||As I began before getting side-tracked:
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.
This recipe can be passively prepared by baking the chicken in its marinade.
Stir-frying is quicker than baking because the chicken is cut into small pieces. Tori no usu-giri-yaki is literally “chicken, thinly sliced and fried.” One might call buta no shoga-yaki: “buta no usu-giri shoga yaki” because it is literally pork, thinly sliced with ginger and fried.
One can often buy thinly sliced pork in Asian grocery stores, but I’ve never seen chicken ready to use! Perhaps this dish includes the reference in its name to being thinly-sliced (usu-giri) because it must be done with at least minimal skill. Be sure to click on the left column to see pictures of many Japanese cutting techniques.
This recipe is delicious served on its bed of blanched greens, but it would be wonderful to eat in a sandwich or as a topping for a fresh summer salad.
In Part 3 of this series, I’ll show you my favorite way to eat this chicken.
Pan-Fried Flavored Chicken
Tori no Usugiriyaki
from: The Japanese Kitchen
•250 Recipes in a Traditional Spirit•
by Hiroko Shimbo
serves 3 to 4
- 1 pound 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 spinach,
or soybean or mung bean sprouts,
or broccoli rabe, or other greens
Cut the chicken into ½-inch-wide slices.
In a suribachi (or other mortar) roughly crush the sesame seeds. (I used sesame paste.)
In a glass or ceramic pan large enough to hold the sliced chicken in a single layer, combine the sesame seeds, green onions, garlic, soy sauce,
honey, black pepper, and sesame oil.
Place the chicken slices in the pan, and turn each
to cover them with the marinade.
Let them marinate for 20 minutes.
Heat a skillet until hot. Add 2 Tablespoons of the vegetable oil. When the oil is hot, reduce the heat to medium-low. Shake excess marinade from a few slices of chicken and cook them until golden on both sides, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove chicken to a warm plate, and continue to cook the rest of the chicken. Add oil as needed.
Add a small amount of water to the skillet to de-glaze the pan. Heat the marinade gently until it is cooked.
Blanch the greens, then steam them until they are cooked.
Arrange the greens on plates and top with the chicken. Drizzle some of the cooked marinade over the top. This dish is good accompanied by plain white or brown rice.