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Steamed Rolled Chicken with Soy Sesame Sauce
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
35 mins

Chicken fillets are rolled with shallots (scallions) inside, then steamed. Steamed Rolled Chicken is made in a very simple way but the soy-flavoured sesame sauce makes this dish so delicious.

The instructions are long but that's because I try to explain in detail how to roll the chicken. The actual time to roll it is very quick.

Recipe Type: Main
Cuisine: Japanese
Serves: 2 - 3 Servings
Author: Yumiko
Ingredients (tbsp=15ml, cup=250ml)
  • 2 x boneless whole chicken leg/chicken quarter (note 1)
  • 3-4 shallots (scallions), roots removed (note 2)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 6 x 20cm (8") long cooking strings
  • 2 sheets of baking paper cut to 30cm (1ft) long
Sesame Sauce
  • 2 tbsp white sesame
  • 2 tbsp each soy sauce , rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp dashi stock
  • 1 tbsp sake
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 small fresh chilli , finely chopped
  • ½ tsp sesame oil
Serving (optional)
  • Chilli threads (note 7)
  • Shredded vegetable salad
Make Chicken Rolls (repeat for each chicken fillet)
  1. Place a chicken fillet on a cutting board, skin side down, facing the drumstick portion away from you.
  2. Where the meat is thicker than the other parts of the fillet, cut horizontally outward without completely cutting it off so that the top part of the meat opens like butterflying (note 3). This will give the fillet an even thickness.

  3. Sprinkle a pinch of salt and pepper over the fillet.
  4. Cut the shallots to the width of the chicken fillet and place about 4 stems of shallots (note 2) horizontally, leaving a 2-3cm (1”) gap between the shallots and the edge of the fillet close to you.
  5. Starting from your end, start rolling the fillet away from you, ensuring that shallots are firmly wrapped with the chicken.
  6. Tie the rolled chicken with 3 cooking strings starting from centre, then close to the both ends. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper all around the roll.
  7. Wrap the tied chicken roll with baking paper and twist both ends like a candy wrapping.

Steaming Chicken
  1. Place two chicken rolls wrapped in baking paper on a plate.
  2. Heat a steamer over high heat. When steam starts rising, place the plate with chicken rolls in the steamer.

  3. Place a lid on and steam for 15 minutes on high, then turn off the heat.
  1. Unwrap the baking paper on the plate that was used to steam the chicken because there will be a bit of juice accumulated inside the baking paper.

  2. Transfer the chicken rolls to a cutting board and remove the cooking strings.
  3. If the edge of the chicken roll is very pointy, you may want to trim the edge so that the roll can stay up nicely and look neat when cut (note 4). Cut each chicken roll into about 2.5cm (1") thick discs (6-7 discs in my case).

  4. Pile chicken roll discs in the centre of the large plate with strands of chilli threads on the top if using. Serve with salad (note 5) and Soy Sesame Sauce.

Soy Sesame Sauce
  1. Put the sesame seeds and sugar in a mortar and pestle and grind them until about half of them are powdery but there are still some whole seeds left (note 6).

  2. Add the remaining Soy Sesame Sauce ingredients to the mortar and pestle and mix well.

  3. Transfer to a serving jug.

Recipe Notes

1. It’s called Chicken Meryland fillet in Australia but in the US, it is a quarter chicken, i.e. whole chicken leg with thigh and drumstick together.

I used fillets of about 200g (0.4lb) each with skin on as they give the dish more flavour but fillets without skin is OK too. If the boneless whole chicken leg comes with a tip of the leg, cut the tip off.

If you can only find a leg with the bone in, you need to remove the bones, I am afraid. Check out one of the YouTube demonstrations of How to Debone a Chicken Leg and Thigh

2. The number of shallots required depends on the thickness of the stem and the length of the shallots. It also depends on the size of the chicken fillet. My fillet was 18cm (7”) wide 13cm (5⅛”) long. What you need is the stems cut into the width of the fillet and loosely bundled. A few stems are about 2.5cm (1”) in diameter. I used the green part of the shallots, too.

3. When butterflying the thick part of the meat, try to cut to the direction where it will make the shape of the entire fillet close to square.

4. I served the rolls with cut side up so I had to have a flat surface on the rolls. But this is not necessary unless you wish to make them look pretty.

5. Salad: The salad in the photos is a mixture of finely julienned 200g (0.4lb) daikon (white radish), 60g (2.1oz) carrot, 60g (2.1oz) cucumber and 40g (1.4oz) radish. I used a julienne slicer for this.

Cut daikon and carrot into 3-4cm (1½”) discs, then slice /julienne them in the root direction. For cucumber, cut the tip diagonally so that the surface of the cut is about the same length as the daikon/carrot. Then slice/julienne. I used 3 radishes. They were small so the julienned pieces were much shorter.

Chill the julienned vegetables in a bowl with iced water to make them crisp. Drain and remove water as much as possible before serving.

6. I decided not to grate the sesame seeds completely so that you can see the seeds when poured over the chicken and also get a bit of crunchy texture in the dish.

To obtain a good sesame fragrance, you will need to grate at least half of the seeds very finely. If you grate all the seeds, you will probably get stronger sesame flavour but you lose crunchiness in the dish.

7. Chilli thread, also called angel hair chilli, is a traditional Korean garnish made with chilli peppers. I bought them at a Korean grocery store but I am sure you can find it in other shops which sell good ranges of herbs.Step-by-step photo of Steamed Rolled Chicken.