Mizutaki (chicken boiled plain) (水炊き)

Mizutaki is a kind of a one-pot dish cooked at the table, a local dish mainly eaten in Fukuoka Prefecture. As it is eaten across Japan today, it is getting customized in each region.

Summary

Although the ways of cooking are similar, there are some differences between mizutaki in Fukuoka Prefecture and that in other regions.

Chicken skin and chunks of chicken on the bone (mainly dark meat) are used. Originally it is cooked from water without any seasoning in order to make the most of stock from chicken and bones, thus it is called 'mizutaki' (stewed with water). Nevertheless some restaurants use chicken stock from the beginning so that they can always serve mizutaki with the same taste. In regions other than Fukuoka Prefecture, konbu (a kind of kelp used for Japanese soup stock) is laid in the bottom of pot as an additional stock. Basically the soup is not seasoned other than the above. Cooked ingredients are seasoned with ponzu soy sauce (soy source containing citrus juice) or yuzu kosho (a spicy, hot Japanese condiment made from yuzu rinds, chili and salt), etc. that are prepared in small plates (sometimes spiced with hot peppers or other spices) before eaten.

Usually, Chinese cabbage or cabbage and Japanese leeks are usually cooked together with chicken, and mushrooms, shirataki (white stringy food made from konjac starch) and garland chrysanthemum are added if desired. Other than chicken, a dish made with beef or pork alone or together with tofu (bean curd) and seafood (oysters or codfish) is also called mizutaki sometimes. In some cases Japansese udon noodles are added in the leftover soup or rice is added to make rice porridge.

Although mizutaki is often said to have its origin in a local dish of Hakata, hot pot of chicken had existed nationwide from the Edo period, and became popular as chicken pot (fowl cooked in a flat pan) from the Meiji period.

In another story, Heizaburo HAYASHIDA who was born in Nagasaki went to Hong Kong in 1897 when he was fifteen and lived with an English family and learned cooking. After he came back to Japan, he is said to have arranged Western consomme and Chinese chicken soup that he had learned there to make the original Hakata mizutaki in 1905.

Along with gameni dish, mizutaki is selected as a local dish of Fukuoka Prefecture in the hundred best local dishes of rural areas.