Lemon-Soy-Sesame Marinade

Lemon-Soy-Sesame Chicken & Kale

My plan for Marinated Grilled Vegetables was cancelled due to inclement weather (rain and hail throughout the day), forcing me to punt.  I had some leftover quinoa and baked sweet potato that needed to be eaten, a bunch of kale, and some chicken tenders.  So the marinade intended for grilled veggies became the basis for sautéed kale and marinated chicken tenders.

For years I’ve used this Lemon-Soy Marinade with vegetables (mushrooms, squash, peppers, red onion, eggplant slices . . . ), as well as tofu and tempeh; I found it originally in Quick Vegetarian Pleasures by Jeanne Lemlin (her version adds scallions and uses rather odd amounts of some of the ingredients, but my proportions are similar to hers).  Only tonight did it occur to me to use it on chicken!  Absolutely perfect combination of the tang of lemon, the salty tenderizing of tamari, and the nuttiness of sesame.

Lemon-Soy-Sesame Marinade

Makes about 1-1/4 cups, enough for several dishes, so divide in half if only using for one dish.

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup wheat-free tamari soy sauce
  • 3 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons sesame oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons grated ginger (or 1/2 tsp dry ground ginger)

Combine all ingredients in a bowl or jar and whisk or shake together.

Lemon-Soy-Sesame Chicken

Cut chicken tenders into bite-sized pieces.  Place in bowl and drizzle some of the marinade over— just enough to marinate all the pieces.  Stir to coat.  Let sit for at least 30 minutes (refrigerate if marinating longer than 30 minutes).  Heat skillet over high heat.  Toss in the chicken and its marinade.  Stir to cook until done, about 5-8 minutes.


Lemon-Soy-Sesame Kale

Remove one bunch kale from its stems (save the stems for veggie stock).  (Tearing with your hands is the easiest, but you can also run a knife down each side of the stem.  Wash the leaves and tear into bite-sized pieces.  Drain.  Heat a skillet over high heat.  Coat lightly with vegetable oil.  Add kale (you may have to do this in bunches, it will wilt down quickly).  Cover and cook until softened.  Sprinkle on about 1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes (the kind folks use on pizza).  When the kale is almost done (from 10-20 minutes depending on how you like it) drizzle over a couple tablespoons of the Lemon-Soy-Sesame marinade.  Keep cooking until kale is done and most of the marinade has been absorbed or evaporated.


Update June 15, 2012

Today I doctored the remaining marinade and used it with some vegetables.  To what was left after making the above, I added 2 Tablespoons tamari, 2 Tablespoons oil, 2 Tablespoons rice wine, a dash of sesame oil, 1 Tablespoon molasses (honey would work too), and another clove of garlic.  After marinating a few hours my veggies looked like this before going into the 375°F oven (I gave up on the grilling):

After 40 minutes in the oven:


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