We all have moments when it’s too cold to go out, and yet the bellowing rumble coming from the pit of your stomach tells you to eat something. I like keeping a repertoire of mindlessly simple dishes taped to my refrigerator door for just such an occasion. At the top of that list is this ginger chicken.
It’s simple, the ingredients are usually in my fridge, and it tastes like a lot more work went into it. The honey and soy sauce caramelize while pan-frying the chicken, making for a smoky glaze that strikes a good balance between savory and sweet. The ginger adds a belly warming kick that sets this apart from chicken teriyaki.
I like serving this ginger chicken over a bowl of rice. In Japan, rice bowls are known as “donburi” and are the Japanese equivalent to a casserole. Add some steamed veggies and you have a complete one-bowl meal—perfect for lunch or dinner.
Another reason why I love this dish is because it makes four servings that are easily stored for future meals. Just fill a Tupperware part of the way with rice, top it with the chicken and sauce, and then seal the lid and refrigerate or freeze it.
Sweet honey and powerful, belly-warming ginger combine to make this Japanese favorite that is bursting with flavor. Unlike chicken teriyaki, this dish adds a kick that is anything but ordinary, but absolutely delicious. Marc Matsumoto of NoRecipes shares this recipe in a full post at the Fresh Tastes Blog.
- 1.5 pounds boneless chicken thighs
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons sake
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- chopped scallions and sesame seeds for garnish
- Cut the chicken up into bite-sized pieces. In a bowl, whisk the soy sauce, sake, honey, and ginger together, then add the chicken. Marinate for at least 30 minutes.
- Heat a frying pan over medium heat until hot. Add the oil then swirl to coat. Fry the chicken in batches. You want to get a nice brown crust, so it’s important that the chicken is in a single layer and has some space between each piece. Because there is sugar in the marinade if your pan is too hot it will burn. If the pan is too cool, water will leach out of the chicken and it won’t brown. Adjust the heat accordingly.
- When the chicken is browned on one side, flip it over and brown the other side. Transfer the chicken to a plate. Once all your chicken is browned, use a paper towel to wipe out any extra oil, then add the remaining marinade to the pan along with 2 tablespoons of water. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium high heat, and then return all the chicken to the pan. Stir, until the liquid has mostly evaporated and the chicken has a nice shiny coating of sauce.
- Garnish with scallions and sesame seeds and serve over rice.
Yield: 4 servings
Marc Matsumoto is a culinary consultant and recipe repairman who shares his passion for good food through his website norecipes.com. For Marc, food is a life long journey of exploration, discovery and experimentation and he shares his escapades through his blog in the hopes that he inspires others to find their own culinary adventures. Marc’s been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today, and has made multiple appearances on NPR and the Food Network.