Nickey's Umani Surprise

READY IN: 1hr 40mins


  • 2
    tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 8
    ounces chicken, cut to 1-inch pieces
  • 1
    round onion, cut into chunks
  • 2
    carrots, peeled & cut to 1-inch pieces
  • 8
    ounces burdock root, skin scraped off and sliced diagonally in 1-1/2-inch pieces (gobo)
  • 6
    shiitake mushrooms, stems removed (soak in water 30 minutes)
  • 8
    ounces fresh lotus root, peeled and sliced in 1/8-inch rounds (renkon)
  • 9
    ounces konjac, 1-inch pieces, any shape (konnyaku or devil's tongue, comes white or with seaweed)
  • 8
    ounces taro root, peeled (araimo or dasheen)
  • 1 -2
    tablespoon sugar
  • 2
    tablespoons mirin
  • 2
    tablespoons sake
  • 2 -3
    tablespoons light soy sauce (Kikkoman brand)
  • 10 -15
  • 4
    inches kelp (nishime kombu)
  • 3
    cups water
  • 34
  • 1
    pinch salt


  • Heat the oil in a deep pan and stir-fry the chicken, burdock, carrots and onion, about 5 minutes.
  • Add remaining vegetables. Continue cooking another 5 minutes.
  • Add 2 cups dashi broth and bring to a boil; then reduce heat to a simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Add seasoning ingredients continue simmering 5 minutes.
  • Add uzumaki and burdock fish cake; continue simmering for another 5 minutes.
  • Add snow peas. Cook until snow peas are tender.
  • Wipe kombu with a damp cloth; then soak in 3 cups water for 1 hour.
  • Place konbu and soaking water in saucepan over medium heat. Just before the water begins to boil, remove konbu.
  • Add 1/2 cup dried bonito flakes to water and turn heat to low. Cook for 30 seconds, add a pinch of salt, then remove from heat. The salt is the keep the broth from being overpowered by the bonito flavor.
  • Let stand until the flakes sink to the bottom (this may take 20-30 minutes). Strain broth to remove flakes.
  • I add the removed konbu to the main dish -- tie into knots at 1-1/2-inch intervals; cut between the knots.
  • OPTIONAL AddIns: 8 ounces white daikon radishes (cut in 1-inch rounds, then cut those in half); 8 ounces takenoko (boiled bamboo shoot)-I like bamboo but find it a little bitter; any fishcake (don't use sweet tasting fishcake) cut in rounds or bitesize; potatoes, aburage (fried tofu) cut in strips, etc.