Chicken

Teriyaki Chicken Tomato and Vinegar Sauce

I love chicken thigh for Teriyaki chicken dish because it’s succulent and flavoursome. Once you debone them, they are easy to cook and can be enjoyed with many different sauces.

This recipe doesn’t require any special ingredients. You probably have them all in your fridge and cupboard.

You should pan-fry chicken thigh skin down. The oil from the skin is enough to fry themselves, and the skin becomes crispier. The sauce for this recipe is a good old teriyaki sauce with a twist. Add lots of tomato and spring onion to this tangy yet refreshing sauce.

Serve with boiled cabbage, which refreshes your palate and goes really well with the chicken. Obviously, the dish goes well with rice, making it a great obento dish.

If you prefer chicken breast to thigh, dust a fillet with a little flour at direction 1 below. This makes the chicken fillet soft and moist when cooked.

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Key

To check if the chicken is cooked, poke it with a wooden skewer or a paring knife. If the juice runs clear, it is cooked. The cooking time varies depending on the size of the meat, however they’ll generally be in 4 to 5 minutes.

If you prefer chicken breast fillets, dust them with flour after you sprinkle salt and pepper. This process will lock the moisture in the fillets. Don’t overcook as they tend to become dry.

For an obento box, cook the sauce further until it thickens to prevent leakage.

Topic: Is chicken thigh fattier than breast?

I’ve heard some people prefer chicken breast to thigh because they are low in calories. But, is it true?

Well, 100g of chicken breast fillet has 108kcal whereas thigh has 200kcal. It looks like game over, doesn’t it? However, this is because breast is usually sold without the skin. Let me check thigh meat calories without skin. It’s only 116kcal, so there is not much difference in calories between breast and thigh.

Chicken fat is mainly present between the skin and meat, which makes separating fat and meat easier compared to other meats, like pork and beef. This recipe uses the chicken’s own fat to fry it and no added oil. So, wipe away any excess oil from the chicken and you can have a succulent chicken thigh dish relatively low in calories.

I must tell you that 100g chicken breast meat contains a mere 4.2g fat whereas thigh contains 11g – more than the double amount of breast. Therefore, it can be said that ‘chicken thigh is fattier than the breast’ is true. However, chicken fat is not all bad as it contains more unsaturated fat, especially monounsaturated fatty acids like oleic acid which helps to lower bad cholesterol, compare to other meats. Chicken thigh is rich in B Vitamins and powerful antioxidant selenium as well.

Chicken thigh and breast are both delicious and healthy if cooked properly. Choose whichever you prefer for this recipe, without having to worry too much about calories!

If you want to know the secret power of chicken breast, read topic 2 on This page

References:

http://www.j-chicken.jp/museum/arekore/01.html (Japanese)

http://www.matsuzaka-steak.com/nikurikata/meat/007467.php (Japanese)

Chicken Breast Salad with Spring Onion

Chicken breast contains high levels of protein and is low in calories and fat, so it’s inarguably the healthiest meat to eat. However, it can become a bit dry when overcooked. In this recipe, I’ll show you how to cook succulent breast fillet. What’s more, it’s probably the easiest way to cook it: you don’t need any technique, only a kitchen timer. You can use the cooked breast fillet, not only for salad, but also many other dishes including sandwiches and pasta dishes. The cooking time for this recipe is 50 minutes, but 30 minutes of it is waiting time! Learn how to cook breast fillet from this recipe. It’s so handy to know and you’ll definitely use it again.

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Key: You can find how to make toasted sesame seed in THIS RECIPE. Please refer at ‘Preparation 3’ section.

Topic 1: Are you a breast person, or thigh person?

The breast fillet is the most popular part of chicken in the West. However, do you know that the succulent thigh is the most popular part of the chicken in Japan? It’s much more expensive than breast too.

It’s one of those interesting things about how food culture differs in each country. I’d like to know if you have any interesting differences in food culture in your country. Please let me know in the comments below.

Topic 2: Combat fatigue with chicken breast

A group of Japanese scientists studied the secret of stamina in migratory birds: the reason why they can fly long distances for long durations. They found a substance called ‘Imidazole dipeptides’ which have strong anti-fatigue and anti-oxidative effects, in their breast muscles. Most creatures have this substance in their most used therefore fatigued areas of their body, for instance, the root of the caudal fin of a bonito fish and the brain of a human. Although we all know chickens can’t fly, its breast is rich in Imidazole dipeptides, interestingly.

Research carried out in 2009 in Japan showed the continuous intake of Imidazole dipeptides for over 8 weeks showed signs of reduced fatigue. Dr Keiichi Shimizu, who led the research, said that eating 100g chicken breast per day for at least 2 weeks will make a difference. Let me know if it works for you!

References:

https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/jcam/6/3/6_3_123/_article

https://yomidr.yomiuri.co.jp/article/20150906-OYTEW57436/ (Japanese)

Easy Yakitori in A Pan

Yakitori is Japanese-style grilled chicken pieces on a skewer. It’s typical bar food and you can find yakitori bars luring punters with smoke and an irresistible smell from their grills.

If you want to cook yakitori at home, it’ll be a challenge. They often come out undercooked or overcooked. Burning the skewers is another problem. That’s why most of us eat out or take away yakitori in Japan.

Here, I’m going to show you an easy and fool-proof recipe for yakitori cooked in a pan.

Ingredients for 8 skewers

4 Small Chicken thighs (or 350g Chicken Thigh Pieces)

Spring Onion (cut into bite-size pieces)

8 Skewers

For Cooking Sauce

2 tbs Soy Sauce

2 tbs Sugar

2 tbs Mirin or Sweet Sherry

Method

Preparation: Debone the Chicken Thigh

Make diagonal slits on both side of the bone, and take the bone off.

  1. Cut the chicken thigh into bite-size chunks.
  2. Place the chicken chunks on a pan skin-side down. Cook them over a high heat. You don’t need to add cooking oil, as oil comes from the chicken skin as you cook it. Leave the pieces untouched until the skin becomes golden brown.
  3. Mix all the ingredients for the cooking sauce until the sugar is dissolved. Or even easier, put them in a small jar and shake.
  4. Turn the chicken pieces over and cook thoroughly. Once cooked, add the spring onion pieces and the cooking sauce.
  5. When the chicken pieces are coated with the sauce and become shiny, remove from heat. Skewer the cooked chicken pieces and spring onion, using forks or chopsticks.

Key

  1. To check whether the chicken pieces are cooked, poke the biggest chicken piece with a skewer. If clear juice runs out, it’s cooked.
  2. You can use cocktail sticks instead of skewers.
  3. If you use skin off chicken add a little oil to the pan.

Honey and Soy Sauce Flavoured BBQ Chicken

It’s time for the barbecue!

Today, I’m going to show you the star of barbecue recipes, which you can marinade before.

Making a slit is the key to this recipe, so that they can be cooked quickly and safely.

The marinade sauce goes well with pork as well.

It’s a great barbecue recipe, but it can be cooked in an oven with the same tasty result.

Whether they are adults or children, every one of your barbecue guests will love the teriyaki flavour, Japanese style grilled chicken!

Ingredients for 4 legs

4 chicken legs

<For marinade sauce>

2 tbs Sesame oil

3tbs Soy sauce

1 ½ tbs Honey

1 tbs Apple vinegar

½ tbs Freshly grounded black pepper

1 clove of Garlic

Method

  1. Make slits along the bone at both sides (see the picture below), as well as 3 diagonal slits on each chicken leg on the skin side. DSC_9041
  2. Place all the ingredients for the marinade in a bowl.
  3. Place the chicken legs in the bowl and rub the marinade sauce very well. Leave them for 2 hours. You can keep them overnight in a fridge.DSC_9042
  4. Grill the chicken legs on a barbecue until cooked.DSC_9043

Keys

  1. Don’t forget to make slits, otherwise the chicken legs will take ages to cook.
  2. If you are cooking them in an oven, preheat oven to 250°C and roast at this heat for 35 minutes. Cover them with aluminium foil if they look like they’re overbrowning.

Soy Sauce Flavoured Chicken and Onion Stir-fry

Don’t you sometimes have a piece of stray chicken thigh in your fridge? This is a recipe for that! The seasoning is quite simple – just rice wine and soy sauce, however the sweetness from the fried onions and the flavour of the garlic enhance the taste. Enjoy the juiciness of the chicken thigh. Great to have with a bowl of rice. Adding Nori seaweed and sesame seeds makes the dish look and taste special. 

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Cooking level: Easy

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 Ingredients for one to two people

120g Chicken Thigh (deboned)

70g Onion

1 clove of Garlic

1 tbs Vegetable Oil

1 tbs Rice Wine

1 tbs Soy Sauce

Nori Seaweed (cut into small pieces)

Sesame Seeds

Method

  1. Cut the onion in half, and then slice thinly. Slice the garlic. Cut the chicken into a bite-sized pieces.
  2. Heat the vegetable oil in a frying-pan. Add the chicken pieces and stir-fry for about 3 minutes. Lower the heat if it starts to burn. Place the chicken pieces on a plate.
  3. Add the onion and garlic to the same frying-pan, then stir-fry over a high heat. Once they are coated with oil, lower the heat and stir-fry for about 3 minutes.
  4. Put the pieces back in a frying-pan and stir-fry. Add the rice wine and then cover the frying-pan with a lid. Let it steam for about 2 minutes.
  5. Add the soy sauce in the frying-pan and mix. Transfer to a serving plate and sprinkle the nori seaweed and the sesame seeds. Serve immediately. 

Key

  • Fry the onion over a low heat very well but be careful not to burn them.
  • Place salad leaves underneath for a better aesthetic. I placed rocket leaves today.
  • I served this dish with an avocado and tomato salad with wasabi flavoured mayonnaise dressing.
  • [Avocado and tomato salad with wasabi flavoured mayonnaise dressing] Mix mayonnaise and wasabi. Use your preferred amounts. Dress chopped tomatoes and avocado with the mayonnaise. The sweetness of the tomatoes and the creamy avocado go well with the wasabi flavour.

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Japanese Style Curry Rice

You may have already had this dish in a restaurant that serves Japanese food. Its origin is actually British ‘curry and rice’ which was introduced to Japan during the Meiji period, therefore it was considered Western food at first.

Nowadays, however, curry rice is one of Japan’s national foods and an all-time popular menu at school diner.

One of the characteristics of Japanese curry is its thick consistency by using roux. A packet of pre-made curry roux slab was on the market in 1954 by a Japanese food manufacturer SB Foods and other manufacturers followed, fiercely advertising their products on TV. Curry became a popular home cooked dish as the sauce was able to be made instantly by dissolving the block of roux. In 1960, confectionary manufacture Grico developed blocks of curry roux using their techniques for making bars of chocolate by incorporating the breakable grids of blocks, like in chocolate, and this style hasn’t changed since.

The first dish I cooked in my life, under the guidance of my mum, was this curry recipe. It’s fairly easy, though you have to know some tricks. For examples, how to prevent burning after adding the roux and how to cook meat succulently.

Once you know these tricks, you can cook delicious Japanese style curry easily for your everyday home meal.

It’s been popular to put breaded chicken fillets on top of curry rice in the UK recently. If you want try the flavour of this, cook the curry following my recipe without potatoes, add readymade bread crumbs that were heated in an oven to crisp on rice, and then pour the curry. The crispiness of the bread crumbs and the curry sauce surprisingly goes well with.

I’m going to put the authentic Japanese curry recipe with a breaded chicken and pork on this blog soon, so watch this space!

Ingredients for 4

500g chicken thighs (deboned)

200g onions

140g carrots

250g potatoes

100g blocks of Japanese curry roux (1 packet)

40g butter

650ml water

Freshly grinded black peppers (optional)

Method

  1. Debone and cut the chicken into large bite-sized pieces. Cut the onions in half and then slice thinly. Peel the carrots and chop into chunks. Peel the potatoes and quarter.2016111601
  2. Heat the butter in a large pot and fry the onions. When they become transparent, add the chicken and fry over medium heat until they are coated with the butter.dsc_5101
  3. Add the potatoes and carrots and fry for a further 3 minutes.dsc_5102
  4. Pour the water in the pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiled, reduce heat and remove any scum. dsc_5105
  5. Place a lid and simmer for a further 10 minutes or until the vegetables are softened and the chicken is cooked.
  6. Add the curry roux and stir until dissolved.dsc_5110
  7. Place a lid and simmer for a further 5 minutes and it’s done.dsc_5112
  8. Arrange cooked rice on one half of the serving plates (the recipe for cooking rice is here). Pour the curry on the other half of the plate.dsc_5114

Key

  • Cut the chicken and the vegetables approximately the same size.
  • Stir-fry the chicken and the vegetables quite well in order to keep their flavours.
  • After adding curry roux, it’s easily burned. Stir frequently from the bottom of the pot in order to prevent burning.

Karaage; quick and easy! Japanese style deep-fried chicken

Karaage, Japanese style deep-fried chicken is one of the nation’s favourites and the great thing is that you can arrange different flavours almost infinitely.

This recipe is for those who love karaage and want to cook them quickly and easily, as it uses chicken breast.

Do you know that Karaage is great with beer? With this recipe, you can make Karaage in no time when you fancy a beer.

Ingredients for 2-3 people

270g chicken breast fillet

80g potato starch

Vegetable oil for deep-frying

[For marinade]

2 tbs soy sauce

2 tbs rice wine or dry white wine

2 tbs oyster sauce

10g ginger (grated)

1 tbs sesame oil

2 tbs sesame seeds (toasted and grated)

Method

  1. Cut the chicken breast fillet into a large bite sized pieces. Place the chicken pieces in a bowl and add all the ingredients for the marinade. Stir well and rub the marinade into the chicken using your hand, then leave to marinate for 20 minutes.
  2. Add 50g of the potato starch and rub well, then add the remaining potato starch and rub until the chicken pieces are evenly coated.
  3. Heat the oil in a pan to around 160-170℃. Deep-fry the chicken pieces until they are cooked through and the colour becomes lightly brown.