Fast fare: Asian Chicken Roll-Ups

Dinner Tonight

May 30, 2007|By Bill Daley

Microwaving is one of the newest cooking methods yet it has much in common with two of the most ancient, steaming and poaching. With a covered plate and a little liquid, the microwave oven cooks food fast without burning or drying it out.

These Asian-inspired chicken rolls can be served hot, cold or at room temperature. Feel free to improvise with both filling and sauce, shifting from country to country for inspiration. Make it French with mushroom duxelles, tarragon and hollandaise. Or go Spanish with diced ham, green olives and olive oil.

Bill Daley writes for the Chicago Tribune, which provided the recipe analysis.

Asian Chicken Roll-Ups

Serves 4 -- Total time: 16 minutes

4 boneless, skinless chicken-breast halves

4 green onions, cut into 1/2 -inch lengths

2 jalapenos, seeded, sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 piece ( 1/2 -inch long) fresh ginger, minced

2 teaspoons each: soy sauce, toasted sesame oil

2 tablespoons dry sherry or white wine


1/2 cup peanut butter, preferably all-natural

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

1 teaspoon red chile paste

1/4 cup water (optional)

4 to 5 sprigs cilantro, chopped

1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds (see note)

Pound chicken breasts to flatten; set aside. Combine the green onions, jalapenos, garlic, ginger, soy sauce and sesame oil in a small bowl; divide the mixture evenly among the 4 chicken pieces. Roll up each breast; secure with toothpick or tie with string.

Pour sherry into microwaveable container; add chicken rolls. Cover; cook the chicken rolls on high (100 percent power), rotating the container occasionally if needed, until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Let the rolls rest 1 minute before serving.

Meanwhile for sauce, stir together peanut butter, sesame oil and chile paste in a bowl; add water to thin to desired consistency, if necessary. Drizzle sauce over rolls; garnish with cilantro and sesame seeds.

Note: To toast sesame seeds, heat in a small, dry skillet over medium heat. Cook, shaking occasionally, until seeds brown, about 3 minutes.

Per serving: 408 calories, 27 grams fat, 5 grams saturated fat, 73 milligrams cholesterol, 9 grams carbohydrate, 36 grams protein, 445 milligrams sodium, 3 grams fiber

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