Crispy chicken with ponzu, asparagus and baby beans

Bill Granger pairs golden, crisp chicken with ponzu, a tart and savoury Japanese condiment, in this summery dish
By Bill Granger
Crispy chicken with ponzu, asparagus and baby beans
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: easy


For the ponzu sauce

  • 3 tbsp lime juice
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 125 ml mirin
  • 80 ml light soy sauce

For the chicken

  • 8 fillets chicken thighs, with skin
  • 2 tbsp grapeseed oil

For the salad

  • 2 bunches asparagus, woody ends removed
  • 250 g small green beans, topped but not tailed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 long red chilli, seeds removed, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce

To serve

  • 1 handfuls watercress
  • 8 spring onions, finely sliced
  • 300-350 g jasmine rice, cooked according to packet instructions
  • 1-2 tsp English mustard or wasabi


1. For the ponzu sauce: place the lime juice, lemon juice and mirin in a small non-reactive saucepan. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for one minute. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Stir in the soy sauce and set aside until needed.

2. For the chicken: pierce the skin of the chicken thighs several times with a skewer or fork. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

3. Heat the grapeseed oil in a large frying pan over a high heat, then add the chicken in batches, skin-side down. Fry for 2-3 minutes, or until the skin is golden and crisp. If you weigh the chicken down it will make the skin even crispier.

4. Turn the chicken over, cover the pan with a lid and cook for a further 3-4 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through (the juices should run clear when the chicken is pierced at its thickest part with a skewer).

5. For the salad: blanch the asparagus and beans in a saucepan of boiling salted water for 1-2 minutes. Drain and refresh in iced cold water until completely cooled, then drain well. Halve the asparagus lengthways.

6. Heat the oil in a large wok or frying pan over a high heat, add the chilli and garlic and stir fry for 30 seconds. Add the vegetables and sesame oil and stir fry for a minute or so until the vegetables are slightly crisp and heated through. Add the soy and stir through. Pile the salad onto a serving platter.

7. To serve, arrange the watercress on plates. Slice the chicken thighs on an angle into 3-4 pieces each, then place on top of the watercress. Sprinkle on the spring onions, drizzle over some ponzu sauce and serve the rice and salad alongside. Place a dab of mustard or wasabi on the plate to serve with the chicken.

Rate This Recipe