Black sesame chicken with Asian slaw

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I feel like anyone presenting a recipe involving cabbage always pre-empts it with the claim that it is an entirely under-rated, eternally cheap vegetable. I’m inclined to agree. However, the trouble with cabbage and I is that I know it keeps forever in the fridge – a theory I always seem to test when I purchase it, favouring other vegetables over the mess of shredding it into little bits. Having a half cabbage turn to ruin is never a great loss to me, however with my New Year’s resolution of “using what I have in the fridge” resulted in this delicious slaw that’s perfect for summer. Apparently I’m obsessed with all things sesame at the moment, and this entire dish is really designed to show them off. The slaw would go along great aside a raft of grilled and marinated meats – chicken is simply what I had on hand.

Serves 2 (or 1 lonely person wanting meals prepped for night shift):

  • 400g chicken thighs or breast, deboned and skinless (preferably free range)
  • 1 tbsp tamari/soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp fresh chilli/sambal oelek (adjust according to spice tolerance)
  • 4 tsp equivalent preferred sweetener/sugar (I used stevia)
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1/3 cabbage
  • 1 zucchini, julienned
  • Handful fresh mint, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil, plus extra for frying the chicken
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp wasabi paste (adjust according to taste)
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds, plus extra for sprinkling
  1. Prep the chicken and marinade by combining the tamari, fresh chilli and 2 teaspoons of sweetener/sugar in a container big enough to fit the meat. Using kitchen scissors or a sharp knife, cut the chicken into strips around 1-2cm thick. Mix with the marinade, cover, refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  2. Shred the cabbage into thin strips using a sharp knife and julienne the zucchini. Combine in a large bowl with the fresh mint until ready for serving.
  3. For the slaw dressing, simply combine the sesame oil, remaining sweetener, 1 tablespoon quantity of fish sauce, wasabi paste, lime and rice wine vinegar. Stir vigorously to emulsify and toss to coat the cabbage with it ~30 minutes before serving. Season the slaw generously with salt and pepper.
  4. In a nonstick frypan over medium heat, fry the marinated chicken pieces in sesame oil with the tablespoon of black sesame seeds until the chicken is cooked through and the marinade is starting to reduce to form some kind of sauce. Serve warm atop the slaw.

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