Finally, a chance to make something from one of my favorite anime/manga, Yona of the Dawn! I’ve been tossing this idea around for awhile, because I saw Yun make various meals in the course of their journey, but it was never really said exactly what they were making or what went into the preparation. But, I love this series so much, and I really wanted to make something from it, I decided to put on my super sleuthing goggles (like Naruto!) and try to pick apart what was in this dish.
First, the three leaves herbs caught my eye. I googled ‘Japanese three leaved herbs’ (even though the show doesn’t take place in Japan, I figured the artists would draw what they know), and found a close match in mitsuba. Sadly, this herb doesn’t grow in America much and can be very hard to find. I decided to settle for parsley.
Next, the chunks of vegetable with the strange hole configuration. To me, this looked like lotus root cut long way, instead of across. When I actually got lotus root and tested this theory, I found it still didn’t match, but settled on it because I thought it would make a nice texture contrast against the soft rice and chicken.
The green little beans I decided were shelled edamame, for simplicity’s sake. I went for chicken since it was the easiest thing to find. And, of course rice. I’m calling this dish a stew even though it’s not quite a stew. Stews traditionally are served in the gravy that is produced from their cooking, but rice is very absorbent here and doesn’t leave much extra liquid. So it’s not really a stew…I’m just not sure what else to call it! Chicken and rice sounds kind of boring. So we’ll pretend like it is a stew. It looks like one in the source image above!
Let’s get cooking! 😀
2 chicken breasts
1 cup Jasmine rice
3 tbs soy sauce
2 tbs oyster sauce
1 tbs sesame oil
3 tbs sake or rice wine
1 package shelled edamame
2 tbs ginger paste (freshly minced or pre-prepared)
1 lotus root
1 3/4 cup chicken broth
salt and pepper
Flat leaf parsley for garnish
Though Yun cooks his in a bamboo cooking dish, we need not invoke that level of authenticity. I suggest going for a pot, like this kind, for the stove.
First, prepare your lotus root. Peel the outer root and cut into bite size pieces.
Then, make your sauce. Combine soy sauce, sake, oyster sauce, sesame oil a few grinds of pepper and a good shake of salt (be generous with the salt and pepper). Dump your lotus root in. I guess you could make the sauce first and put the root in as soon as you’re done cutting. Up to you.
Cube your chicken and chuck it in with the lotus root. Toss in the sauce to cover completely.
Then, prepare your rice! In a nice wide bottomed pot (for maximum rice caramelization), measure out your 1 cup of rice. Wash the rice thoroughly, and then add in 1 and 3/4 cups of chicken broth and ginger paste/ minced ginger. I doubt Yun would have had chicken broth on hand, but he was also making this in the middle of a forest. I figure we can cut corners here in the interest of maximizing flavor potential. Bring to a boil (high heat!) for about a minute or two.
Then, dump chicken, lotus, and sauce on top of the rice. Don’t mix in! Just evenly distribute across the top.
Lower heat to a very, very low temperature. The 1 or 2 mark, or Low and slap a lid on. I know Yun probably couldn’t control his fire temperature, but if we keep it on high or medium high it will cook too fast and the rice won’t have enough time to absorb the liquid before it burned off. We’d have to keep adding more liquid, which is probably why Yun’s version looks so juicy.
Cook for about 25 minutes on this low heat WITH THE LID ON. With a few minutes left, throw the shelled edamame onto the top to let them heat through.
Once time is up, test the rice to make sure it’s done. It should be tender! Then mix all together, and toss in a handful of parsley to garnish and add flavor.
Serve into a bowl or on a plate and garnish with a few parsley leaves on top!
And that’s it! This is really simple to make, and makes GREAT leftovers. I hope you can try it out and tell me how you liked it! 🙂 Also, is anyone else dying at how slowly this manga is having chapters published? I need to find a good scanlation group to satisfy my desire to read more *shifty eyes*