Microwave sake steamed chicken with black vinegar gelée and myouga マイクロウェイブ酒蒸し鶏胸肉とミョウガの黒酢ジェレー

japanese cake

This is another nothing quick dish but a perfect Izakaya food. Recently, I have been making sake steamed chicken breast by microwaving chicken in a silicon steamer for microwave. I usually do not cook anything in the microwave (just re-heat), so this is new development for me. But if precisely timed and allowed to rest for 10 minutes or longer, the chicken comes out perfectly and cleaning up is much simpler.

Here is how I do it. I usually get bone-in and skin-on split chicken breasts. I remove the bones (do not leave the wish bone behind) and tenderloins (use for another dish). I remove any excess skin and fat but I keep the skin. Keeping the skin makes the chicken moist during the microwaving. If you like the skin, you could leave the skin or remove the skin after cooking. After removing excess fat from the cooked skin, I cut it in thin strips and use it in salad etc but this is totally up to you.

In any case, I placed two half breasts in a silicon microwave steamer after somewhat liberally salting both sides.  I then added slices of ginger root, and scallion (two stalks lightly bruised). I poured sake (3-4 tbs) (image below left) and put on the lid (image below right) and microwaved it for 5 minutes and 30 seconds (Mine is 600W, please adjust the time depending on the power of your microwave).

I let it steam in the container with the lid on after I remove it from the microwave. Some times, as it cools, the silicon container may buckle since the lid is rather tight. I place the container on a plate to prevent possible spillage (Spillage has not happened to me so far). When the chicken cools down enough so that you can handle it safely (10-15 minutes), you can use it in whatever dish you like.

This time, I had fresh myouga 茗荷. So I halved and thinly sliced the myouga. I also made jabara cucumber. I sliced the chicken after removing the skin. I scraped off any excess fat from the back of the skin and cut it in thin strips. I put the strips of skin on the top of the chicken slices resting on a base of baby arugula. I sprinkled yuzu-souyu sauce (from the bottle) and garnished with small chuncks of black vinegar/soy sauce gelee (top image).

I think the chicken turned out better than the conventional way of sake steaming. Few important tips include finding out the exact timing, getting equal sized half breasts which will snuggly fit in the silicon steamer, and letting it steep in the container with the lid on until cool. Before I got the timing right, I undercooked and overcooked it few times. Now this is so easy and quick to make. Once I made the chicken this way, I keep it in a sealed container in the refrigerator and make small Izakaya dishes and sandwiches. The liquid left in the container is also very flavorful and lightly congeals in the fridge. You coudl just coat the slices of chicken with it or add it to you sauce, which adds wonderful mouth feel and flavor.

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