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Simmered Vegetables (Nishime)
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
40 mins

Simmered Vegetables (Nishime) is often served in New Year’s feasts. Various vegetables are cooked in slightly sweet soy-based broth. A good dashi stock and meticulous preparation of each ingredient are the keys to a good-looking dish.

If you use konbu dashi for dashi stock, you can make it a vegan dish.

Don't forget to see the section 'MEAL IDEAS' below the recipe card! It gives you a list of dishes that I have already posted and this recipe that can make up a complete meal. I hope it is of help to you.

Recipe Type: Side
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: nimono, simmered dish, vegetable dish, vegetarian dish
Serves: 4
Author: Yumiko
Ingredients (tbsp=15ml, cup=250ml)
Vegetables (note 1)
  • 150g / 5.3oz lotus roots (note 2)
  • 8 dried shiitake mushrooms (medium size) rehydrated in 250ml / 8.4oz water
  • 280g / 9.9oz taro (small, note 3)
  • 250g / 8.8oz konnyaku
  • 100g / 3.5oz carrot
  • 15 snow peas (small, note 4)
Simmering Broth for Carrot
  • 250ml / 8.4oz dashi stock
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • A pinch of salt
Simmering broth for Nishime
  • 400ml / 13.5oz dashi stock
  • 200ml / 6.8oz shiitake dashi (liquid from shiitake musrooms)
  • 2 tbsp mirin
  • ½ tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp cooking sake
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
Preparing vegetables
  1. Lotus roots: peel the skin thinly and slice into 8mm / 5⁄16” thick pieces.

    Optional:Take each slice and make shallow V-shape incisions between the holes around the circle to make the lotus slice look like a flower (see the photo in the post).

  2. Shiitake mushrooms: Squeeze water out and remove the stems. Preserve the water (shiitake dashi).

  3. Taro: Cut the top and bottom ends off. Peel skin vertically.

  4. Konnyaku: Slice into 8mm / 5⁄16” thick pieces. Make 2.5cm / 1" incision in the centre of each slice lengthwise. Make a twisted konnyaku by putting one end through the incision.

  5. Carrot: Slice the carrot into 1cm / ⅜” thick discs.

    Optional: Using a flower-shaped vegetable cutter, cut each slice into flowers (note 5). Curve each flower-shaped slice and make nejiri-ume (note 6).

  6. Snow peas: Remove ends and the side strings by pulling the end along the side of the pod.
Blanching Snow peas:
  1. Bring water in a small pot to a boil. Add a pinch of salt and blanch for a minute. Drain and cool them down quickly in cold running water. Pat dry. If your snow peas are large, cut them in half diagonally.

Cooking Carrots
  1. Add carrot pieces and all Cooking Carrot ingredients to a pot. Bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat to low.
  2. Cook for about 10 minutes until the carrots are cooked through. Turn the heat off and let it cool (leave carrots in the broth).

Cooking Other Vegetables
  1. Add all the Simmering Broth for Nishime ingredients to a large pot. Add lotus roots, shiitake mushrooms, taro and konnyaku pieces to the pot.
  2. Bring it to a boil with a lid on. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 10 minutes.
  3. Remove the lid and continue to cook for another 10 minutes or so until the liquid almost evaporates. Turn the heat off.
  1. Place lotus roots, taro, shiitake mushrooms and konnyaku on a serving plate, clustering the same vegetables together.

  2. Place the snow peas on the front part of the plate.
  3. Drain carrots and scatter them over the vegetables.
Recipe Notes

1. The quantity of vegetables can vary but it is good to have a balanced quantity of each ingredient.

You can also add or replace the ones in this recipe with burdock, bamboo shoots and green beans.

2. If you cannot find fresh lotus roots, you can buy sliced frozen lotus roots from Japanese/Asian grocery stores. They might come in halved slices but that’s OK.

3. My taro was small, about 5cm / 2” long. I can't always use small taros as very large taros are more commonly available where I live.

If you can only find a large one, cut into smaller cuboids and remove the edges to prevent them from breaking.

4. If your snow peas are large, you need fewer of them and cut in half diagonally after blanching.

5. Vegetable cutters are just like cookie cutters but much smaller (about 3cm / 1¼" in diameter) and the edge is very sharp. I used the shape of a plum flower (see the photo in post).

To make a plum flower shape from a slice of carrot using a knife instead of a cutter: Peel the skin. Make 5 small V-shaped cuts around the edge of the round slice in equal spacing. Shape the edges of the petals by removing pointy edges. If you have no time, you don’t need to make them into flower shapes but peel the skin.

6. How to make nejiri-ume (see the photos in post):

  1. Place the tip of a small knife into the centre of the flower and make 5 shallow incisions from the centre of the flower to the outer edge between the petals. The depth of the outer edge should be 2-3mm.
  2. Place the tip of a small knife into the centre of the flower with the blade slightly left side (for the right hander) of one of the incisions.
  3. While keeping the tip stationed, move the blade to the next incision on the left, gradually deepening the slice so that it meets the depth of the incision on the left. You should have a petal diagonally sliced.