Baked Sesame Chicken with Sake Marinade

Happy Tuesday Food Lifers!  I am SO. HAPPY. that the smoke that had blanketed the Lower Mainland for the month of August has cleared, and that temperatures have returned to a pleasant 24°C. I feel like August was a smoky, hot, uncomfortable blur, and I can’t wait for September to get started. 

Now that the temperatures have returned to normal, I can resume using my oven and other heating elements in my kitchen. This week’s recipe showcases the sesame seed as more than a garnish, but instead the form the “breading” of some lovely marinated chicken. Sesame seeds are high in protein, B-vitamins, and minerals such as iron, zinc, and magnesium. My sesame chicken uses a marinade of sake and mirin for classic Japanese flavours, but lightens it up by baking the chicken instead of frying. To celebrate one of my new-favourite chicken recipes, I have a sesame seed-themed joke for you: 

Why couldn’t the sesame seed leave the casino? 

Because he was on a roll.  

Baked Sesame Chicken

Ingredients

1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, minced 

1/4 cup sake (may substitute low-sodium chicken broth) 

1/4 cup tamari or soy sauce 

2 tbsp mirin 

4 chicken breasts 

1/2 cup sesame seeds 

sesame oil, for drizzling

Directions

Mix ginger, sake, tamari, and mirin in a medium bowl. Add chicken, and marinade for one hour to overnight. 

Preheat oven to 375°F. 

Spread the sesame seeds in an even layer on a large plate. Remove chicken from marinade and shake of excess, and immediately roll in the sesame seeds to coat evenly. I found the seeds stuck to the chicken fairly easily.  

Lay the prepared chicken breasts out on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and drizzle with sesame oil. Bake at 375°F for 25-35 min, or until the chicken is cooked through and reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.