mint minced chicken

It could be imagined that my arms are sore right now. After all, heavy lifting with a cleaver and filming this episode do take its toll.  Dumbells are now officially replaced by tripods.  Not like I used dumbells anyways.

OK, ramble on, and then let’s stop and watch a video about a little combination I’ve fallen for: mint and chicken.


I suppose I craved these two flavors in one single dish when I was stuck working and couldn’t get “real” Vietnamese.  I’d found fresh mint at the market, and had two thighs sitting in my fridge.  Chicken thighs.  I know I’m working with a cleaver, but this isn’t Twin Peaks.

Anyways, the combination of sesame seed oil, mint, refreshing herbs, and tamari make this chicken full of umami (and keep it gluten-free!) and the slow-cooking releases plenty of juices that make an unusual pieces of meat sing.

mint minced chicken

Serves 2
Prep time 7 minutes
Cook time 40 minutes
Total time 47 minutes
Dietary Corn Free, Dairy Free, Diabetic, Egg Free, Gluten Free, Lactose Free, Nut Free
Meal type Appetizer, Lunch, Main Dish, Starter
Misc Child Friendly, Freezable, Pre-preparable, Serve Hot


  • 2 steaks chicken thigh or breast meat
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil or 1 tbs. dried
  • 1/4 cup cilantro (optional for cilantro haters)
  • 1/2 onion (diced)
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 Small knob fresh garlic (cut into batonnets, optional)
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 3-4 small dried peppers (spicy) or a few pinches cayenne pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tablespoon tamari (or fish sauce or simply salt for soy/fish allergies)
  • sesame seed oil (for cooking)
  • salt (to taste)


Step 1 Using a cleaver, or a kitchen knife you don't mind beating up a bit, repeatedly hit your chicken with the sharp side of the knife until it is minced into 1 cm pieces. Add fresh herbs, and continue the process until desired smallness is achieved.
Step 2 Heat about 1 tbs. sesame seed oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken mixture with a pinch salt. Color on all sides, about 2-3 minutes, remove from heat, leaving the brown bits in the pan. Put pan back on heat, add a little bit more oil, and add onions. Sweat out until transparent. Add garlic, ginger, and dried peppers. Then add remaining herbs.
Step 3 When the bottom of the pan is browned, not burnt, add chicken back into pan and deglaze with tamari. Then add about 1/2 cup water, enough to cover the top of the chicken. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and let simmer for 30 minutes over low heat.
Step 4 Remove dried chilis from sauce before serving. Recommended: serve over a bed of brown rice and vegetables.

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