This marinated coconut chicken with pak choy is the perfect light lunch for any weekday. Not much work and full of flavor. And thanks to the preceding marinade, the chicken meat is also super tender. It falls apart, so to speak, while looking at it. We’ll explain how that works later in this article. But let’s start with the recipe.
How to make marinated coconut chicken with pak choy
This marinated coconut chicken with pak choy is a real midweek lunch that is ready in no time. Moreover, it tastes so good that you immediately want to scoop up a second plate.
Marinating the chicken
Usually, we start by cutting the vegetables. But in this case, we’re doing it differently. We start by finely chopping and marinating the chicken breasts.
Normally, I take chicken breasts, which I then cut into bite-sized pieces. If you want to save an extra minute, you can of course also buy pre-cut chicken. It becomes even more flavorful and juicier if you take chicken thighs. These contain more fat and are therefore even more flavorful. The disadvantage is that you still have to remove them from the bone.
Then we put the chicken cubes in a large bowl and marinate them with the Asian sauces: soy sauce, teriyaki, and oyster sauce. Finally, we squeeze half a lime over it. Now stir everything together well so that the marinade is evenly distributed over the pieces of chicken. Then we set the chicken aside.
Chopping the vegetables
While the chicken is marinating, we finely chop the vegetables.
We lightly crush the garlic cloves with the blade of a kitchen knife. Then you can easily remove the skin. Depending on the size, we halve the cloves and then cut them into small pieces.
A secret flavor enhancer in this chicken wok with coconut and pak choy is fresh ginger. Fresh ginger tastes quite sharp. But cooked or baked, it gives a delicious taste to any (Asian) dish. However, we must first remove the skin. It has a bitter taste and we don’t want to take that with us. Once we have removed the skin, we cut the remaining yellow ginger root into small pieces or sticks.
We will use the bottom white part and the top green part of the spring onions separately. But first, we cut off the bottom root and any no longer fresh green parts. Then we cut the white and green parts separately into medium-sized rings. A tip: cut diagonally, it looks a bit nicer.
And then there’s the pak choy, of course. We cut off the bottom part. Then we cut the pak choy lengthwise into four quarters. Then we cut it into fine pieces. The green leaves cook away quickly, a bit like spinach. However, the bottom white parts stay nice and crispy. That’s why they only need to be cooked briefly in the dish: the green leaves are ready so quickly, and the white is at its best when it’s still crispy.
Cooking the rice
To cook rice, you should always use a ratio of one to two in water. So if you want to cook 300 grams (app. 10 oz.) of rice, you should use 600 ml (app. 20 floz.) of water. First, bring this water to a boil. Then add the rice and let it simmer on low heat for ten minutes. The rice will then be cooked, and the water will have evaporated. If the rest is not yet ready, you can simply set it aside.
Stir-frying the marinated coconut chicken with pak choy
While the rice is cooking, we can continue with the main course. For this, we first heat a tablespoon of oil in a wok pan. Then we add the ginger and garlic. When they start to release their aromas, we can also add the white parts of the spring onions.
After another minute, we add the marinated chicken cubes to the wok. We now fry them for a few minutes until they are browned on all sides.
Then we add the finely chopped pak choy to the wok. Stir everything together well. And finally, we also add the coconut milk to the wok pan. Now we bring everything back to a boil and let the flavors integrate. After a few minutes, our chicken wok with coconut juice and pak choy is ready. The chicken cubes are buttery soft, the green pak choy leaves are cooked in no time, and the white pak choy stem remains nice and crispy.
Serving the marinated coconut chicken with pak choy
Now all components need to be nicely placed on a plate and served. This is often still the biggest challenge. Here I have chosen to take deep plates and fill one half with rice and the other with the chicken wok with pak choy.
And finally there is of course the finishing touch. We still have the green parts of the spring onions that we put aside. We will now sprinkle the rice and the chicken wok with them. And if you have roasted sesame seeds at home, you can also sprinkle some over the plates.
Why marinating the chicken?
By marinating the chicken, we kill two birds with one stone. By marinating the meat, the enzymes break down. This may not mean much to you, but the tangible result is that the meat becomes much more tender. Cooking and baking can quickly make the meat tough. And this can be avoided by marinating it beforehand.
Another advantage is that our chicken cubes get much more flavor. Depending on the marinade you use, you can go in different directions.
Commonly used marinades include Greek yogurt (with tandoori or curry), pesto, ketjap, and of course soy and teriyaki sauce.
Read more about marinating chicken in the following articles:
- How to marinate chicken (Eating well).
- The ultimate guide to chicken marinade (Finedining lovers).
- 6 simple chicken marinades (Downshiftology).
Please find some more recipes with marinated chicken:
What is pak choy?
You may find different variations for the spelling of pak choy. In UK and South Africa you may find more often pak choi or pak choy. In America and Australia you might rather find bok choy or pok choi. But the vegetable stays of course the same.
It is a vegetable of Asian origin that is related to Chinese cabbage. It has been cultivated in China for over 5000 year. The vegetable has green leaves and white stems, which provide two different taste experiences. The green leaves cook quickly, a bit like spinach. While the white stems are crunchy and slightly spicy, like pepper. This makes paksoi a typical vegetable for stir-frying. You should cook the stems for a short time to keep them crunchy.
Read more about pak choy:
- Bok choy (Wikipedia).
- Bok choy: nutrition, benefits, risks and how to eat it (Healthline).
- Pak choy: benefits of cooking with cabbage (Very well health).
If you speak Dutch, you can find the Dutch version of this recipe on gerechtenweb.blog.