Remove the excess fat from the chicken. You can use chicken thighs as is. If you use chicken breasts, cut them in half horizontally to make 2 pieces or else they will be too thick.
Coat the chicken in shio-koji.
I used homemade dried mushrooms (Recipe ID: 2599926). Soak them in water to rehydrate.
Save the soaking liquid for soup or stew since it is full of nutrients and flavours.
Remove the tough fibers from the celery and cut diagonally into 1 cm widths. Roughly chop the leaves.
Roughly chop the cabbage leaves, and lay a bed of them in a frying pan.
Slice the onion into 4-5 mm thickness and place the slices of onion and celery on top of the cabbage leaves.
Prepare 3-4 pieces of salted lemons (Recipe ID: 2548106). Add some brine if available.
Lightly drain the rehydrated mushrooms without squeezing out the excess water, and place them on top of the vegetables.
Place the chicken coated with shio-koji on top. Sprinkle with sake and cover tightly with a lid. Turn on the heat and cook over a low heat until the vegetables start to produce moisture..
After a short while, increase the heat to high and steam for 10-12 minutes; then remove the chicken and wrap in aluminium foil and set aside for 3-4 minutes.
Transfer the vegetables to a serving dish.
Prepare the grated vegetable ponzu sauce (Recipe ID: 2627551).
Remove the foil and slice the chicken breast. Place the chicken on top of the bed of vegetables. Liberally drizzle the ponzu sauce on top.
Story Behind this Recipe
While dieting, it's hard to get full on oil-free dishes...but adding different flavours and aromas with my homemade salted lemons and ponzu made this dish very satisfying! Strong flavors are very handy when you're on a diet.
The cooking time depends on the thickness of the meat. If you cook it for too long, the vegetables will become soft. Adjust the thickness of the meat, not the cooking time. By setting the foil-wrapped chicken aside, the juices will absorb back into the meat and make it more tender. If you cut the meat straight away after cooking, the juices will ooze out and not be absorbed.