Happy Donabe Life

Chicken, Kabocha & Mochi Mugi Stew in Shio-Koji Broth

This hearty stew is so nourishing and tasty. The only seasoning is basically Liquid Shio-Koji, and this magical seasoning makes the chicken extra tender. With the addition of kabocha and Mochi Mugi barley, this dish tastes so complete and makes an ideal one pot meal. My body always feels so great after eating a big bowl of this stew. For this dish, I like making dashi (soup stock) with kombu and dried shiitake by soaking them in water for a few hours (to over night) in advance. They not only make the soup taste wonderful but also they can be sliced and added to cook in the stew to enjoy. But, you can also make this dish with chicken stock or vegetable stock and it will be delicious, too.


Miso-shiru Nabe (large)

Curry Nabe or Tayo Donabe are also great with this recipe.




  • 1 piece (about 2″ x 2″ or 5 cm x 5 cm), kombu (dry kelp)
  • 4 medium dry shiitake mushrooms, quickly rinsed
  • 3 1/3 cups (800 ml) water
  • 1 lb and 2 oz (about 500 g) boneless and skinless chicken thighs, cut into large bite-size peaces
  • 4 tablespoons liquid shio-koji
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium shallot, minced
  • 1 small knob ginger, minced (about 1 1/2 teaspoons)
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly-sliced
  • 1 packet (2 oz/ 50 g) mochi mugi barley
  • 2 tablespoons sake,
  • 14 oz (400 g) kabocha squash, cut into large bite-size pieces
  • Freshly-ground black pepper, for serving
  • Minced daikon leaves for garnish (optional)
  • Yuzu shichimi togarashi (Japanese seven-spice powder), for serving


  1. Combine the kombu and dried shiitake in a bowl. Add the water and let them soak for a few hours to overnight (refrigerate it if soaking for overnight). Remove the kombu and shiitake. Measure 720 ml of the liquid. Cut the kombu into bite-size pieces. Cut the shiitake caps into thin slices (discard the stems). Set all of them aside.
  2. Combine the chicken and 2 tablespoons of liquid shio-koji in a resealable plastic bag. Let the chicken marinade in refrigerator for a few hours to overnight.
  3. Heat the butter in Miso-shiru Nabe over medium-heat. Add the shallot, ginger, and garlic and sauté until aromatic. Add the kombu and shiitake and continue to sauté for a minute or so.
  4. Add the chicken and continue to sauté until it’s cooked outside, then add the mochi mugi and stir.
  5. Deglaze with the sake, and add the saved liquid. Cover and bring to a boil, and reduce the heat to simmer.
  6. Add the remaining liquid shio-koji and kabocha. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  7. Turn off the heat and let it rest for 5 – 10 minutes. Add some minced daikon leaves for garnish.
  8. Serve into individual bowls at the table and sprinkle some black pepper and shichimi togarashi, if you like.

Another suggestion: instead of daikon leaves, added some nori seaweed right before serving. The nori adds beautiful aroma and it tastes really delicious.


Suggested Tools and Tableware

Ingredients Used in this Recipe

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