Here, ground chicken is braised in a fast-reducing, intensely seasoned broth; the result is a rich-colored, crumbly meat of varied uses. A popular lunchbox food in Japan, fine-crumb chicken is spread over cooked white rice and garnished with bright yellow strips of thin omelet and some greenery—a few blanched snow peas or string beans, perhaps.
There are many exciting ways to adapt this simple yet flavorful dish to a Western-style meal, too. Try stuffing tomatoes with it, or rolling some up in crisp lettuce leaves. Fine-crumb chicken makes tasty open-faced sandwiches, and it is also very nice to use as a filling for a fluffy omelet.
In a skillet, combine all the ingredients and stir using several chopsticks (or a fork or two) to break up any large clusters of meat, and to distribute the seasonings evenly.
Cook the meat and seasonings, uncovered, over medium heat, stirring constantly, for about 5 minutes. Most of the liquid should be reduced by this point, and the meat should be rich-colored and crumbly in appearance. Shaking the skillet with one hand and stirring with the other, cook the fine-crumb chicken over high heat for a minute or two more or until it is dry and all the liquid has been reduced.
Serve warm or at room temperature. Do not chill it, though, before serving as this will change the texture in an unattractive way. Any leftover chicken may be refrigerated for up to 3 days, but be sure to reheat it slightly before using.
© 1986 Elizabeth Andoh. All rights reserved.