Crispy Wasabi Chicken

Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 20 min
Serves: 18

Juicy chicken pieces bathed in peppery wasabi, then a sesame-scented crispy coating adds up to irresistible chicken fingers for grown-ups. They’re a fraction of the cost of sushi and a dream for anyone with an seafood allergy. Impressive as appetizers, serve with pickled ginger or tuck a piece of pickled ginger in the centre of the chicken before coating them. You might also want to have a small bowl of soya sauce for dipping.


2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 egg
2 tbsp (30 mL) wasabi powder
2 tbsp (30 mL) wasabi (Japanese horseradish)
3/4 cups (175 mL) panko breadcrumbs
3 tbsp (45 mL) sesame oil
3 tbsp (45 mL) sesame oil
black sesame seeds, (optional garnish)


1 Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Place a baking rack on a foil lined baking sheet.
2 Trim excess fat from chicken. Cut off the thin fillet. If it is large, slice in two. Then slice each breast into appetizer-size pieces, about 1 x 1 1/2 inches (2.5 x 3.8 cm). Counting the fillet, there will be about 8 pieces from each breast. To ensure even baking, gently press down any particularly thick pieces.
3 Place egg in a medium-size bowl. Add wasabi powder and whisk together. ( See note below about wasabi.) Use the back of a spoon to mash wasabi lumps into the egg mixture. It is very important that it is all dissolved. Measure bread crumbs into a small deep bowl. Drizzle in the sesame oil. Work the crumb mixture between your fingers or hands until an even crumb forms.
4 Place all the chicken in the wasabi mixture and stir to evenly coat. Then place one piece in the crumb mixture. Turn and roll to lightly but evenly coat. You may have to gently press crumbs onto some areas of the wasabi coating - but don’t heavily coat. Place on the rack on the baking pan. Repeat with remaining pieces. (If making ahead you can refrigerate, uncovered, for at least an hour.)
5 Bake in the center of the preheated oven until golden and cooked though, from 20 to 30 minutes depending on the size of the pieces. Chicken fingers should reach an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C). Place on a platter and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Do include a little bowl of pickled ginger for nibbling. After plating the chicken pieces, sprinkle with sesame seeds.
6 Make Ahead: Chicken can be coated and set on the baking pan, then refrigerated for at least an hour before baking. Or bake and when cooled to room temperature, refrigerate in a sealed container, separating layers with waxed paper, up to a day. Reheat in a 350°F (175°C) oven until warmed through, about 12 to 15 minutes.