Negimaki is a Japanese dish that is usually make with marinated strips of beef wrapped around scallions (negi). Here we substitute chicken for the beef to make this wonderful teriyaki delight. I cut boneless chicken breasts into cutlets and then flattened them into workable pieces. I was more than a little excited to use our new offset meat pounder (pictured below). I’m not quite sure how I lived all of these year without it!! You make a homemade teriyaki sauce by combining soy sauce, mirin (sweetened sake) and garlic. If you don’t have mirin, you can substitute half honey and half water. Just bring the mixture, along with the scallions, to a slow simmer. Remove the scallions and roll them up in the cutlets. Once you have brushed the rolls with toasted sesame oil you are ready to pop them on the grill for about 15 minutes. The flavor that it yields is out of this world. The mirin brings the sweetness, the soy adds the savory component, and the sesame oil provides just a little depth of flavor. We recommend that you reserve a bit of the teriyaki for dipping. Served here with Basque Salad.
Chicken Negimaki (Serves 4-5)
- ½ cup soy sauce
- ½ cup mirin (or 1/4 cup honey mixed with 1/4 cup water)
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 bunch scallions, trimmed but left whole
- 1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless white-meat chicken (breasts, cutlets or tenders), pounded to 1/8-inch thickness and blotted dry
- freshly ground black pepper
- Sesame oil as needed
- Lemon or lime wedges
- Put soy sauce, mirin, garlic and scallions in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook until bubbling, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn off heat and let cool slightly.
- Prepare charcoal or gas grill; heat should be medium and rack about 4 inches from fire. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper on both sides. Remove scallions from soy mixture with slotted spoon and divide evenly among chicken cutlets: Turn wide side of each cutlet to face you and put 2 or 3 scallions on edge closest to you, with some scallion sticking out of each end. Roll each cutlet up like a jelly roll and secure in two or three places with toothpicks or butcher’s twine. Brush chicken rolls with sesame oil.
- Grill chicken, brushing occasionally with remaining soy mixture and turning each piece once or twice, until cooked through, 12 to 15 minutes. To check for doneness, cut into a piece with a thin-bladed knife; center should be white or slightly pink. Serve hot, warm or at room temperature with lemon or lime wedges.
~ Cooking.NYTimes.com ~