Nimono means simmered, boiled or stewed (niru) thing (mono), and satoimo is a small variety of taro root native to Japan. Its name means village (sato) potato (imo). The “village potato” has a neutral taste perfect for absorbing this recipe’s yummy sauce and chicken juices.
Satoimo is said to have been cultivated in Japan since around 10,000 BCE, about 6000 years earlier than the first records of rice cultivation! It is rich in hyaluronic acid, a substance that our body produces naturally when we’re young. Hyaluronic acid promotes strong joints, and works with collagen to keep our body looking youthful, however we start losing the ability to produce it as we age – a good reason to stock up on satoimo!
If you don’t like its slimy texture, here’s a good trick: boil it, then rinse it in cool or lukewarm water before incorporating into your dish. You might also want to wear gloves while scrubbing or peeling it, as when raw, its flesh contains a substance that can irritate the skin.
Wash the satoimo thoroughly, peel, and put into a pot full of water to boil. When cooked, place pot under cold running water for about 5 minutes. Return to the stove and bring to a boil again, then remove from heat.
Stir-fry the minced chicken. When the colour changes, turn off the heat and add the satoimo.
Pour in just enough water to cover everything, add the seasoning ingredients, and simmer over medium heat until satoimo softens and absorbs the flavour of the seasoning. Remove any scum that may form on the surface.
Dish out into shallow bowls and top with a sprinkling of green onions to taste.