Over the past couple months I’ve been working hard with a personal trainer to build more lean muscle. She’s also my unofficial nutritionist and has me on a high-protein diet. Among her favorite proteins are almonds, tofu, eggs, and milk, but her most adored food by far is skinless, boneless chicken breast. She asks me every day if it’s “on my menu” and is adamant I have chicken for dinner as much as possible. Chicken isn’t the most common meat found in Korean recipes. Pork and beef are much more popular, but unfortunately not as healthy as lean chicken, at least in regards to my current goals. So I’ve had to get creative with what’s available to me locally that I can afford. (Groceries in Seoul are among the most expensive I’ve ever seen, including when I lived in New York City.)
I have become the “Bubba” of chicken. You remember the lovable character of Bubba from the classic movie Forrest Gump, and his iconic shrimp scene, right? “Shrimp is the fruit of the sea.” As a reminder, or in case you’ve been living under a rock since 1994, here is the famous clip.
“Anyway, like I was saying…” Chicken is to me what shrimp was to Bubba. I can boil it, sauté it, fry it, marinate it, BBQ it…
Here are some of my favorite chicken dinners.
|My trainer's personal recipe combines equal parts ketchup and oyster sauce for this simple and saucy dish.|
Chicken Stir Fry
|A touch of sesame oil and soy sauce on top of brown rice.|
|Just pan-fried chicken strips with homemade BBQ sauce (ketchup and oyster sauce).|
|A little olive oil and curry powder go a long way.|
|Some homemade hummus, fresh tomatoes and cucumbers, and lettuce replacing one slice of bread makes the best summer sandwich.|
|Black beans add extra protein and with brown rice as the carb, skip the tortilla and opt for lettuce (also makes it gluten-free!).|
|A chicken twist on the classic Hawaiian pizza. My homemade BBQ sauce combined with pineapple makes this a sweet and savory meal.|
|These tacos are so simple: what you see is what you get. A deliciously spicy salsa is what drove these home.|
|The red cabbage is what makes this colorful dish pop. I added some Korean red pepper paste (similar to Sriracha) to give it some zest.|
|This Thai peanut sauce recipe is so easy (shout out to Kelly): creamy peanut butter, Hoisin sauce, and Sriracha (ratios in descending order respectively, play with the measurements, add water for a smooth consistency).|