Variation of Chicken with Umeboshi

We tried a new way to cook asparagus: grilling it on the hibachi. It’s so simple that writing a recipe is redundant. Clean and trim the asparagus, brush it with good olive oil, and grill over high heat until tender, about 5 minutes, and sprinkle with a little sea salt.

We enjoyed the sasami no ume-shiso so much that I wanted to make them again, but with a less fussy method. This time I began with skinless, boneless chicken breasts rather than the fillets. I had some discussion with one of my readers and thought about making the dish as chicken rolls which could be sliced after grilling them. Slicing the rolls reveals the pretty spiral design which looks like you spent all day in the kitchen. Give it a try: it’s a great way to share with a crowd.

Chicken Breast Rollls with Pickled Plum and Shiso
Yakitori: Tori no Ume-shiso

based on Yakitori: Sasami no Ume-shiso
from: The Japanese Kitchen
•250 Recipes in a Traditional Spirit•
by Hiroko Shimbo
page 407
serves 4
  • 3 chicken boneless, skinless breasts
  • 4 umeboshi (pickled plum), pitted and chopped (about 2 Tablespoons)
  • 1 Tablespoon saké (rice wine)
  • 1/2 Tablespoon mirin (sweet cooking wine)
  • 8 shiso leaves, julienned
  • Yakitori basting sauce

Pound the chicken breasts between sheets of plastic wrap. A bottle with a flat bottom works well.

Mix the umeboshi, sake, and mirin in a small cup.

Apply a thin layer of the umeboshi paste to the softer bone-side of the chicken breasts. Sprinkle each with the julienned shiso leaves. Use the plastic wrap to support the meat as you roll each breast to enclose the ume paste and shiso.

You can prepare the recipe to this point and refrigerate the wrapped chicken rolls.

In “Japanese Cooking. A Simple Art” by Shizuo Tsuji there is a recipe for grilling chicken rolls. It includes a line drawing of how one can use 4 or 5 bamboo skewers, sharp ends poked into the roll, and dull ends gathered together like the bottom of a fan. But for this meal, I just made tin-foil boats to hold the chicken rolls.

Heat a grill or broiler. Brush the chicken with yakitori sauce. Cook on the hot grill, but be observant: don’t let the chicken over-cook.

Remove the rolls to a plate, and slice about 3/4″ thick. Arrange the spirals on a serving platter.


11 thoughts on “Variation of Chicken with Umeboshi

  1. Tess, it looks lovely! Even easier than the ume chicken rolls I have made! Rolling whole breasts makes it probably less fussy. I will try it one day too!
    Too late for asparagus here, though :-( I ate it almost every other day whenit was in season and now I’m really sad it’s gone…

    • Asparagus seems to be available much of the year in supermarkets here. It is shipped in from many different countries. Local asparagus season here is short.

    • Hmmm?
      Coriander seeds, which are sort of round and warm
      or leaves, also known as cilantro, which are sort of sharp, out front, loved or hated?
      I can imagine either being good, in different situations.

      • Ah, sorry! We use something called “Corriander Flakes”, which I imagine are dried leaves, but they really don’t seem to smell anything like cilantro for some reason? My husband said maybe they were mislabeled. I generally hate cilantro, but maybe the dried version is mild enough for me to enjoy?

        • I remember the first time eating cilantro: thought it tasted the way cat piss smells. It amazed me that the flavor was so different from the way coriander seeds taste. Same plant, but such different taste.
          Makes sense though: apples are sweet, but the leaves—dunno, never ate one. Same plant though.
          Must be dehydrating the coriander leaves makes them gentle?

  2. Here we have asparagus either in season or a couple of months before the season, but it is imported from the US or Mexico and after such a long trip and I don’t know how many chemical products sprayed during the journey it doesn’t have any taste… so I eat asparagus only when in season (2 months I think only).

    • Tomatoes and peaches out of season never taste the same as local ones either.

      I just bought a basket of peaches, labeled as being from Georgia. They smelled so good! Right next to them was a display of peaches from the West Coast (Washington state?) that had no scent, were hard and green, but there was a sign saying they were 99 cents / pound. There was no sign above the Georgia baskets, but when I checked out they were also 99 cents. I went back a few days later, and told the guy restocking the West Coast peaches that he should label the Georgia ones—looked like they weren’t selling because folks were afraid they were more expensive.

      Georgia is not really local, but much closer than Washington. Michigan peaches won’t be ripe for a while.

      • Of course, you live in a big country… Especially living in Switzerland it’s difficult to imagine big countries ;-) If I get strawberries from France I consider them as local, very local ;-) I go to buy bread in France, every week. And meat. And most of my grocery shopping.
        Maybe they earned more money on the West Coast peaches??? Sometimes this is the reason why some products are promoted.

  3. Pingback: Thighs: onion, umeboshi and shiso « Tess's Japanese Kitchen

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