Japanese (Pan-Fried) Chicken, Part 1


Honey and pepper, sweet and spice, sparks the traditional combination of soy and sesame in a marinade for chicken. As inspiring as the flavors of this dish are, it also proves to be a recipe which allows for much diversity. It’s an easy recipe, and what a good thing that turned out to be: life does not happen according to plan.
Back in January, I bought an amazing work-cart for the kitchen. Almost everyone who visits says that we should have a table in the center of the kitchen but I like the open space: in the old house it was difficult for two people to move past each other, much less work together in the kitchen. Here, the kitchen is the heart of home where we spend time together. For us, a table in the center would have become a flat-surface-magnet to attract all manner of stuff not put away properly. I’d checked Ikea and The Treasure Mart for hostess carts but found them flimsy, too wobbly to use for real kitchen work.

The University has a warehouse, open to the public sometimes, where un-needed equipment and furnishings go on offer. We go every other week, and I found a pair of upolstered benches for $25 each, a nice sidetable for $15, and a pair of green velvet chairs with ottomen for $35 each. Such bargains!
There was my cart: heavy-duty casters, steel pipe frame, thick sturdy shelves, almost counter height. Perfect but for a missing end-cap on one leg. I finally got around to Googling the company to see if I could buy a replacement.

On the Anthro website, I saw another perfect cart, for my office:
Six feet long, sturdy wheels with plenty of space for cutting fabric, spreading out drawings, everything. But the basic model with one shelf was $600! Not quite in my budget! Next day, we took our bi-weekly trip to Property Disposition at the U. Unbelievable, but there was “my” cart: two shelves, with extensions to make it taller, a bunch of unnecessary accessories for computer equipment, and the larger size wheels. $100!

Of course we had to dismantle it to get it into my room. My plans for a stir-fry morphed into a simple baked dish with Japanese flavors while I helped to carry various table parts from the foyer to the dining room and library. The chicken marinated, then baked, as I held pieces of the table while Mr. Tess manned the tools to put the table back together.

This version of the recipe was so delicious that I had to make it a second time, as the recipe was written. I can recommend either version without exception!

Pan-Baked Honey and Pepper Sesame Chicken

based on a recipe from: The Japanese Kitchen
•250 Recipes in a Traditional Spirit•
by Hiroko Shimbo
page 412
serves 4 to 5

  • 1½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken
    (thighs or breasts)
  • 3 Tablespoons white sesame seeds, toasted
    (sesame seeds were at the other house: used sesame paste)
  • ¼ cup minced naganegi long onions, or green onions
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • fresh-ground black pepper
    (about 2 teaspoons!)
  • 2 Tablespoons sesame oil
  • 4 to 6 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 10 ounces broccoli rabe, or other greens

Wash and dry the chicken. Oil a baking pan (large enough to contain the chicken in one layer). Combine the sesame paste, onions, garlic, soy sauce, honey, pepper, and sesame oil. Arrange the chicken, turning to coat each piece with the marinade. Let the chicken bathe in the sauce for half an hour. Bake at 350°F for 40 to 45 minutes. Serve with rice and broccoli rabe.


7 thoughts on “Japanese (Pan-Fried) Chicken, Part 1

  1. Pingback: Japanese Pan-Fried Chicken, Part 2 « Tess's Japanese Kitchen

  2. Congrats on your new toys.. the craft table and utility cart. Buying new furniture is one of the fun parts about moving to a new home. I can relate to not wanting a large flat open surface in the kitchen. I would love one actually but last time I had one, my cat Pooh would lay on it when ever I wasnt there to scootch hiim off. Any other kitty I wouldnt mind much, but Pooh sheds. I dont get inspired unless my kitchen is spotless. So now Ive got a big empty spot in my kitchen too. :)

  3. dunno, but it might be that my 3 cats are getting old.
    But. They don’t jump onto tables. Even when they were young, they “knew” that tables were my space. No spray bottles or other negative stuff. dunno what I did!
    I’ve gone to see you site several times; might I suggest that you have a post or page for some reader questions? Or maybe you already have something?
    For example, my cats all hate each other though they have staked out their “safe” places. Even so, they do aggressive things to scare the others off.
    What do you think about the acrylic nails you can put on the cats’ claws? “Soft Paws”?

  4. Pingback: (Japanese) Pan-Fried Chicken, Part 3 « Tess's Japanese Kitchen

  5. On my blogs contact me page is a feedback form where any questions can be asked. Also my email is pictured there too. Ask away anytime you wish, Ill be glad to help if I can because thats what I am here for. Cats can become pretty petty towards eachother at times. I bet since your new house is bigger they might mellow out a little bit.

    As to the other question: I think if I met a person dead set on declawing their cat and I was able to convince them to use ‘soft paws’ instead, I would consider that a win. But in a perfect world Im not too keen on using soft paws, or declawing. I think it is healthy to learn to love an animal for who they are (good and bad) Certainly this is the way they love us. (Keeping nails trimmed minimizes damage also)

    • I myself do not like the idea of declawing my cat but after loosing a complete living room I changed my mind…a great Vet did a good job Samie was alright very quickly…thank God….
      Some cat can really destroy your funitures and we did kept the nails trim she still scratches ..but
      look Ma no nalis

      • We adopted a backdoor cat some years ago. Someone had de-clawed the front paws, but because they’d then abandoned him, he’d become accustomed to being outdoors. I always worried that he’d get into a fight and not be able to defend himself. He didn’t seem aware that the claws were gone: I’d see him making those clawing motions unaware that he was leaving no mark.
        Declawing seems cruel to me. But I can’t afford to let my cats destroy the carpets and furniture, the soft-paws might be a reasonable compromise. The experiment has only been going on for a couple of weeks so far. I’m optimistic that this will work out.

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