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Sesame-Nori Popcorn Chicken

Sesame-Nori Popcorn Chicken


I have two people to thank for this chicken.

The first is Christiane over at Taking On Magazines.  She cooks her way through a selection of food magazines each month, giving you the lowdown on the winning (and losing) recipes from each.  On a recent cruise through her site, I found a recipe for Easier Fried Chicken from The Best of America’s Test Kitchen 2012, which led to an immediate need to make it for dinner that night.  I agree with Christiane, who isn’t entirely sure it’s any easier than previous batches of fried chicken she’s made, but it is a keeper.

A couple of days later, a Pender neighbour, Cupid (a native Hawaiian), told me about his daughter’s recent craving for Furikake Chicken while we were walking the dogs together at the park.  After he reminded me that furikake is a dry Japanese condiment, usually sprinkled on rice, that consists of a mixture of dried and ground fish, sesame seeds, chopped seaweed, sugar, salt, and msg, I got an idea as Koda and I walked home.  Which led to an immediate need to make it for dinner that night.

After all, the Colonel’s had his blend of 11 herbs and spices for over a century.  I’d kind of like to have my own.


One problem:  I don’t keep furikake at home…and although we do have one market that might carry it here on Pender, the chances were too slim to convince me to brave some nasty rain on my scooter.

So I made my own.  And I’m not going to keep it a secret like that selfish Colonel.


(Click on the recipe title below for a printable version of the recipe.)

: Sesame-Nori Popcorn Chicken

: A sort of Pan-Asian Fried Chicken that is delicious on its own or with peanut sauce for dipping. Served with edamame, it’s a finger food delight.

  • Boneless/Skinless Chicken Breasts – 4
  • Buttermilk – 1 Cup
  • Sriracha – 1 Tble
  • Soy Sauce – 1 Tble
  • Nori (Sushi Seaweed) – 1 Sheet
  • Sesame Seeds – 2 Tble
  • Kosher/Coarse Salt – 1 tsp
  • Chili Flakes – ½ tsp
  • Vegetable Oil for frying
  • All-purpose Flour – 1 Cup
  • Cayenne – ½-1 tsp
  • Salt – 1 tsp
  1. Trim the chicken of fat and cut into 1-2” cubes. Combine the buttermilk, sriracha and soy sauce in a bowl and add the chicken. Cover and refrigerate for 1-24 hours.
  2. Grind the sheet of nori into a powder in a coffee grinder, then mix with the sesame seeds, kosher/coarse salt and chili flakes.  Set aside.
  3. Heat 2” of oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat.
  4. Mix together the flour, cayenne, salt and 2 Tble of the buttermilk marinade on a large plate. Mix well with your fingertips until everything is combined.
  5. Drain the chicken and shake to remove the excess marinade, then toss in the flour mixture to coat. When the oil is at 375° F, fry the chicken in batches until golden. Drain on paper towelling and sprinkle with the sesame-nori mix while still hot.
  6. Serve with rice, edamame and peanut sauce, if desired.


  • Chicken thighs are also delicious. You will need 8-10 thighs to serve 4 people
  • Gomashiio, a mix of sesame seeds and sea salt available at Japanese Markets, can be substituted in place of the sesame seeds and kosher/coarse salt

Preparation time: 1 hour(s)

Cooking time: 10 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4

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