Yesterday, we got some very good naga negi from my father-in-law. My wife said she wanted to have that dish with chicken.
We are not sure how to call this dish. We learned it from a TV cooking program more than a decade ago, and we have made it from time to time since then. I tentatively call it tori no ama-kara yaki.
Ama < Amai = Sweet
Kara < Karai < Shio karai = Salty
Thus, ama-kara means sweet and salty. Soy sauce and sugar and/or mirin are used to create this flavor. This is one of the most favored flavors among the Japanese people.
First, I pan-fried naga negi with some sesame oil.
Before the naga negi was completely done, I transferred it to a plate.
I cut one chicken thigh into one-bite pieces, dusted with flour, and pan-dried them with some oil. Before they were completely done, I added the naga negi. I also added 50 ml soy sauce and 50 ml mirin. I simmered with the lid on.
鶏の腿肉を一つ、一口サイズに切り、小麦粉を振り、少量の油で炒めました。完全に火が通る前に、長ねぎを足しました。また、しょう油50 ml、みりん50 mlも足しました。蓋をして煮ました。
The ama-kara flavored dish should be such that you will feel it a little too salty when you taste it, so that when you have it with cooked rice, you will feel it's just right.
Very interesting! So close to what I had for lunch today! (Stir-fried chicken and leek with soy sauce and sake). Incredible coincidence. Of course leeks are not exactly naga negi, but the closest I can get here.
Sissi: It was a coincidence! (laugh) Chicken and naga negi (and probably leek) are a good combination, as you can see from the popularity of negima (a type of yakitori).
My wife prefers the naga negi in this dish, so I put a lot of naga negi this time.
Sadly we don't have naganegi, scallions or leek that is and leek has a completely different taste than scallion, so I will never know the taste of naganegi unless I visit Japan (and buy some seeds). Hopefully I will visit japan next year during spring or autumn with my friends from our small japanese language learners group - can't wait so I voted for spring (laugh). We will have lots of fun, a small bunch of people (40-65 yo), very interested in having proper conversations with the japanese people (and not in english). There will be no escape, nee, our teacher is with us - unlucky for the japanese crossing our road.
Kiki: I don't know what scallions and leeks taste like, so I did some googling. Some Japanese say leeks are like Shimonita negi (下仁田ネギ), and scallions are like bannou negi (万能ネギ). One person says that leeks are completely different from naga negi because they lack the aroma and pungency that naga negi have.
Japan next year?? Wow, that's great news!
Probably you would like to visit some famous cities like Tokyo and Kyoto, but remember, your ultimate gastronomic destination will be Niigata, because it has everything you will want, good rice, good sake, good fish and seafood, good sansai, good fruit, and good cutlery!
As for visiting japan: Our plans are 1 week Tokyo and surrounding (I am definitely going to Kamakura), 1 week Kyoto more or less and hiking in the surrounding area and 1 week left to do what ever, so maybe Niigata - I want to visit Onsen. We planned for 2 weeks but I am going to make another 3rd week or a few days on my own. The flights are so expensive one has to stay longer and I will stay a few days in Beijing on my way back to visit my son (sadly he has no time to come back home because he has just opened a private school).
Kiki: Onsen resorts are everywhere in Japan! You don't have to come all way to Niigata for onsen alone. I think that Kanazawa will be a better option for first-time visitors to Japan than Niigata.
Anyway, just let me know if I can be of any assistance to you.
Thank you, Hiroyuki. Yes, I know about negima. I posted them some time ago, do you remember? You were the one who told me that I had the right to call my chicken and leek skewers "negima" :-) I was very proud.
Kiki, I hope you go to Japan very soon! (I have bought surprisingly lots of grains in Daiso, the 100 yen shop; they were ridiculously cheap! even less than 100 yen a bag). I bought only herbs though because I don't have a garden, only a balcony.
Given how much European flights cost by "traditional" airlines, I think that Japan is not expensive at all! (Although of course it's not a small amount of money).
I am planning to go back next autumn (I have to save money!) and keep on learning Japanese... This time I hope to visit another city apart from Tokyo too.
Sissi: Yes, of course, I remember. Your negima looked appetizing!
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