Marinated Chicken Tenderloin is not a traditional Japanese dish. The flavour does not come from typical Japanese ingredients either, but it is not oily, and the flavouring is light, which makes it a Japanese-style dish.
I like this dish because the chicken tenderloin is very juicy and tasty (and healthy!). Marinated Chicken Tenderloin is a handy food. You can nibble it on its own, put it in your sandwiches or as an addition to your salad. The marinade does not have a strong flavour and it is not very oily either. The saltiness is just right to have it on its own.
Chicken Tenderloin is a great source of protein, particularly for elders like me and for those who need to watch their cholesterol and fat intake. Compared to many cuts of the beef and pork , and even chicken, the tenderloin cut of chicken contains a much lower amount of fat.
But the flipside of this fact is that the chicken tenderloin tends to be dry when cooked. Today’s recipe overcomes this problem.
What’s in my Marinated chicken Tenderloin
The chicken tenderloin is cooked and marinated in a mixture of oil and flavoured broth.
I usually make 4-5 chicken tenderloins (about 300g / 0.7lb) at once because they just fit snuggly in my small shallow pot. But you can adjust the quantity as you wish.
- 4-5 chicken tenderloin – tendon (tough white tissue) removed
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- 120ml / 4.1oz water
- 60ml / 4 tbsp vegetable oil (or olive oil if you prefer)
- ¾ teaspoon chicken or vegetable stock/bouillon powder
- A couple of bay leaves (fresh or dried)
I used VEGETA vegetable stock powder today as I wanted the chicken flavour to come from the meat rather than from the broth.
The tendon attached to the chicken tenderloin is stringy and tough, so you want to remove it from each tenderloin. The next section explains how I remove the tendon.
How to remove the tendon from a Chicken Tenderloin
- Place the tenderloin on a cutting board with the tendon side up.
- Make shallow incisions along both sides of the tendon at an angle so that the two incisions make a V cut, meeting beneath the tendon.
- Turn the tenderloin over with the tendon end to the left (for a right hander).
- Hold the end of the tendon with your left fingers. If the tendon is slippery, use a paper towel to secure it.
- Place a knife on the tendon where the meat starts, perpendicular to the direction of the tendon.
- Pull the tendon to the left while pushing the knife to the right. The tendon should come out.
How to make Marinated chicken Tenderloin
The whole chicken tenderloins are semi-cooked in the broth, then left in it to cook through with the residual heat. At the same time, they are getting marinated. It is very simple and the active time takes less than 15 minutes.
- After rubbing sugar and salt into the flesh of the chicken tenderloin pieces, leave them for 10 minutes.
- Pat dry the chicken tenderloin and place them in a small pan/pot that can snuggly fit the tenderloins.
- Add water, oil, stock powder, pepper and bay leaves. Bring it to a boil.
- When the majority of each chicken pieces turns white in colour, turn them over and cook for 15 seconds or so. Remove the scum as it comes up.
- Turn the heat off and leave it with the lid on so that the chicken will continue to cook.
- When it cools down, transfer the chicken and the marinade to an airtight container and store in the fridge.
Rubbing the sugar into the chicken flesh tenderises the chicken.
In step 5, it is important to turn the heat off as soon as the surface of the chicken pieces become white. Letting the chicken cook through with the residual heat is the key to the juicy and tender meat. If you let it boil too long, the chicken will become a tougher and drier
You can eat it once the chicken has cooled down. I think this is the time when the chicken is the softest and juiciest. You can keep the Marinated Chicken Tenderloin for about 5 days in the fridge.
Marinated Chicken Tenderloin is not a traditional Japanese dish and the flavour does nt come from typical Japanese ingredients either. But it is not oily, and the flavouring is light, which makes it a Japanese-style dish.
The chicken tenderloin is very juicy and tasty. You can have it by itself as a nibble, in your sandwiches or added to your salad.
Don't forget to see the section 'MEAL IDEAS' below the recipe card! It gives you a list of dishes that I have already posted and this recipe that can make up a complete meal. I hope it is of help to you.
- 4-5 chicken tenderloins (note 1)
- ½ tbsp salt
- ½ tbsp sugar
- 120ml / 4.1oz water
- 60ml / 4 tbsp vegetable oil (note 2)
- ¾ tsp chicken or vegetable stock/bouillon powder (or crumble stock/bouillon cube)
- A pinch of pepper
Remove the white stringy tendon from each chicken tenderloin. Refer to the section, HOW TO REMOVE THE TENDON FROM A CHICKEN TENDERLOIN in the post.
Rub sugar into the chicken tenderloin pieces, then rub in the salt. Leave them for 10 minutes.
Pat dry the chicken to remove moisture and place them in a small saucepan/frying pan which can snuggly fit the tenderloins without overlapping (note 3).
Mix the Marinade ingredients in a jar/bowl and pour it into the pan. If the liquid does not cover the chicken, add oil so that the chicken is submerged in the liquid. Bring it to a boil.
When the colour of the bottom and sides of the chicken pieces change to whitish colour, turn them over and cook for 15 seconds or so. Remove the scum as it comes up.
Turn the heat off and leave it on the cooktop with a lid on (note 4).
When it cools down, transfer the chicken and the liquid to an airtight container. Store in the fridge (note 5).
To serve, slice into bite size pieces to nibble (this is my favourite), or slice thinly, diagonally to use like a ham on sandwiches/salads.
1. I used 4 tenderloins that weighed about 300g / 0.7lb.
2. You can use olive oil if you prefer, although the olive flavour might stand out when marinated.
3. I used a 18cm / 7” saucepan with a lid.
4. There is no need to cook the chicken pieces through as the chicken will continue to cook with the residual heat.
5. The chicken pieces are the softest before putting in the fridge. They keep about 5 days in the fridge.
6. Nutrition per serving. It is assumed that 10% of the marinade is absorbed into the chicken.
serving: 84g calories: 110kcal fat: 3.5g (5%) saturated fat: 0.6g (3%) trans fat: 0.0g polyunsaturated fat: 1.2g monounsaturated fat: 0.9g cholesterol: 56mg (19%) sodium: 907mg (38%) potassium: 253mg (7%) carbohydrates: 1.6g (1%) dietary fibre: 0g (0%) sugar: 1.6g protein: 17g vitamin a: 1% vitamin c: 0% calcium: 0.4% iron: 1.7%