Simmered Turnips with Chrysanthemum Decoration

Simmered Turnips with Chrysanthemum Decoration

The unique techniques achievable specifically with the use of kakugama
A dish as delicate as this can easily boil over and fall apart if you take your eyes off it for just a moment! It would be a disaster, especially if you've put effort into carving. However with the thickness of the kakugama, the consistent temperature during simmering, and the delicate heat control akin to a very gentle flame, cooking with kakugama allows for a method with peace of mind, something that would be challenging with other pots.

Ingredients (serves 4 people)
  • Kabu (turnips) - 4 pieces
  • Chicken thigh minced meat - 100g
  • Long green onion - Approximately 10cm (finely chopped)
  • Salt - a pinch
  • Light soy sauce - 1 teaspoon
  • Dashi (broth) - 850-1000mℓ (enough to cover the turnips)
  • Shungiku (edible chrysanthemum) - A bunch (blanched with salt)
  • Yuzu - as needed
  • Gauze - 4 sheets (18cm square)


    1. Peel the turnips and remove the stems. Hollow out the turnips from the stem end to create a cavity for the filling.

    2. In a bowl, combine chicken minced meat and salt, mixing until it becomes sticky. Add finely chopped long green onion and light soy sauce, and mix thoroughly.

    3. Bring a generous amount of water to boil in the kakugama. Boil the prepared turnips for about 2 minutes until slightly softened. Remove them from the water and let them cool on a sieve or similar.

    4. Stuff the turnips from step 1 with the mixture from step 2, using a spoon or similar tool. Wrap each stuffed turnip with gauze.

    5. Place the wrapped turnips in the kakugama, add enough dashi to cover them, bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat to simmer. Cover with a drop lid (otoshibuta) made of paper or similar material, and simmer for 20-30 minutes. (Do not let it come to a rolling boil.)

    6. Taste the broth from step 5 and adjust the seasoning with salt if necessary. Omit this step if the seasoning is already sufficient.

    7. Serve the dish, garnishing with blanched shungiku (edible chrysanthemum) and yuzu. 

     A comment from Cooking Expert Miyuki

    This time, in keeping with the New Year, I made simmered dishes symbolizing chrysanthemum flowers. Chrysanthemums are considered an auspicious flower often displayed during the New Year in Japan. You don't need to carve the chrysanthemum shape for it to turn out delicious, so please give it a try.

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