volume of liquid because we`re going to braise the chicken.
Note: I forgot one important ingredient for the seasoning mix. MISO.
So, don`t forget add miso into your seasoning mix. In case you`re not familiar with this ingredient, miso is a fermented soy paste with a very concentrated and salty taste. To avoid oversalting the dish, it might be good to add salt (if you still need it anyway) later after miso is added.
Stir well the sauce mix in the cup, drizzle it over all ingredients in the pan, and start braising on low heat. I added my miso at this step, by the way.
Then, another ingredient is tofu blocks and I don`t want them to be mashed during stirring. I want them to look pretty when the dish is served. That`s why I mixed up the sauce before adding it to the pan.
Another note: I forgot to add tomatoes. So I added them at this step.
If you want to use them too, toss tomato chunks into the pan after the chicken is browned and lightly mash them to release the juice out.
Not only I`m a clumsy person, I`m forgetful as well. I`m aging!
By the way, the chicken will be cooked throughout the braising.
Here it is, a very homy and soul-warming dish prepared in 30 minutes. Or 40 minutes if you include time required for "Hhmm...this feels strange..I must have forgotten something here..think..think..." moments.
Tomato and miso turned out nice. Really nice.
And guess what, his presentation was rescheduled until next week. So, he got to eat meat for nothing. He was totally happy that day.