Sunday, July 26, 2009

Wasabi Chicken?

I love making Asian-inspired meals because they are not only easy but also delicious. I don't try to do anything extremely complicated--just yummy! Rick has told me several times how much he enjoys when I make this particular type of cuisine. Recently, I jokingly told him that these dinners were so good because I was part Asian. Those who know me know that I'm blonde-haired and blue-eyed and very far from such.

On Saturday, I decided to dig out a recipe from my recipe box for wasabi crusted chicken. I haven't made it since 2004. I was really surprised that I haven't made it in so long because I'm such a big fan of panko and wasabi. My fear of chicken may have been keeping me from doing it. Yep, cooking chicken has always scared me. It's too dry if you over cook it, and there's that whole salmonella thing if you under cook it. Lately, I've gotten better with it, though so I decided to take a chance and try this recipe again.

When I got home from clinical, I was a little tired, but luckily, Rick had gone to the grocery store while I was busy in the nursery. He picked up chicken broth, teriyaki sauce, eggs, and the cilantro and chow mein noodles for the slaw. I decided to pair the chicken with Rick's favorite slaw. He, unfortunately, left the bag of cole slaw at his place so we ran over there to get it before starting. We contemplated grilling out because I was so tired but decided to go ahead with our planned meal.

I don't know if my tiredness or what kept me from following the instructions that I had written on the side of the recipe that said "make wasabi paste and coat chicken before dipping in eggs," but I opted to ignore this simple step. The result? Not a bit of wasabi kick! I had even added the wasabi powder to the sauce and egg wash! Grrrr.... They still turned out yummy, but if you want the wasabi kick, you gotta add the wasabi to water to "activate" it! I also failed to flatten my chicken breasts before cooking so I ended up baking them for a little bit (covered in foil) after cooking them in the peanut oil to avoid burning the panko. They turned out great, though (minus the kick of course)! I used leftovers today to make a chicken sandwich with wasabi mayo. I finally got that wasabi kick I was looking for!

The slaw, as always, was delicious!!! The only changes I make to it is using a bag of cole slaw and adding sesame seeds and chow mein noddles on top!

Here is the untouched Chicken Recipe

Wasabi-Crusted Chicken Breasts

  • 1 1/4 cups panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) or fresh breadcrumbs made from crustless French bread
  • 4 teaspoons wasabi powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 eggs, beaten to blend
  • 4 skinless boneless chicken breast halves, flattened to 1/3-inch thickness between plastic wrap
  • 4 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 3 tablespoons teriyaki sauce
  • 3 tablespoons sake
  • 3 tablespoons low-salt chicken broth
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced


Combine panko, wasabi powder, salt, and pepper in a large shallow dish. Place eggs in pie dish. Dip chicken, 1 breast at a time, in egg, and then in panko mixture. Turn to coat completely.
Heat 2 tablespoons peanut oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté 2 chicken breasts until golden and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to platter. Repeat with remaining oil and chicken.

Add teriyaki sauce, sake, and chicken broth to skillet; bring to boil, scraping up browned bits. Drizzle sauce over chicken. Sprinkle with sliced green onions and serve.

My changes:

  • ALWAYS make wasabi paste (wasabi + water) and coat chicken before dipping in the egg
  • I use mirin instead of sake
  • Repeat after me again...ALWAYS make wasabi paste and coat chicken before dipping in the eggs

The slaw recipe:

  • 2 1 1/2-pound heads green cabbage, very thinly sliced (about 25 cups)
  • 1 cup seasoned rice vinegar*
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons oriental sesame oil


Place cabbage in very large bowl. Add vinegar, cilantro and oil; toss. Season with salt and pepper. Cover; chill at least 1 hour and up to 3 hours, tossing often.
*Also known as sushi vinegar; available at Asian markets and in the Asian foods section of some supermarkets.

My changes:
  • Use bag of cole slow
  • Add sesame seeds before tossing
  • Top with Chow Mein Noodles

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