Cut the chicken into smaller bite-sized pieces. Cut the bamboo shoots into 5 mm thick quarter-rounds. Cut the shiitake mushrooms into pieces. Peel the carrot and cut into smaller rolling slices.
Shave the skin off the burdock root using the back of a knife, and cut diagonally into 6-7 mm wide slices. Peel the lotus root, and cut into 6-7 mm wide semicircular slices (If they are too big, cut into quarter-rounds), then soak in water with a small amount of vinegar (excluded from the recipe). Rinse the burdock root and lotus root under running water, and drain in a sieve.
Cut the konnyaku into 6 mm wide strips. Make a slit lengthwise in the middle of each piece, and thread one end through the hole to make a "rein knot". Parboil in boiling water for about 1 minute, and transfer into the sieve.
Add vegetable oil, bamboo shoots, shiitake mushrooms, carrot, burdock root, lotus root, and konnyaku into a pot. Turn on the heat and briefly stir-fry.
Pour enough dashi stock into Step 4 to cover the ingredients. When it starts to boil, cover with a lid, and turn down the heat to medium. When the carrot becomes soft, add in the sugar, soy sauce, and mirin, then simmer for a while.
Add the chicken into Step 5, and turn up the heat to high. Cook while shaking the pot occasionally until the sauce is reduced. Once the dashi stock is almost gone, it's done. Plate and top with diagonally sliced snow peas parboiled with salt if you have some.
Story Behind this Recipe
This has been my favourite staple dish for years. Since it will last for a long time, it's good for osechi (New Year's Food). It's also great to have it on hand.
Shaking the pot to flip and move the ingredients around instead of stirring with chopsticks while simmering will prevent them from falling apart. It will taste better after the next day because the ingredients will have absorbed the seasoning flavours.