Thursday, August 6, 2009

Soy Reduction Glazed Chicken: Entering Middle Age

To my old physical body...

I've never been one to really complain about my age. When I turned 30, it was really no big deal, and 35 passed without a hitch. Those ages didn't really bother me because I didn't FEEL old, nor did I really look it. But as I near 38 and calculate that half my life is over, I notice things on me that seemingly have appeared overnight: white hairs sprouting in the FRONT part of my head (those who have white hair patches hidden, this is totally different), tiny little spider veins over the upper part of my thighs, and a midsection that doesn't seem to want to shrink, no matter the amount of exercise I throw at it. My body, my youthful body, the one that I had used, loved, and cared for was leaving me without a backward glance. In its place was a less attractive, less glamorous, and more worn version of myself.

But I decided to go down fighting and in recent weeks have been trying to significantly lighten up my diet, eat no cupcakes or cookies, and especially in the evening, eat a meal heavy in vegetables, with some protein and a touch of starch. The result was that I started looking better, feeling less "old", and created a new dish that makes chasing youth taste delicious.

The meal is one of a soy glazed chicken recipe my mom used to make for me and I added to the top of the Ginger Slaw with a handful of chopped cilantro. It's my own version of an "Asian Salad" only without all the fussy extras of fried wontons or fried noodles (not really the friend of people who are trying to lose their mid-section anyways).

Soy Reduction Glazed on top of Ginger Slaw with Cilantro


Soy Reduction Glazed Chicken
Serves 3-4

2-3 lbs boneless skinless breasts (breast tenders are also fine for this)

1/4 cup water
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons sake
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
2 inches of ginger root, peeled, and sliced into thin slices (you do not want chopped ginger as you'll get bits of floating fuzzy stuff which isn't cute in this recipe)

In a heavy sauce pan, add water, soy, sugar, sake, sesame oil, garlic and ginger slices. Bring to a boil and reduce heat and allow to simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat, and set aside to cool to room temperature.

Once the sauce is cool, pour over chicken breasts and allow them to marinate in the refrigerator. The longer the marination, the more intense the flavor. At least 3 hours.

Due to the nature of breast meat, I would recommend either cooking a fry pan or on the bbq grill. In both cases, cook the chicken over medium heat until they are cooked through, about 5-7 minutes per side. In both cases, watch carefully as the sugar in the marinade lends itself to burning easily.

Printable recipe

6 comments:

Jay and Theresa Moon said...

when you say "soy" does that mean "soy sauce"? thanks!

Joanne Choi said...

so sorry Jae and Theresa - yes - soy = soy sauce. correcting now.

Arnold said...

ok sorry for all the questions but i am trying to cook chicken breast(tenders) because that is what is left in the freezer and I see that the marinade for the Ginger soy bbque chicken is similar to the soy reduction except for the part of cooking the marinade fist for the soy reduction...the gingersoy recommends chicken thighs... can i do it for the breast as well or do you recommend using the soy rudction method for the breast?...thanks!

Joanne Choi said...

they are similar...so you could use them interchangeably. The reduction method for the breast however...does ask for marination...which will benefit the overall flavor as breast meat isn't the most flavorful.

Christina Woo said...

Mrs. Choi! Awesome blog. Is there anything I can I substitute saki with?

Joanne Choi said...

you can use shao xing wine or you can just leave the sake out completely. :)

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