Ginger-Wasabi Grilled Chicken Tenderloins

Ginger-Wasabi Grilled Chicken Tenderloins

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So there are two things you’re going to have to do if you want your chicken breasts to be palatable:

  1. Pound them flat
  2. Marinate them

I know…I know….it’s a pain.  But let’s face it, chicken breasts are NOT ribeye steaks.

DSC_1494You will need:  chicken breast tenderloins – up to 3 lbs, fresh ginger, wasabi paste, lime juice, soy sauce, mirin (rice wine – similar to sake) and salt.

First of all, let me clarify that these are chicken breast tenderloins.  The tenderloin is part of the chicken breast but it’s usually sold separately.  It’s generally less expensive, but it has a really horrible, gnarly tendon running through it.   Now don’t go digging around in there doing surgery to remove that tendon, I’ve got an easy technique on how to remove it below.

DSC_1414Take the tenderloins out of the package and dry them with paper towels.  The tendon is going to be popping out of the wider part of the meat.

DSC_1417Lay the piece of meat tendon-side-down.  Hold the tendon with one hand and place the knife at a 45 degree angle (facing away from you) between the tip of the tendon and the meat.  Now, leave the knife where it is and PULL THE TENDON.  If the knife is sharp enough the tendon will release and you’ll be able to pull it away easily.

Next, we’ll pound the chicken flat.

DSC_1418Place the tenderloin between two pieces of wax paper and pound gently with a mallet or a heavy pan.  I’ve gone through several of these mallets because my boys keep stealing them and taking them outside.  I have no idea what they do with them out there but we can all be assured that it’s not nonviolent, nondestructive, or non harmful.

You can find them in the hardware section of the store.

So, we’ve stripped the tendons out and we’ve pounded our tenderloin.  Now we’re going to make the marinade.

DSC_1423Take a large piece of ginger (about the size of a golf ball) and peel the skin off using a small paring knife or vegetable peeler.  Next, grate it all.  You’ll need about 2 tablespoons, grated.

DSC_1429Add the 2 tablespoons of grated ginger to a bowl and add 1/3 cup lime juice, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 2 tablespoons “mirin” (Japanese rice wine – found in Asian markets), and about 2 tablespoons wasabi paste.  A few pinches of salt, too.  You can taste a little to see if it’s right for you.  Prepare yourself, though – it’s “zingy”.
DSC_1430Mix the marinade well with a whisk and put your chicken in a casserole dish.

DSC_1435Pour the marinade over the chicken and mix it around a little to make sure that the marinade is touching all the chicken pieces.  Cover with plastic wrap and pop it in the fridge for 3-6 hours.

DSC_1453Grill on an indoor or outdoor grill.

DSC_1502You know you’ve been in Japan long enough when you’re using wasabi as a normal cooking ingredient and you’re drizzling mayonnaise over everything.

DSC_1494These ginger-wasabi grilled chicken tenderloins are great by themselves, over rice, over pasta, and even great in wraps!

Thank you for being here,

Shannon Vavich


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