What is Kei-chan, which is familiar with local people?
“Kei-Chan”, which is a pretty sounding name, comes from Gero city, in Gifu prefecture.
This dish is sautted and made from chicken meat, usually in either soy or miso based sauce. It is then cooked with your favorite vegetables, like cabbage, bean sprout and whatever you can find. It is very easy to cook, and Japanese people often eat this food at BBQs.
One of the best things about this food is that it’s easy to season, and it goes with anything to compliment it in taste and nutrition. Also, the taste of miso or soy sauce is the best match with beer. Japanese love beer and there is some of the best beer brewed in Japan. Kei-chan with beer is very delicious and often eaten with white rice.
Story of Kei- chan, where does it come from?
In the country side of Gero or Gujo city, people used to have their own chickens. They raised chickens at home and used their chickens to make more chickens, but after 1 or 2 years, the chickens were unable to lay eggs and reproduce. People didn’t want to get rid of the chickens, so they tried to find a way to still make use of the older chickens. So they wanted to use every part of the chicken, and they cooked all the parts with the homemade Miso, which they also made. This was also a period of history where meat was scarce and the available meat was very expensive. Having the dish of Kei-chan was considered a delicacy and served on a special day. At about 1965, Kei-chan began to circulate markets in Mino and the South Hida area, where eating it was not yet part of the culture. Toward 1989, it became prevalent to city centers such as Nagoya, so over the years, it has changed to fit the taste and appearance for customers. That’s why there are various tastes depending on each restaurant or household.
What are the new flavors of Kei chan and where can we buy it??
Currently, it is sold for about 300 Japanese yen. You can buy it frozen and defrost it at home from the supermarket. (The price depends on the amount you get or the producer.)
These days there are also new flavors such as salt, spicy seasoned and basil flavored.
The best way to eat it is the way you like it, so you have to try it a lot of different ways to find out what is best for you.It is considered a simple food because it is inexpensive and easy to cook. If you have an opportunity, please cook and enjoy it by yourself, or try to eat it with Japanese people. This will be an interesting cultural experience for all involved.