The main ingredients of this dish are just chicken and shiitake mushrooms, yet this dish can make such a hearty meal. The meat is so succulent and falls off the bone easily even with chopsticks. The special black vinegar from Kyoto gives the umami-packed layer of flavors to this easy one-pot dish.
EquipmentClassic-style Donabe (2.5-qt/ 2,500 ml or larger)
- 4 chicken legs
- 2 tablespoons Liquid Shio-Koji (can substitute with 2 teaspoons sea salt)
- 1 cup (240 ml) water
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) sake
- 2 tablespoons raw brown sugar
- 1/3 cup (80 ml) soy sauce
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) Japanese black vinegar (can substitute with rice vinegar)
- 3 cloves garlic, lightly smashed
- 3 green onions, green part only
- 1 knob ginger, thinly-sliced
- 3 pieces whole dry red chili peppers (optional)
- 6 oz (180 g) large shiitake mushrooms, cut into half
- Chopped cilantro for serving
- Freshly-ground black pepper for serving
- La-yu (chili oil) for serving
- In a resealable plastic bag, combine the chicken legs and liquid shio-koji and mix well. Tightly seal and let it refrigerated for at least 2 hours to overnight.
- Combine the water, sake, sugar, soy sauce, and black vinegar. Add the chicken, garlic, green onion, ginger, and dry chili peppers in the donabe.
- Cover with lid and set over medium-high heat. As soon as the broth starts to boil, reduce the heat to medium-low. Skim as necessary. Line the surface with an otoshibuta (drop lid) or a piece of parchment paper and cover with lid again. Simmer for 20 – 25 minutes.
- Add the shiitake mushrooms, and continue to simmer for 15 minutes or until the broth is reduced by almost half from the original level.
- Turn off the heat and let it rest (with the lid on) for 10 – 15 minutes.
- Divide into individual bowls and top with some cilantro and black pepper. Drizzle some la-yu to enjoy.