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Grilled Chicken Nori Wraps

(recipe, Bruce Bauer)


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Introduction

Nori are sheets of dried seaweed; you can find them in the Asian section of specialty markets and grocery stores. This dish can be made ahead of time and stored for up to two hours.

Ingredients

    Rice
    1. 3 cups water
    2. 1 tsp. salt
    3. 1½ cups short- to medium-grain rice (such as sushi rice)
    4. Rice-wine vinegar
    Marinade
    1. ¾ cup soy sauce
    2. ⅓ cup dark-brown sugar, packed
    3. 2 Tbsp. fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
    4. 4 large garlic cloves
    Meat and wrappers
    1. 12 boneless skinless chicken thighs (about 3 lbs.; see Note)
    2. Nori wrappers (at least 12)
    3. Sesame oil

    Steps

    1. In a small saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Stir in the salt and rice; bring back to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until the water is absorbed and the rice is tender, about 17 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in a splash of rice-wine vinegar.
    2. Prepare the grill (medium-high heat). Whisk together the soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, and garlic in a large bowl. Add the chicken and toss to coat. Let marinate at room temperature for just 15 minutes; any longer and the chicken can get too salty.
    3. Brush the grill with oil. Grill the chicken until cooked through, about 5 minutes per side. Cut into pieces about 1 inch square.
    4. Lightly brush one side of each nori wrapper with sesame oil. On the oiled side of the wrapper, place a few tablespoons of rice and a few pieces of chicken. Roll up with the chicken and rice inside. Using a serrated knife, slice each roll in half, so that you have two small rolls.

    Note

    If you want to make this dish ahead as an appetizer, secure the rolls with toothpicks. Culinate editor's notes: You can use boneless and skinless chicken breasts for this dish instead of the juicier chicken thighs. Just cube the meat before marinating it, skewer the cubes as for shish kebab, and grill just until done. You can also cut back on the amount of meat, down to 1½ pounds or even 1 pound, and still have plenty of food. Make the full marinade recipe and set at least half aside before marinating the chicken; use it as a dipping sauce for the cooked rolls. Check out Bruce Bauer's article on great rosé wines to pair with grilled dishes.