Chicken Lollipops

chicken lollipop

Today’s dish is so simple that it’s almost ridiculous to post about it. It’s just plain fried chicken, after all. But I know some people still struggle frying chicken – too damp, still raw on the inside, not crispy enough, too crispy. I know because those are all my mother in-law’s woes. *snicker*

By the way, this recipe branched out from last week’s Chicken Wings with Shiitake – the part that was connected to the wings. These are tiny little chicken parts that look like drumsticks but not. Pristine calls them, “Chicken Lollipops” so I’m going to call it that too. I’m going to explain it in 5 simple steps. After this, I hope nothing goes wrong with all the fried chicken that will come into your life.

UPDATED: Reader Wendy has pointed out that the chicken part I used is called a drumette. Thanks, Wendy!


  • Chicken (any cut really…but I used the small part near the wings from last week’s Chicken Wings with Shiitake)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • salt
  • pepper
  • garlic, grated
  • cornstarch
  • oil for frying


1. MARINATE – Rub the grated garlic on the chicken parts and marinate it with juice of lemon, salt and pepper. Let it sit for at least 30 minutes but if you are antsy, 15 minutes will do. If you’re got plenty of time on the other hand, you can marinate it overnight. It’ll be more yummy.


Here’s where I share what I do to avoid that “Ewww, it’s still raw inside!” reaction to consumers of my kitchen stunts:

Do not fry raw chicken.

Five very important words of kitchen wisdom.

So what do I do? Pour the bowl of marinated chicken INCLUDING the marinate sauce/juice whatever you call it to the pan and let it SIMMER. Cover it if you must. If you’ve got very little juice, add a little water.

chicken lollipop - simmer

With 10 little chicken lollipops, I let it simmer for 10 minutes, covered, constantly checking on the liquid.

3.  COAT – Take the chicken out of the pan and coat them with cornstarch.

chicken lollipop - coat

4. FRY – Now on to the last part – nothing can really go wrong now (unless you burn the chicken, which I hope you won’t!) because the chicken is already thoroughly cooked. You only need to fry it to give that extra ooomph crispy feeling of a fried chicken so let’s go!

Heat oil and deep fry the coated chicken.

chicken lollipop - fry

5. SERVE – When it turns golden brown, remove from oil and place in plate with kitchen towel to drip off excess oil.


You can use real chicken drumstick and other chicken parts, you just need to up the marinate sauce, oil and do not forget to SIMMER before frying.

Simple Teriyaki Chicken

chicken teriyaki

When I wrote that Pristine and M are bringing for lunch most of the dishes I feature every Sunday on this blog, one of my blog friend, Maribeth from Dackel Princess said “I forget that no everywhere do people pack sandwiches for their lunches. Or just salads!”

Yes, my ‘thin’ folks at home have big lunches, mostly made up of rice, a main dish, some side veggies and pieces of fruits. Today’s recipe is one of their favorites. I can’t believe I’ve featured Salmon Teriyaki and Chicken Lemon Teriyaki but not the plain and simple, basic Chicken Teriyaki, without lemons. I thought I had to do this because eventhough the lemon teriyaki version is nice, sometimes a lemon-free life is also good.


  • 400 grams chicken thighs (boneless, skin on)
  • Shiitake mushrooms (as much as you like)
  • spring onions or leeks (as much as you like too)
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil (or any oil  you have)

Teriyaki sauce:

* Mix together in a small bowl and set aside.


1. Cut the chicken pieces into squares – not into strips. You can cut them into strips after cooking.

Note: Place small cuts on thick areas so it will cook through faster.

2. Sprinkle some rice wine on the chicken.

3. Cut up vegetables: shiitake mushrooms and spring onions or leeks.

Note: Using a different kind of mushroom is ok I guess but shiitake mushrooms have that very distinct Asian taste and very appropriate for this. The spring onions/leeks adds a rich aroma.

4. Heat sesame oil in a pan and pan fry the chicken pieces, placing them one by one, skin down first.

5. When the skin has turned brown, fry the other side and move to one part of the fry pan to make way for the onions and mushroom.

6. Add the mushrooms and spring onions until mushrooms become translucent.

7. Pour 3/4 of the mixed teriyaki sauce and let it simmer.

8. Add 1 tsp of cornstarch to the remaining 1/4 teriyaki sauce mixture and mix well.

9. Pour the remaining teriyaki sauce and mix well until all the chicken are completely glazed. You can turn the chicken so the other side won’t shout, “unfair!”

10. Serve on top of rice or in separate plate, like this.

chicken teriyaki

Pristine like this so much that even if she brings some of this for lunch later at school, she would request to eat it for breakfast too, like the photo on the top of this post, along with wakame miso soup. She does have a heavy breakfast!

Lemon Teriyaki Chicken

Today’s nom nom can’t get any easier. But just because this is “easy” by no means it isn’t delicious or won’t impress even your native Japanese guests. This is one dish that will help erase that fear of Japanese cooking. I promise.

lemon teriyaki - ingredients

See? That is all we need. Tissue on the background not included – only for wiping your lips later!


  • 300 g chicken thighs with skin, cut into bite size pieces
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp Japanese cooking rice wine (not on photo)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • oil (I used olive oil)
  • 4 Tbsp Kikkoman Soy Sauce*
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice * (I used 1/2 medium sized lemon)
  • 2 Tbsp sugar *

Combine ingredients marked with * in a separate small bowl.


1. Marinate the chicken pieces with a dash of rice wine, salt and pepper. Se aside for at least 10 minutes.

Note: Don’t add too much salt as this recipe has soy sauce which is already salty. Also, it is ok to leave the chicken marinated longer than 10 minutes. No need to fret here. I do not want to be the cause of heart attacks.

2. Coat the marinated chicken pieces with cornstarch.

Now, this is another stress occuring task but there’s a get around to it!

  • Get a plastic bag and place the cornstarch there. Drain the chicken pieces and put them in the plastic bag too. Right, where the cornstarch is.

lemon teriyaki - cornstarch in a bag

  • Close the bag and gently squeeze in the chicken pieces with your hand from outside the plastic so they are evenly coated with the cornstarch.

lemon teriyaki - coating with cornstarch undirty

3. Place oil in shallow fry pan. When it’s hot, bring the fire to medium and fry the chicken pieces.

lemon teriyaki - fry chicken

4. Continue frying until all the chicken sides have turned brown. The skin should be crisp for that added ooomph factor later.

lemon teriyaki - brown chicken

5. When the chicken has been thoroughly fried all over, remove excess oil.

6. Pour the sauce on the browned chicken and mix well. Note that there isn’t much oil left just before I pour the sauce!

lemon teriyaki - add sauce

7. Serve with lettuce, cucumber or any side vegetable you like. My husband eats them off from the frying pan.

lemon teriyaki - dekiagari

The tangy taste of lemon makes a delicious twist for this simple teriyaki recipe. It’s even a good variation for the usual fried chicken. Good served with rice, by itself, to place in lunch boxes or accompanied with beer – if you’re 21 years or older!

Dozo, meshi agare (Enjoy your meal)!


UAE/Dubai residents can get various Japanese ingredients from the Japanese store, Dean’s Fujiya located near Lamcy Plaza in Bur Dubai. Telephone: 04-337-0401.

Oyakodon – Japanese chicken and egg rice bowl

I have fond memories of this simple Japanese dish. I first had it while I was working part time in 1998-1999 in a traditional Japanese restaurant near the university I went to in Kanagawa, Japan. The chef would make this for me after my work shift at 11 pm (I worked after school from 6pm to 11pm on some days) and I would sit down with him and his whole family happily chattering away the time until it’s midnight and I have to bike ride back to my school dormitory.

Those were the days when I can eat late at night and not get fat. Gone are those days.

“Oyakodon” is actually a funny name – derived from two words, “Oyako” and “don”. Don comes from “donburi” which means Japanese rice dishes, those dishes that are served with rice in one bowl. “Oyako” on the other hand is derived from two words too, “Oya” (parent) and “Ko” (child). So translating “Oyakodon” in English sounds horrific – like, straight from a murder story.

Think, parent and child with rice. What!?

But if you see the ingredients you’ll find out why it’s called that.

Oyakodon ingredients


  • 200 g chicken, cut into bite size pieces (I used thighs with skin)
  • 2 eggs, beaten lightly with a fork
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 tsp oil (I use Kadoya brand Pure Sesame Oil)
  • 1/2 tsp dashi no moto (Hon Dashi Granules) *
  • 4 tsp Kikkoman Soy Sauce*
  • 4 tsp rice cooking wine *
  • 3 tsp Mirin*
  • 2 tsp sugar *
  • 3/4 cup water *

Mix all ingredients marked * in one small bowl.


1. Heat sesame oil in fry pan and fry the chiken pieces with skin down.

  fry chicken pieces

Actually, this is my improvised version. You don’t need to fry the chicken but I like the brownish chicken rather than the pale one in my donburi. I will post the original version of the traditional oyakodon next time.

2. When the skin side is already brown, turn on the other sides until they get that delicious brown color, but not fried all the way.

3. When the chicken pieces have turned brown all over, set them aside in one corner of the fry pan and add the onions and fry them until they turn translucent in color.

fry onions

4. Add the liquid ingredients (*) and simmer for about 3 minutes. Sorry I didn’t count but just enough to make the chicken tender.

Oyakodon - add sauce simmer

5. Bring the heat to medium and slowly add the beaten eggs. Let it simmer uncovered for 1 minute .

Oyakodon - add egg

6. Turn off the heat and cover the frying pan.

If you want to get the egg well done and not too runny, you can increase the cooking time in low fire. Do not let it boil or else the egg will disintegrate and will not look appetizing at all.

7. Scoop warm rice on a bowl and pour the oyakodon on top. Garnish with either mitsuba (Japanese wild parsley) or cut nori seaweeds. Serve hot!

Oyakodon - finished!

Wasn’t that easy or what? Cooking time is only about 10 minutes. If you don’t have chicken pieces, you can still use the same recipe and follow everything as is (except of course the chicken part) and you got yourself another recipe, called “Tamagodon” (tamago = egg).

Dozo, meshi agare! (Enjoy your meal!)


UAE/Dubai residents can get various Japanese ingredients from the Japanese store, Dean’s Fujiya located near Lamcy Plaza in Bur Dubai. Telephone: 04-337-0401.