This method of cooking the chicken in a marinade made from store-cupboard staples results in tender, savoury meat and glorious sticky bits. There is no need to marinate the meat before cooking as the liquid steams the meat in the pan and infuses it with its rich salty and sweet flavour. If you fancy this recipe as a lunchbox filler, swap the baby leaves for finely shredded red cabbage, which will hold the dressing better.


Serves 4 

  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp rice vinegar
  • Juice of half a lime
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp Chinese five-spice
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 8 skinless chicken thigh fillets
  • 2 carrots, julienned or ribboned with a peeler
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and thinly sliced lengthways
  • 2 handfuls of baby leaves
  • 4 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • Bunch of coriander, leaves picked
  • A few mint sprigs, leaves picked

For the dressing

  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice with vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds, toasted, plus extra to scatter


  1. Mix the soy sauce, rice vinegar, lime juice, honey, five-spice and garlic together in a bowl, add the chicken and stir to combine.
  2. Put a large frying pan over a medium heat and add the chicken with all the marinade. Cook for about 12 minutes, or until the marinade has become sticky and coats the chicken. Turn
  3. regularly to ensure the chicken is cooked all the way through.
  4. While the chicken cooks, mix all the ingredients for the dressing together in a small bowl or by shaking in a jam jar with a tight fitting lid.
  5. Mix the carrot and chilli with the baby leaves, spring onions, coriander and mint and toss with the dressing. Slice the chicken and arrange it on top of the salad. Serve scattered with extra sesame seeds.