Japanese ginger & garlic chicken with smashed cucumber

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March 28, 2014 by dgarnett2013

Japanese ginger & garlic chicken with smashed cucumber: Change of Appetite by Diana Henry



Serves 4

For the chicken:

  • 3½ tabs soy sauce
  • 3 tabs sake or dry sherry
  • 3 tabs soft dark brown sugar
  • ½ tab brown miso
  • 60g root ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 1 tsp togarashi seasoning or ½ tsp chilli powder
  • 8 good sized skinless bone-in chicken thighs or other bone-in chicken pieces


For the cucumber: 

  • 500g cucumber
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp pink pickled ginger, very finely shredded
  • small handful of shiso leaves, or mint leaves, torn


Mix everything together for the chicken (except the chicken itself) to make a marinade.

Pierce the chicken on the fleshy sides with a knife, put the pieces into a shallow dish and pour the marinade over. Massage in well, turning the pieces over. Cover and put in the fridge for 30 – 60 minutes.

When you’re ready to cook, preheat the oven to 180℃. Take the pieces out of the marinade and put them in a shallow ovenproof dish in which they can sit snugly in a single layer.

Pour over half the marinade. Roast in the oven for 40 minutes, basting every so often with the juices and leftover marinade (don’t add any leftover marinade after 20 minutes, it needs to cook properly as it has had raw chicken in it.) Check for doneness: the juices that run out of the chicken when you pierce the flesh with a knife should be clear and not at all pink.

When the chicken is halfway through cooking, peel and halve the cucumber and scoop out the seeds. Set on a board and bang the pieces gently with a pestle or rolling pin. This should break them up a little. Now break them into chunks with your hands.

Crush the garlic with a pinch of the salt and massage this – and the rest of the salt – into the cucumber. Put in a small plastic bag, squeeze out the air and put in the fridge for 10 minutes. When you’re ready to eat, tip the cucumber into a sieve so the juices can drain away.

Add the shredded ginger and shiso or mint leaves.


Serve the chicken with brown rice or vermicelli and the cucumber. Also good with edamame and sugar snap salad.

Ginger chicken.

bath charliechurch


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