Drunken Steam-Fried Drummettes in Shochu Sauce

Donabe Drunken Steam-Fried Drummettes
Photo above by Eric Wolfinger © 2015
Reprinted with permission from Donabe: Classic and Modern Japanese Clay Pot Cooking by Naoko Takei Moore and Kyle Connaughton, copyright © 2015. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.


Serves 4 to 6 as part of a multicourse meal

This simple dish is ideally suited to casual izakaya (Japanese pub)-style get-togethers. I find that shochu (a Japanese distilled drink) tends to make the chicken more tender and also gives it a nice aroma. I use rice shochu, but other types of schochu or even sake can work with this dish, too. Just put the ingredients in a tagine-style donabe and let it do the work for you. – Naoko

Equipment: One large tagine-style donabe (12 1⁄2 inches/31.5 cm in diameter)


For the Dough

1 1⁄2 pounds (650 g) chicken drumettes

1 teaspoon sea salt

3 green onions, halved crosswise (white and green parts)

1 tablespoon thinly sliced peeled fresh ginger

1⁄4 cup (60 ml) shochu (Japanese distilled drink), preferably rice shochu

3 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons raw brown sugar

1 1⁄2 teaspoons kurozu (Japanese black vinegar) or rice vinegar

4 to 5 green cabbage leaves

Minced chives, for garnish

Ichimi togarashi (Japanese ground chiles), for serving


Season the chicken all over with the salt and allow to marinate for 30 minutes, or cover and refrigerate overnight.

Spread the green onions and ginger in the donabe. Add the chicken and spread out in a single layer. Add the shochu, soy sauce, brown sugar, and vinegar over the chicken.

Spread out the cabbage to cover the chicken entirely. Cover with the lid and set over medium-high heat. Cook for 5 minutes. Turn down the heat to medium-low and cook for 25 to 30 minutes longer, or until the sauce has reduced by half or more, stirring occasionally. Turn off the heat and let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes.

Serve in individual bowls at the table and sprinkle with chives and ichimi togarashi.

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